Please read the following information concerning the study to be conducted.


        Simon Stankovich-Hamel, psychology undergraduate student at Bishop’s University, is conducting an Honours research project under the supervision of Drs Claude Charpentier and Jonathan Carriere of the psychology department at Bishop’s University, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. The purpose of the study is to understand the role of nature and of community.


        Individuals agreeing to participate in this project and who are 18 years of age and older will be asked to complete an online survey in which they will be asked to complete questionnaires about sense of community, connection to nature, self-compassion, and well-being. Answers provided by participants are confidential and will not be shared. This questionnaire will take approximately 25 minutes to complete, though individual times may vary.

        Upon completion, individuals will be asked if they would like to enter a draw for a chance to win one of three prizes of a value of $75 each. To enter the draw, individuals will be asked to provide an email address so that they can be contacted, should their name be drawn. The draw will be held on May 30th, 2018. Only the three winners will be contacted.

        Individuals will also be asked if they are interested in receiving an invitation for a follow-up study in 6 months and 12 months. If they do, they will asked to provide an email address so as to enable the linkage of their responses for parts one (current study), two (6-month follow-up), and three (12-month follow-up) of the study.

       The submission of an email address is entirely voluntary and is not necessary in order to take part in the current study.


        Participation in this research project is completely voluntary. Participants do not have to respond to any questions that make them uncomfortable. Participants have the right to withdraw from this project, with no consequences, up to the point that they click the “Submit Survey” button at the end of the survey.

        Should participants wish to withdraw their information after completing the survey, they may do so by contacting the researcher by phone or email only if they have previously provided their email address for the follow-up study, as this is the only identifier linked to their data. It will not be possible to destroy the data if participants have not provided an email address to participate in a follow-up study, as their survey responses were submitted without any names.


        Several steps will be taken to ensure confidentiality of survey data submitted. All incoming surveys will be stored on a secure server at Bishop’s University. The data collected will only be accessible to Simon Stankovich-Hamel, Dr. Claude Charpentier, and Dr. Jonathan Carriere, and will be transferred and stored on a password protected computer in the Psychological Health and Wellbeing lab at Bishop’s University.  The time and date of submission will be attached to the survey. Such information is used solely for the purpose of excluding duplicate submissions.

        All data collected will be confidential and the property of the researcher(s) and will be used for this project and possibly for subsequent studies upon receiving further clearance from the Ethics Review Committee for Student Research.   

        The information collected over the course of this research project may be published in scientific/academic journals or shared with other persons during scientific discussions. Any reports of this study will contain information that reflects group results and not information about specific individuals or names of communities. This is also true of any future study using this data. Participants’ identities will be kept private. In order to be informed of any publication, participants may give their address and phone number to the researcher.


        The possible risks in the study are that some individuals might experience mild distress when reflecting on some of the survey questions that ask about their connection to nature, sense of community, self-compassion, and sense of well-being.


        The potential direct benefits of this study to the participants are that it provides an opportunity for self-reflection. Also, participants have the chance to win one of three prizes. Lastly, participants have the unique opportunity to collaborate in advancing knowledge, evidence, and the promotion of resources for therapeutic communities.


        Simon Stankovich-Hamel can be reached at Dr. Claude Charpentier can be reached at 819-822-9600, ext 2653 or by email at Dr. Jonathan Carriere can be reached at 819-822-9600 ext. 2190 or by email at  The Ethics Review Committee for Student Research  approved this project on December 15th, 2017. If participants have any concerns regarding this project, they may contact Michael Teed, member of the Ethics Review Committee for Student Research at 819-822-9600, ext. 2908 (or email at or Dr. Miles Turnbull, Vice-Principal Academic at 819-822-9600, ext. 2227, or by e-mail at 


        I have read and understand the terms of the present consent form. I have made this decision based on the information I have received about it, and I accept its stipulations. You may print a copy of this Letter of Consent for your records.

I understand that by completing and submitting this electronic survey I am giving my consent to participate in this study according to the terms outlined above.