Dr. Dawn Kingston is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the U of Calgary. She and her team are passionate about helping women and their families have the best start to life by improving maternal mental health, especially during pregnancy. She holds the Lois Hole Hospital Cross-Provincial Chair in Perinatal Mental Health, as well as a national New Investigator Award from Canadian Institutes of Health Research. In addition to her research on the application of e-technology to mental healthcare, Dawn is leading the largest study to date exploring the genetic, epigenetic, biological and social factors influencing child resilience. She also studies the long-term impact of prenatal and postnatal maternal mental health problems on child mental health and development. Some of her publications can be viewed here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=dawn+kingston
What do I do best?
I dream. I vision. I have big ideas, but I also have clear strategies for how to make those big ideas “live.” I also engage people to inspire them to join in the vision.
What makes me the best version of myself?
Pure persistence! I love feeling energized and motivated, and I love the sense that I’m moving forward. This desire to move forward to make things better – to create a better future - has always been a part of my fabric.
What are my aspirations?
Personally, I’d love to be a successful writer one day. I’d love to write books and content that helps people to be the best they can be – especially women. On the business side, we’ve been developing and testing a platform for e-mental health that could address some of the intractable issues we see in mental healthcare – low access, low availability, high wait time, high expense. We’ve been testing a model of e-screening, e-referral, and e-therapy – all linked. This virtual single point of access through an App could offer universal mental healthcare. Our work focuses on pregnant and postpartum women and partners, but our Province anticipates testing this App as a universal model of provincial mental healthcare for all groups - young and old.
My Biggest Success?
Honestly – being a good mother. Foundationally, it’s the one thing I wanted to succeed at. I didn’t want to have regrets about my parenting.
My Most Challenging Moment?
Well, the one that I’ve been dwelling on most over the past year is:
I recognize and act on the fact that I have full and complete choice, which I model with firm graciousness and clear boundaries.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
I love Brene Brown, because she takes her research out “into the world” to truly help people. I’m a big fan of Greg McKeown (author Essentialism) and his ideas about living by design, not by default, and distinguishing the vital few from the trivial many. I love reading the novels of Alexander McCall Smith and Patrick Taylor. I’m drawn to their writings because they write about the human condition. I’m also interested in the fact that they are both academics, and yet they’ve found meaning and solace in writing “very human” novels. I value the historical reflections of Carl Jung (e.g., “When I am at Bollingen I am in the midst of my true life, I am most deeply myself.”) and current thinking of psychiatrist Irvin Yalom (e.g., The Gift of Therapy). I particularly appreciate Yalom because he allows his work with patients to influence his own life – in a positive way.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
The ocean – raw and crashing. Anywhere where there is a desolate, lonely cliff!
My Favorite Products/Objects?
I have to say books. I love books. I admit it – I’m a book junkie. I always have a few in my bag to read while I’m waiting in lines or to grab a few minutes of reading over coffee.
My Current Passions?
I’m passionate about….
-my family – my husband and 2 boys
-the mountains (I’m a 1-hour drive from the Rockies – a place of bliss for me)
-the possibility that we are on the verge of an e-based form of universal mental healthcare
-good mental health