Researcher Bio


Hilary McGregor, MSc

Community Health Science

University of Northern British Columbia


Please be in contact if you have any questions, comments, or potential opportunities for this project.

This project was part of my Master’s degree in Community Health Science at the University of Northern BC.

I have a longstanding interest in mental health and substance use issues based on personal experiences and educational background. I came to realize in recent years that I, and several people close to me, have struggled to live with full emotional and mental wellness. I have also witnessed and experienced substance use in response to emotional distress. As an undergraduate student, I studied psychology at McGill University and became very interested in the multi-disciplinary minor of Social Studies of Medicine. Combining these two program backgrounds, I chose community health as a graduate discipline in part because it incorporates broader conceptualizations of health, such as the social, economic and political factors that contribute to experiences of wellness and un-wellness. I have a deep interest in social justice and a desire to make a positive impact within my community and more broadly. 

My interest in photography began when I inherited an old Nikon camera in my early 20’s. I remember how differently I engaged with my surroundings when I had it with me - the familiar became new again. As a creative art, I appreciate how accessible photography is, both for the one taking photos and for those viewing them. In September 2010 when I began my graduate studies, I heard a CBC Radio show that reminded me of the power of creativity. This provided the inspiration to include photography in my thesis and lead me to discover Photovoice.

I received several graduate scholarships and awards including the Intersections of Mental Health Perspectives in Addictions Research Training (IMPART) Graduate Fellowship, UNBC Graduate Entrance Scholarship and UNBC Graduate Research Award. I presented this research to local, provincial, national and international audiences at multiple conferences including the Canadian Collaborative Mental Health Care Conference, an international health education conference in Mexico City, and at an international conference on addiction therapy in Las Vegas.

I work for Northern Health as part of the Aboriginal Health team. Prior I worked for several years as a Research Associate for the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health. I volunteered on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Mental Health Association - PG Branch from 2011-2014 and served on the Executive Committee as the Vice President and Acting President.