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Research Chair in forensic mental health
Dr. N. Zoe Hilton announced as Research Chair in forensic mental health science
Posted on 01/26/2024

Dr. N. Zoe Hilton announced as Research Chair in forensic mental health science
Dr. N. Zoe Hilton
The new Research Chair in Forensic Mental Health is a scientist who has made significant contributions to the fields of domestic violence, risk assessment and the physical and psychological wellbeing of patients and staff at psychiatric hospitals.

Dr. N. Zoe Hilton is currently a Senior Research Scientist with the Waypoint Research Institute, and a Professor in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. She is a Registered Psychologist and a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association. Her new position is a collaboration between Waypoint and the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine.

“In this vital role, Dr. Hilton will work towards further understanding of forensic mental health science; health care services that are often confused with corrections, which can confer a ‘double stigma’ of mental illness and justice system involvement,” said Dr. Bernard Le Foll, Vice President Research & Academics and Chief Scientific Officer at Waypoint. “Dr. Hilton’s research leadership reaches around the globe and her experience will help establish Waypoint as a centre of excellence in forensic mental health research."

With an extensive background in both clinical and research settings, Dr. Hilton has led studies of international scope and impact, including:
• Development of the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA) and related training to assist
   police and other first responders in decision-making in intimate partner violence (IPV) cases.

• Working with universities and police services in three Canadian provinces to develop evidence-based
   approaches for assessing risk of IPV. Researchers will also work with policing partners to identify how
   police can recognize and respond to non-physical, coercive, and controlling behaviours when
   assessing IPV risk.

• Trauma among Psychiatric Workers Project, a multi-hospital study that sought to understand how
   workplace factors impact trauma experiences among nurses and other hospital staff; and

• Development of a research cohort of over 600 men admitted to a forensic assessment unit, for the
   study of diverse clinical topics such as adverse childhood experiences, treatment needs, seclusion risk,
   suicide risk and metabolic syndrome.

“Waypoint has a strong legacy of forensic mental health research and our work has grown and diversified over the past decade,” said Dr. Hilton. “The role of Research Chair allows us to consolidate this activity into a program of forensic mental health science. My goal is for everyone involved to see how their work contributes to the success of the program by building our impact at this hospital and growing our reputation internationally.”

In 2023, the Waypoint Research Institute recognized a decade of groundbreaking contributions to advancing understanding of mental health and addiction and improving lives locally and globally. Investing in research and collaboration in forensic mental health reflects Waypoint’s commitment to making meaningful contributions that will shape the future of forensic mental health science and improve outcomes for individuals in need.