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Annual Report

Studying the link between PTSD and exercise

Terry Fitzpatrick

UNB kinesiology student Terry Fitzpatrick toured Afghanistan with the Canadian military a decade ago.

Today, he is pioneering a study explore the potential for exercise to ease post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

It’s a quest with deeply personal meaning. As a result of his time in Afghanistan, Mr. Fitzpatrick suffers from PTSD.

“I may never be cured,” he says, “but as long as I am making life a little easier for myself and other soldiers to live with PTSD – that’s what’s important.”

Mr. Fitzpatrick’s research towards his master’s degree focuses on the factors that enable and hinder soldiers suffering from PTSD from participating in physically active leisure and sport. His research will also focus on how sport and physically active leisure help soldiers combating post-traumatic stress disorder.

His research attracted a prestigious national research award – $17,500 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Mr. Fitzpatrick, a lieutenant who still serves in the Canadian Forces today, has already attracted attention for his commitment to his studies, his community and the field of kinesiology.

In 2016, he was named a Sir Howard Douglas Scholar at UNB for academic excellence and his contributions to community and he was saluted by Recreation NB for his work in the field of recreation in New Brunswick through volunteer activities, work experiences or studies.

Dr. Charlene Shannon-McCallum, a UNB kinesiology professor who is supervising the research, says he is one of the most accomplished, hard-working, self-motivated, and dedicated students she has known at UNB.

“But what I appreciate even more about Terry,” she says, “is that he so sincerely cares about others and is passionate about making a difference – including with his research. I’m really looking forward to sharing in his research journey.”