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About RISE Research Lab

Our Mission

The logo for RISE Research lab, with a pencil replacing the "i" in RISE.

Our lab’s mission is to conduct research to guide efforts to support the psychological health and resilience of those in the education sector.

The mission statement supports not only those employed in the education sector, but also recognizes that by supporting education sector employees, we also support students and the renewal of healthy schools and workplaces.

Our Research Focus

Our mission of supporting the psychological health and resilience of people in the education sector has guided our research focus since our lab began in 2020. 

National Teacher Survey (2020-2021)

Within two weeks of the first case of COVID-19 in Manitoba on March 12, 2020, our team was formed and began collecting data through a national survey and follow-up interviews. This work was funded by the University of Winnipeg and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Explore grant.


This research recognized both the importance of documenting the experiences of teachers during this unique context as well amplifying their voices to ensure their welfare was considered in government and administrative decision-making.


Our large-scale latent profile analysis of almost 2000 Canadian teachers indicated that teachers were experiencing teaching in the pandemic in 5 unique patterns called “profiles.” Teachers in the province of Manitoba demonstrated significantly greater burnout than teachers in other provinces.

Supporting Teachers during the Pandemic (2021-2022)

The next phase of the research program focussed on a longitudinal mixed-methods study of a school division in Manitoba. This work was funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Partnership Development grant with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), EdCan Network, and a local school division.


Through data collection with teachers, school leaders, divisional administrators, and school board members, we traced the development of burnout as well as sustained resilience across the sector within various teachers in the school division.


Repeated division-wide survey administration was supplemented with bi-weekly interviews of a subset of teachers over the 2021-2022 school year and again a year later. As we emerged from the pandemic, it became clear that the education sector had experienced significant depletion of resources during the pandemic and required a period of renewal to regain momentum and agency.

Resilience and Renewal (2022-2023)

In response to our 2022 findings, the Education ministry contracted the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) to develop supports for education sector employees in Manitoba. The supports initially took the form of a website with pop-up mental health service navigation by trained mental health support workers.


Our team conducted research on the utility and effects of the website and the online workshops offered. Although the initial effects were strong, we began to notice shifts in educator preference for face-to-face school-based workshops.


The CMHA developed a suite of 16 face-to-face workshops, including Mental Wellness for Administrators, Mental Wellness for Teachers, and Mental Wellness for Educational Assistants. Our research indicated that these workshops were effective in increasing educator connectedness, resilience, recovery, and well-being but were not successful in increasing organizational commitment. The latter finding is a serious concern, considering the predicted and impending global teacher shortage, which includes teacher shortages in North America.

Psychological Health and Safety (2023-2024)

Qualitative feedback from the 2022-2023 workshops indicated that a more systemic approach to recovery was necessary and should include strategies embedded in school-based and divisional planning, policy, and practices at multiple levels.


The CMHA shored up their professional development offerings with new workshops that considered the systemic, planned, and multi-pronged approach offered by psychological health and safety approaches to organizational health. Our team continues to monitor the effects of these programs on education sector mental health and recovery with increased attention to factors related to enhanced organizational commitment.

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