CICMH 2022 Virtual Conference: Call for Abstracts

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The Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health’s (CICMH) Annual Conference is an opportunity for stakeholders in post-secondary mental health across Ontario and Canada to come together, connect over their shared goals, and learn new strategies to bring back to their practice. Our event represents the heart of CICMH’s work: bringing together diverse stakeholders among Ontario’s university and college staff, students, community organizations, and campus champions so they can collaborate on, and ultimately innovate solutions to, campus mental health problems. This year the conference will be held virtually on November 2nd, 2022. In the past, this event has attracted over 600 participants, 20 exhibitors, and a wide variety of speakers from across the post-secondary mental health sector, offering workshops on best and emerging practices.

Conference Theme: Building New Worlds

As we have all been navigating through another year of the pandemic and the changes that have come with it, one thing has become clear: we cannot go back to the way things were. Inequity and its impacts have been made abundantly evident during these unprecedented times. We now stand together at the precipice of new worlds we can build on our campuses. This year’s conference theme, Building New Worlds, asks us to consider the ways in which we will have to deconstruct elements of our world that are not serving us, decolonize our practices, and reconstruct with bold imagination. It further challenges us to concern ourselves with the strategies of adaptation and growth that we have collectively developed and that will continue to move us forward, toward those new worlds. Finally, this theme requires us to think about these new worlds in their entirety, holistically, and to look at how everyone on campus can play a part in building them. Through this lens, we will be exploring topics that embrace a whole campus approach and that embed and examine the social determinants of health.

To facilitate this discussion, we will delve into the five following themes:

1. Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

There is a growing movement for institutional leadership and campus frameworks to implement equity, diversity and inclusivity-related policies to ensure equitable access to services and programming on campus. Province-wide, there has been a focus on understanding the unique needs of students based on the various intersections of their identity such as culture, race, religion, sexual orientation, and physical or mental health disability. Presentations in this stream will address equity-driven and student-driven programming, as well as strategies for the decolonization of campus spaces.

2. Navigating Transitions

Presentations in this stream will focus on successes, challenges and lessons learned from the rapid shifts of campus mental health services between different modalities and in different contexts. As we continue to shift between these environments, the following areas have come into focus: efficiently navigating the return to campus (for students, faculty, and staff); special considerations for international student populations; creating and engaging students in a safe virtual setting.

3. Indigenous Student Engagement and Wellness

Presentations in this stream will centre around Indigenous world views grounded in holistic understandings and the value of interrelatedness as a model for wellness and engagement of Indigenous student populations. Areas of focus may include: embracing Indigenous worldviews in campus and learning environments; Indigenous pedagogy and educational interconnections.

4. Student Engagement

Facilitating connection and belonging among students is vital to counter the increasing experiences of isolation and loneliness in the virtual world. The recent shift away from being physically on campus has highlighted a need to devise innovative strategies to allow students to engage with their institution and their peers in a meaningful way. Presentations in this stream will centre around innovative initiatives that: create meaningful programming outside of the classroom environment for students; utilize peer-to-peer models to create meaningful relationships among students; emphasize communal spaces for students to address mental health and wellness topics; and feature co-design with students.

5. Substance Use & Harm Reduction

There has been an increase in substance-related harms throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Presentations in this stream will focus on the use and misuse of drugs, alcohol and other substances by student populations. Example topics might include: trends and patterns in student substance use during the pandemic; harm reduction programming on campus and strategies for reducing substance-related harms.

  • Submissions should provide a brief explanation of the presentation in 150 words or less.
  • Abstracts will be accepted until May 2, 2022, at 5pm.
  • Presenters will be notified if their abstracts have been accepted by the end of May.

Click here to submit your abstract