Helping Ontario's colleges and universities enhance capacity to support student mental health and well-being

FITA – Advancing Mental Health Program Development

FITA – Advancing Mental Health Program Development

Tuesday June 9th, 2015 from 12:00 – 12:30 pm

Workshop Overview

The From Intention To Action Program (FITA) has completed 4 years of service to students who self-referred as “overwhelmed”.  This program sees students over 12 sessions, primarily with unpaid graduate level interns who develop effective therapeutic alliances. FITA is based on findings from LOFT research and includes assessment, feedback, and commitment on the part of students.  Significant improvements in grade point averages, improved study skills, increased time spent in studies, and improved mental health scores resulted.

This presentation focuses on:

  1. Recent research conducted by FITA on overwhelmed students and outcomes measured at the end of the year.
  2. How intervention improves mental health and academic achievement.
  3. The role of therapeutic alliance in a holistic approach
  4. The implications for colleges and universities that are better able to serve and retain vulnerable students.
  5. The need to help students develop resilience which includes changing the narrative of incoming students regarding the challenges they will face and the need for self-care.
  6. The need to develop a systemic response to support the needier students in post-secondary education (PSE) across Ontario.
  7. The development of a FITA consortium among schools running pilots of this model and the distribution of resources to this group.


Dr. John Meissner, C.Psych., Carlton University, FITA Project Leader,

John is a psychologist working to find real world solutions to problems that integrate research evidence into a program that creatively addresses struggles faced by students.  Phone: (613) 520-2600 ext 8065

Larry McCloskey, Director, Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities, Carleton University

Larry McCloskey has worked to make accessibility effective and universal as the co-developer of FITA, the instigator of the Research and Educational in Accessibility Design (Carleton University Read Initiative) and the originator of 24-7 support services. Phone: (613) 520-2600, x 6609,


FITA PowerPoint Download File