Candice Lys, PhD

Co-Founder & Executive Director of FOXY/SMASH

Research Statement

Candice earned a PhD in Public Health Science from the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health in 2018 and holds an MA in Health Promotion from Dalhousie University.  Her Master’s research involved speaking with young women across the NWT about their sexual health education needs and desires.  For her PhD research (in collaboration with many Northerners), Candice developed FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth) and then SMASH (Strength, Masculinities, and Sexual Health), sexual and mental health education and healing programs that have reached over 6000 youth across the NWT, Nunavut, and the Yukon.  Candice continues to engage in several territorial and national research projects, primarily in the fields of youth health, Indigenous health, sexual and mental health, HIV prevention, and land-based programming.

Research Program in the NWT

Candice is currently involved in evaluating the effectiveness of FOXY and SMASH, and further exploring the sexual and mental health needs of Northern and Indigenous youth, with the goal of improving youth-focused programming and healthcare services.

Significant Contributions

Logie, C., Lys, C., Mackay, K., MacNeill, N., Pauchulo, A., Yasseen, A. (2019). Syndemic Factors associated with Safer Sex Efficacy among Northern and Indigenous Adolescents in Arctic Canada. Journal of Adolescent Health:

Lys, C. (2018). Exploring Coping Strategies and Mental Health Support Systems among Female Youth in Northern Canada using Body Mapping. International Journal of Circumpolar Health. 77(1):

Logie, C., Lys, C., Schott, N., Dias, L., Zouboules, M., Mackay, K. (2018). 'In the North you can't be openly gay.' Qualitatively exploring social and structural contexts shaping safer sex practices among sexually and gender diverse persons in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Global Public Health:

Lys C, Logie C, Okumu M. (2018). Pilot Testing Fostering Open eXpression among Youth (FOXY), an arts-based HIV/STI prevention approach for adolescent women in the Northwest Territories. International Journal of STD & AIDS. 29(10): 980-986.

Logie C, Lys C, Dias L, Schott N, Zouboules M, MacNeill N, Mackay K. (2018). Automatic assumption of your gender, sexuality and sexual practices is also discrimination”: Exploring healthcare experiences and recommendations among sexually and gender diverse persons in Northern Canada. Health & Social Care in the Community.

Lys C, Gesink D, Strike C, Larkin J. (2018). Body Mapping as a Youth Sexual Health Intervention and Data Collection Tool. Qualitative Health Research. 28(7): 1185-1198.