The Flourish Program: Helping High School Students Transition to Postsecondary Education – NEW MHIF
Flourish is a collaborative project at UTSC involving six academic and student services departments. The goal of this strength-based project is to facilitate students growth intellectually, socially and emotionally and to translate this into action, habit and purpose. Expanding this collaboration, with MHIF support, the program will train professional staff and student peer leaders from UTSC, mental health staff the Shoniker Clinic, Rouge Valley Hospital, and teachers and student support services staff at the Toronto District School Board. The training will enable these professionals to conduct skill-based, experiential interventions, especially for students with mental health concerns, who are transitioning from secondary to postsecondary setting. The program will help students in both secondary and postsecondary settings to assess their levels of stress, well-being, character strengths and student engagement. Following the assessment, students will be offered various levels of interventions, based on the severity of psychological distress and level of well-being. The ultimate goal is of the program is help students learn skills to understand their stressors as well as strengths, risks as well as resources, and vulnerabilities as well as a values, to build psychological, physical and academic resilience.
The program plans to build a rich repository of online multi-media and educational resources for students, teachers and parents so that they have accessible information regarding mental health and how it impacts academics and social life. A sample of this repository can be viewed at www.utsc.utoronto.ca/projects/flourish/resources/. The program has been recently been recognized through the Excellence in Innovation Award from the University of Toronto and CACUSS’s Innovation Award.