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College of Human Environmental Sciences

Kelli Canada

Kelli Canada

Kelli Canada, PhD, MSW
Associate Professor and Associate Director for Research

706 Clark Hall
School of Social Work
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211-4470
Phone: (573) 882-3765
Fax: [573] 882-8926
Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


PhD, University of Chicago, 2012; MSW, Columbia University, 2003; BA, Depauw University, 2001.

Research Interests:

Serious Mental Illness; Clinical Social Work; Older Adults; Mental Health Courts; Criminal Justice System and Mental Illness.

Teaching Interests:

Clinical Social Work Practice; Psychiatric Social Work; Advanced Clinical Practice.


2016 Distinguished Teacher Award, MU College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Research and Scholarly Activity:

Serving the Mental Health Needs of Vulnerable Populations

Dr. Canada is a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow and recipient of the Hazel M. Hatcher HES Research Scholar Award. Dr. Canada’s clinical practice and research focuses on intervention and treatment for populations who are marginalized and underserved. Her primary research agenda examines interventions targeting vulnerable populations (e.g., people with serious mental illnesses, older adults, veterans) who enter the criminal justice system. These populations are at greater risk of experiencing negative outcomes in comparison to the general population of people who are arrested. Dr. Canada studies interventions along the criminal justice continuum including crisis intervention teams in police departments, specialty court programs, and prison-based interventions to reduce risk and stigma that vulnerable populations face. She is currently studying mental health and veteran treatment courts in order to determine the factors that impact successful completion of these programs, improved quality of life, and recovery.

In addition to her research on vulnerable populations within the criminal justice system, Dr. Canada also works to increase access to quality mental health treatment for vulnerable populations in the community. In September of 2014, she and Co-Director Rebekah Freese opened the Integrative Behavioral Health Clinic (IBHC), a free clinic for uninsured mid-Missourians in need of comprehensive mental health care, provided by faculty and graduate students in the MU School of Social Work. The mission of IBHC is to address disparities in the availability of comprehensive, integrative behavioral health care for persons who are uninsured or unable to afford low cost, high quality care.