Shelly Ben-David

Assistant Professor

Social Work
Other Titles: PhD, RSW, LMSW
Phone: 250-807-9434
Supervision: I am currently accepting graduate supervision requests

Research Summary

Research interests include early psychosis research (clinical high-risk, first-episode psychosis), suicide risk and protective factors among youth, early intervention in mental health, identity, transition-aged youth, gender and race differences, decision-making, international social work, and mixed-methods and implementation research.


Google scholar:



PhD in Social Work, New York University; MSc in Social Work, Columbia University; BSc in Psychology and Religion, University of Toronto.

Research Interests & Projects

Shelly’s program of research works closely with youth and young adults with mental health challenges and their families to: 1) examine decision-making and engagement with mental health services; 2) examine social, community, and online mental health messages; and 3) understand how identity is disrupted after the development of a mental health disorder. Shelly is part of the Foundry  research and innovation team in BC, and currently leading a SSHRC funded research project looking at mental heath service use decision-making and engagement with services among youth and young adults.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Selected Journal Articles 

  • Ben-David, S., Cole, A. R., Brucato, G., Girgis, R., & Munson, M. R. (2019). A conceptual model of mental health service utilization among young adults at clinical high-risk for developing psychosis. Psychiatric rehabilitation journal, 42(1), 17. DOI: 10.1037/prj0000336
  • Ben‐David, S., Cole, A., Brucato, G., Girgis, R. R., & Munson, M. R. (2018). Mental health service use decision‐making among young adults at clinical high risk for developing psychosis. Early intervention in psychiatry. DOI: 10.1111/eip.12725
  • Narendorf, S. C., Munson, M. R., Ben-David, S., Cole, A. R., & Scott Jr, L. D. (2018). Race and gender differences in attitudes toward help seeking among marginalized young adults with mood disorders: A mixed-methods investigation. Psychiatric rehabilitation journal, 41(4), 277. DOI: 10.1037/prj0000312
  • Munson, M. R., Narendorf, S. C., Ben-David, S., & Cole, A. (2018). A mixed-methods investigation into the perspectives on mental health and professional treatment among former system youth with mood disorders. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.
  • Munson, M. R., Narendorf, S. C., Ben-David, S., Cole, A., & Floersch, J. (2018). Integrated, Overwhelmed, and Distanced: Narratives of Mental Health Among Young Adults With Prior Public System Involvement. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 9(3), 413-430. DOI: 10.1086/699223
  • Ben-David, S., Cole, A., Spencer, R., Jaccard, J., & Munson, M. R. (2017). Social context in mental health service use among young adults. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(1), 85-99. DOI: 10.1080/01488376.2016.1239595
  • Ben-David, S., Birnbaum, M. L., Eilenberg, M. E., DeVylder, J. E., Gill, K. E., Schienle, J., … & Corcoran, C. M. (2014). The subjective experience of youths at clinically high risk of psychosis: a qualitative study. Psychiatric Services, 65(12), 1499-1501. Doi: 10.1176/

Selected Grants & Awards

  • Insight development grant 2018 competition: Shelly Ben-David PI: “Service utilization among youth: Testing a novel decision-making framework” (2018-2020). 
  • UBC VP Research & Innovation- 2018 Collaborative Research Mobility Award: Shelly Ben-David PI: “Youth mental health, identity, and intervention: A collaborative Initiative” (2018-2019).
  • Fahs-Beck Fund for Research and Experimentation 2016: Shelly Ben-David Pi: “Mental health service utilization among young adults at clinical high risk for developing psychosis” (2016-2017).



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