Melinda J. Suto, MA, PhD

Network Member

Melinda J. Suto


MA (OT), University of Southern California
PhD, Educational Studies, University of British Columbia

Academic appointment

Occupational Therapist & Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, University of British Columbia


Dr. Suto immigrated from the USA to Canada and worked as an occupational therapist in mental health in both countries before starting her academic career. Her interest in bipolar disorder was sparked from that work, and relationships with friends and family members who live with this condition.  Dr. Suto’s research centers on participation in ‘occupations’ – the myriad activities that groups and individuals need, want or are required to do as members of society.  Occupations can be transformative and create meaning; within the context of bipolar disorder they can support well-being or diminish it.  Dr. Suto conducts qualitative research using community-based participatory research principles.  Her 3-year study of community gardening and wellbeing for people with mental health issues examines how participation in this shared occupation influences isolation, social connections and self-defined well-being.

What I do when I'm not working

To control the seesaw of life I ride my bike, practice yoga and travel.



Social media/website

Dr. Suto on YouTube


T325 – 2211 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, BC, V6T 2B5