Directory Profiles

Dr. Sonya L. Jakubec


Sonya L. Jakubec, RN, DipN (UofA Hospital), BHScN (Auckland), MN (Victoria), PhD (Calgary) is a Registered Nurse, and a tenured, Associate Professor at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada. She teaches with the School of Nursing and Midwifery in the Faculty of Health, Community and Education. Sonya has been a community mental health nurse for over 25 years, and in academia for nearly 15 years. She has researched and published widely in the areas of community health, focusing on supportive environments for mental health. This research explores the role of social and physical environments on health and wellbeing, and has examined: facilitators and barriers to recreation for adults with schizophrenia, outcomes of nature involvement for people experiencing cancer, social inclusion for seniors living in suburbs, as well as parks inclusion for adults/caregivers experiencing disability and palliative care. Her recent research has been in collaboration with Alberta Parks is exploring the place of parks and nature at end of life. Currently she is engaged in 2 new studies looking at parks and mobile interventions for those receiving palliative care. Additionally, she is exploring the community health impacts of intergenerational and mixed abilities community gardening initiatives.

Sonya engages with students and research partners in her work, primarily using qualitative, institutional ethnographic, critical and participatory research approaches. While teaching undergraduate nurses and community mental health promotion, she is also invested in teaching and promoting critical research literacy with forthcoming textbooks in this area of research literacy for health and community practice (Canadian Scholars’ Press), mental health nursing (Elsevier), and community health nursing (Elsevier).

Featured Research Summaries

Mountain Experiences Improve Mental Well-Being

Selected Publications (Peer Reviewed)

Mental well-being and quality of life benefits of inclusion in nature for adults with disabilities and their caregivers
Jakubec SL, D Carruthers Den Hoed, H Ray & A Krishnamurthy
Landscape Research 41(6):616–627 (Jul 2016)

‘I can reinvent myself out here’: Experiences of nature inclusion and mental well-being. In Altman BM & SN Barnartt (Ed), Research in Social Science and Disability (Environmental Contexts and Disability, Volume 8).
Jakubec SL, D Carruthers Den Hoed & H Ray
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.213–229 (2014)

Inclusion in nature activities for adults with disabilities and their caregivers: A mixed methods study
Jakubec SL, D Carruthers Den Hoed, H Ray & A Krishnamurthy
ATRAbute Journal of the Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association 1(2):8–11 (2014)

The Influence of Nature Experiences on the Health-Related Quality of Life of Cancer Survivors
Ray H & SL Jakubec
Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 20(4):188–192 (Nov 2014)

Selected Publications (Non-Peer Reviewed)

Nature teaches us to grieve: The place of parks and nature at end of life
Jakubec SL, D Carruthers Den Hoed, A Krishnamurthy, H Ray & M Quinn
Research Snapshot (2016)

“Seniors in the suburbs”: Understanding belonging & community connection – together!
Jakubec SL
Research Snapshot (2016)

Planting seeds of community inclusion: A participatory action community gardening study and horticultural therapy group intervention for seniors at Mount Royal University
Jakubec SL
Research Snapshot (2016)