Associate Professor University of Toronto

Professor Andersen is a health psychologist who specializes in bio-psycho-social research on stress and stress-related mental and physical health issues. With more than 15 years of experience working with individuals in high-stress occupations, she led the development of a reality-based training program (iPREP) shown to reduce police lethal force errors through the modulation of stress physiology. Her research on de-escalation and police decision-making continues to inform provincial and federal policy on methods that emphasize de-escalation/non-escalation rather than the use of force when resolving critical incidents. Called upon to advise on several parliamentary committees and respond to numerous population-based calls to action, Professor Andersen and her team are committed to excellence in research and training on these topics.

Additionally, Professor Andersen’s expertise includes research on mental health and the development of bio-psycho-social interventions for individuals exposed to post-traumatic stress injuries (PTSI). Her multi-year post-doctoral research training with the US Department of Veterans Affairs revealed biological links between post-traumatic stress injury and chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease among military veterans. Based on this foundational work, Professor Andersen maintains a federally funded research program on reducing PTSI and building wellness capacity among public safety personnel exposed to trauma.