Impact of Structural Violence on Mental Health & Substance Use

Structural Violence: The role of poverty, trauma and stress in mental health and addictions 

In this webinar, Jenny Morgan and Vanessa Brcic discuss the complex connections between poverty, trauma and stress in the development, experience and treatment of mental illness and addictions. Jenny speaks from her position as Director of Indigenous Health at BC Women’s and Children's Hospital to explore ways socioeconomic inequities impact health and demonstrate how health authorities and organizations can be accountable for the delivery of trauma-informed and culturally-safe care. Vanessa then shares her perspective as a family doctor who specializes in vulnerable patients, delving into how the body responds to chronic stress and why patient-centered, integrated care that addresses basic needs is the most effective medical intervention.

Download a pdf copy of the Powerpoint slides. 

Jenny Morgan, Director of Indigenous Health

BC Women's Hospital 



Jenny Morgan is the Director for Indigenous Health at the BC Women’s and Children’s hospitals. Jenny is a member of the Gitxsan First Nation. She is also a sessional instructor at the UBC School of Social Work. Throughout her career she has committed to building trusting and meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities, and elevating the voices and needs of Indigenous peoples for systemic change and improving their health and social outcomes, with the weaving of reconciliation and institutional accountability in this change.

Currently, Jenny is completing her doctorate in education through the University of Western Ontario, and has her master’s degree in social work from UVic and bachelors’ degree in social work from UBC. She’s the co-founder and volunteer of Awakening Indigenous, a website and source of free information on breathing, meditation, and self healing, promoting health, wellness, connection, and healing. She’s also a former board member, and current volunteer on the Indigenous advisory committee with the BC College of Social Workers, that is looking at developing respectful relationships and reconciliation with Indigenous communities.

 Vanessa Brcic, Clinical Assistant Professor

 Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia


Dr. Vanessa Brcic is a family physician, community-based researcher, and a registered therapeutic counselor practicing relational somatic therapy for trauma. Her work is focused on the safe and compassionate care of vulnerable patients and those neglected by the medical system, including people living with chronic pain. Her experience as a patient also informs her advocacy and work as a care provider.

She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at UBC, co-chair of the Social Determinants of Health Committee for the BC College of Family Physicians, and co-founder and current chair of Basics for Health Society. She is an advocate for equitable health policy and primary care reform, as a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (BC) and as a board member with Canadian Doctors for Medicare.





Webinar: Structural Violence & Mental Health
Impact of Structural Violence on Mental Health & Substance Use
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