Shantelle Rank

What education have you taken?

I am currently in the fourth year of my program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing (B.Sc.P.N.) I attended Brandon University, enrolled in General Studies in 2006, finding interest in psychology, sociology, women’s studies, and philosophy. Prior to that, I graduated from Dauphin Regional Comprehensive Secondary School in 2003.   

What accomplishments are your proud of?

In 2010, I spoke at the conference “From Pierre-Esprit Radisson to Louis Riel: Voyageurs et Métis” about Social Determinants of Métis Health: Why are Métis People at-risk for Mental Health Issues with my mentor Karen Doty-Sweetnam. I am the longest standing volunteer with the Farm and Rural Support Services (since 2006). I received 100 hours of crisis-intervention training with Klinic Community Health Centre to answer crisis calls on the Manitoba Suicide and Crisis Line. I continue to volunteer with the Klinic Crisis Line program and update my skills as a crisis intervention counselor. Klinic is a feminist, prochoice, GLBTT positive organization. I consider myself a feminist and utilize a feminist model of empowerment in my counseling work. This experience working on the Crisis Lines gave me new insight into the struggles people have and the resources available to those willing to receive help. I continue to volunteer answering the crisis and suicide line in Manitoba four hours a week.  I admire the women at the Farm and Rural Stress Line because they have been true mentors. Thank you, Janet, Kim, and Leanne.

I am the youth representative for the Suicide Prevention Implementation Network in Brandon, Manitoba. I was a presenter at the 2011 Youth Wellness Day and entitled my session as “Refocusing in a Positive Way”. In this session with Grade 10 students, we discussed the resources available in the community and the importance of self-care. I was the founder and co-leader of the Suicide Survivor Young Adult Support Group with co-leader Tracy Young Ridgen that was open to anyone between the ages of 16-25 that has lost a loved one to suicide.  e had a pilot group in the fall of 2010 and continued another series following in 2011. I planned the sessions that incorporated teachings, yoga, art, music, and mindfulness.

I am proud to have backpacked through Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, and Bermuda independently and in search of adventure.

Tell me about yourself / your background / your history.

I grew up on a farm, the youngest of four children. I have two wonderful parents Wayne and Myra that I admire and love to the fullest. I was unsure about attending university and set off on a backpacking trip with a dear friend through China, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. This gave me a new worldview on life as I decided I wanted to get a university degree. During my time at university, I had a difficult time being away from my family.  This being in part because my brother William took his own life in August 2008. During this time my other brother Clayton was diagnosed with Schizophrenia, ten years after an acquired Brain Injury. My family has been through many obstacles in life; thus we have become closer than we have ever been. Now I understand what determination is: having hardships while continuing with my education. I would like to thank my mother for teaching me unconditional love, my father for giving me a sense of humor, my sister for teaching me loyalty, my brother Clayton for giving me inspiration, my sister Candy for teaching me resilience, and thank my brother William for teaching me how to love myself. And all my beautiful nieces and nephews that make me appreciate the small things in life!

I currently work for Brandon Regional Health Authority as a homecare attendant and enjoy working with the elderly. I am working casually at the Child and Adolescent Treatment Centre as a psychiatric nursing assistant and find it rewarding working with children. I am committed to helping my community and am looking forward to my senior practicum at Health Science Centre in Winnipeg.

How did you become interested in your field of study?

I have many values and beliefs that resonate within me. I believe in a higher power and that everyone has the right to believe in their own way. I have an open mind and appreciate when people can be themselves without judgment. I find humor and beauty in everything. If you need help, ask for it. My philosophy is continuously changing and learning from others. My sister JJ read this poem written by Mother Theresa “Love Them Anyway” at my brother’s memorial and it helps make sense of things in life, so I want to share it with you.


People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Be good anyway.
Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People need help, but may attack you if you try to help them.
Help them anyway.

If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide or dealing with a suicide loss call the Manitoba Suicide Line Toll Free 24 hrs at 1-877-435-7170.

Check out the website.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I have many hopes and dreams regarding my future career in psychiatric nursing. I hope to work in Northern communities and offer my services in several different areas of health care. My next adventure will be to backpack through South America for one entire year. I hope to one day complete a Master degree program and teach after gaining experience in life.

Nominator’s Comments:

Shantelle is a Métis student attending her four-year in the Psychiatric Nursing program at Brandon University.  Shantelle’s focus beyond her academic studies (honors student) is creating awareness of the affects of addiction and suicide on Métis people. She herself is a survivor of familial suicide because she lost her oldest brother William Thomas Albert Rank in August 2008 to addiction and his subsequently suicide. She augments her studies by volunteering at the Manitoba Suicide and Crisis Line and works for BRHA. Once she completes her degree in Psychiatric Nursing she hopes to work with the Aboriginal people in Northern Manitoba.