Complete schedule and session details.

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Oct 15, Day 1Oct 16, Day 2

7:30 am – 9:00 am

Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 am – 10:00 am

Opening Ceremonies

10:00 am – 10:30 am

Keynote Address

Kim Moran, CEO, Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO)

Building a Stronger and More Connected Mental Health System for Young People

Preparing for the next wave of post-secondary students requires an understanding of current trends in mental health and wellness, and of the child and youth mental health (CYMH) system. Kim Moran will speak about the landscape of the CYMH system, and current challenges and opportunities facing the sector. This session will challenge participants to think big and adopt a systems approach to mental health services for children and youth. We will think critically about roles and responsibilities of providers, transitions between service providers in the health system, and consider how we can ensure young people have access to all the services they need. We will discuss how, together, all partners – from CYMH agencies to colleges and universities — can collaborate to establish a truly client-centred mental health system for young people.

10:30 am – 11:00 am

Refreshments / Posters and Exhibitors

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Concurrent Sessions

A1 Honouring Indigenous Voices – Promoting Safety and Wellness at Post Secondary

In the spring of this year efforts were undertaken to engage the voices and wisdom of Indigenous students at Fleming College, Niagara College, and Trent University to understand their experiences of post-secondary and how to promote psychological safety.

This workshop will invite you explore their landscapes. Consider the vulnerabilities, risks and resiliencies while harnessing their wisdom to foster healthier post-secondary ecosystems for our Indigenous students.

Larraine Hale, BSW, MSW, RSW | Clinical Social Worker

A2 Community Complex Case Management Services for Student Integrated Care

Ryerson University and the University of Toronto have partnered with LOFT Community Services on providing the Complex Case Management Services pilot. This innovative pilot will provide expanded case management services for students with complex mental health concerns that require additional community support above what they are presently receiving on campuses.

Through this pilot, LOFT has built and nurtured a support system for students who have been referred to case management. Eligible students will gain access to a mobile case manager who works in Toronto’s communities and neighborhoods, who will monitor the student’s involvement in psycho therapeutic services off- and on-campus, symptom reduction over time, and progress on pre-determined social determinants of health that are relevant to the students. These may include access to safe housing, involvement in criminal justice systems, and academics. This pilot will ensure seamless referral pathways to and from campus health services. All students will have access to all of LOFT services.

Darlene Coppens | LOFT Community Services
Charlotte Booth | LOFT Community Services
Dr. Laura Girz | Ryerson University
Sunday Kayaras | University of Toronto

A3 Destigmatizing the University Student Suicide Epidemic through Strategic Planning and Language

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among ages 15-34 (Statistics Canada, 2009). While institutions have been coming under fire lately, due to perceived lack of empathy in response to student deaths by suicide, there is no causal relationship between suicide and the university environment. Students are pushing for more transparency when one of their peers dies “suddenly”, however they do not always understand the multi-layered factors that determine how suicide deaths are reported. Family wishes, medical profession consensus, and media guidelines all influence reporting decisions. To counteract the rising numbers of mental health crises on-campus, Western University is taking a proactive approach, including a new Mental Health and Wellness Strategic Plan and suicide alertness training for staff, faculty, and students. While it may not be possible to reduce suicide stigma through the language used in reporting, through educational initiatives we can normalize mental health challenges in vulnerable youth as they transition to adulthood, making it easier for struggling students to get the help they need.less referral pathways to and from campus health services. All students will have access to all of LOFT services.

Rebecca Smith | Western University
Erin Anderson | Western University

A4 Alcohol: New Approaches to an Old Problem

In this workshop, Ben Bridgstock will outline the scope and extent of alcohol use in Canada’s post-secondary institutions and the harms it causes, then share information regarding new approaches, evidence-based practices, peer projects, new uses of technology and examples of innovative and creative approaches documented internationally that are positively impacting this long-term campus problem.y need.less referral pathways to and from campus health services. All students will have access to all of LOFT services.

Ben Bridgstock | Algonquin College

12:00 am – 1:00 pm

Poster Presentations / Exhibitor

Mood Walks

Mood Walks is an initiative of the Canadian Mental Health Ontario that promotes physical activity in nature, or “green exercise,” as a way to improve both physical and mental health by combining the know benefits of exercise, nature and social inclusion.

Jim Harris | Canadian Mental Health Association
Deena Kara Shaffer, PhD, MEd, BEd, (Hons)BA, OCT | Ryerson University


Diner entre Francophones

Passez par le buffet puis rejoignez-nous pour une session de réseautage avec vos collègues francophones de l’Ontario. Pauline facilitera L’exercice du cercle de réciprocité qui permet d’identifier les défis uniques rencontrés par la communauté francophone et de réfléchir à d’éventuelles solutions.

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Concurrent Sessions

B1 Enhancing the Mental Health of South Asian Students in Post-Secondary Education

The presenters in this workshop will draw on research and practice-based learnings to describe strategies for inclusive mental health and well-being programming for South Asian students in post-secondary institutions. They will lead attendees through exercises to identify key barriers to implementing inclusive programming, as well as share best practices to implement in their own settings.


Dr. Gursharan Virdee | CAMH
D.Psy., C.Psych. (Supervised Practice), Researcher, CAMH

Herleen Arora | Ryerson University
Educator, Researcher, and Consultant

Bareera Sial | CivicAction
Hons BSc Biology & Psychology, Project Coordinator, CivicAction

Mariyam Lightwala | Roshni Project
MSc Global Health, Research Assistant on the Roshni Project

Sarah Mohammed | Roshni Project
Volunteer on the Roshni Project

Dr. Jaswant Kaur Bajwa | George Brown College
Ph.D., RP., Professor/Coordinator, Center Preparatory and Liberal Studies at George Brown College

B2 Stepped Care 2.0: Engaging Stakeholders on Care Options, Expectations and Responsibilities

Stepped Care 2.0 is allowing campuses to organize wellness care more intentionally and with greater flexibility. Students have a wider range of options and greater decision-making power in selecting approaches that fit with their level of readiness or motivation.

Informed consent for the options includes specifying, at first point of contact, how stepped care works, as well as both the expectations and responsibilities assumed by providers and clients. Given that Stepped Care 2.0 is a new system of care unfamiliar to many stakeholders, multiple strategies are needed for communicating information about care options, processes, as well as expectations and responsibilities. The session will begin with an overview of Stepped Care 2.0 and then outline strategies adopted by several campuses for explaining the model to clients, colleagues, staff, the public, and funders. 


Peter Cornish, PHD | Memorial University of Newfoundland

B3 Campuses as Workplaces, Secondary Traumatic Stress and Compassion Fatigue for Campus Professionals

Campus professionals working directly with students tend to be the first point of contact for students experiencing emotional, mental and physical difficulties. Providing this level of constant care is demanding and can encroach upon the personal well-being of staff if adequate support measures are not in place. Mental Health Works (MHW) is a social- enterprise of the Canadian Mental Health Association that delivers mental health training to organizations nationwide. This MHW workshop touches on awareness building, responding skills, and collaborative change. It presents an overview of secondary traumatic stress and compassion fatigue that might impact campus professionals working to support students. This workshop is a great learning opportunity for campus staff that provides tangible tools to support mental health and contribute to everyone’s well-being on campus.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to: be exposed to an accessible and evidence-based introduction to compassion fatigue and condary traumatic stress; begin to see the ways in which they can implement protections in the workplace; and start to understand how to talk openly about compassion fatigue with colleagues.


Pearlyn Ng | CICMH
Pauline Spiess | CICMH

B4 Clearing the Air: Informing Service Providers About Cannabis Use

Given the recent legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, mental health and addictions service providers working with youth under 25 years need up-to-date information on the links between mental health and substance use (particularly cannabis use), and guidance on evidence-informed targeted prevention and harm reduction programs and strategies to address cannabis use and mental health. In this presentation, the presenters describe a collaborative project that included the development of an evidence paper and a learning resource that brings together the latest knowledge on the links between mental health and cannabis use in youth. This work was developed with guidance from experts in addictions, mental health, education, justice and public health sectors along with input and consultation from youth and family members across the province. This presentation intends to provide an overview of our findings along with the impact of these resources on mental health and addictions service providers

to date. It discusses how service providers can build their capacity through our findings and gain access to tools and resources to inform their practice. Although their work discusses developmental stages for youth under 25 years, this presentation will identify specific findings and resources around cannabis use among youth in post-secondary institutions.


Shruti Patel | Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health
Dr. Purnima Sundar | Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health
Kyle Ferguson | Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health
Lynette Katsivoen | Addictions and Mental Health Ontario
Jessica Petrillo | Addictions and Mental Health Ontario

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Refreshments / Posters and Exhibitors

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Concurrent Sessions

C1 Youth Voice: Supporting young people in changing mental health systems

For years at, they have trained and empowered young people to improve mental health knowledge and change attitudes among their peers. Over the years, this work has been incredibly impactful, and now their network of 2800 young people recognize that their peers are more knowledgeable about their mental health than they have ever been, and are more likely to seek help during a struggle than ever before. Still, in communities across Canada, young people believe that services that meet their needs simply do not exist, or systemic factors that create mental health struggles continue to persist in their communities. To address this need, they developed tools and training to support young people in changing systems to better support their mental health. One of these tools, the Campus Assessment Tool (CAT), is being piloted in 10 chapters across Canada, with young people gathering important information about mental health service availability and accessibility, their peers’ satisfaction with these services, and broader campus policy (and how it may impact youth mental health). At this workshop, they will share learnings from engaging young people in systems change work, and also share results from the CAT pilot.


Pratik Nair |
Sarah Mughal |

C2 Let’s Put a Community Peer Worker on Campus!

In August 2018, Conestoga College and CMHA Waterloo Wellington began a two-year pilot project imbedding a CMHA mental health peer support worker on Conestoga College’s main campus. This presentation will share an overview of services offered, how students are involved in creating a peer support space and peer support services, peer navigator and project manager perspectives, evaluation outcomes, how the partnership works, and how the project aligns with the campus mental health strategy and other campus wellness services.

This project harnesses the expertise of the Centre for Excellence in Peer Support and brings a successful model of community peer support to a campus setting. It addresses common issues with peer support on campus, such as turnover of student peer mentors and lack of knowledge of best practices in mental health peer support. By utilizing a staff peer worker, sustainability is provided and best practices are adhered to.


Keely Phillips | CMHA Waterloo Wellington
Kayleigh Hilborn | Conestoga College
Heather Callum | Conestoga College

C3 Inventory of Antecedents to Problem Gaming

Video gaming addiction, formally recognized as gaming disorder, is characterized as those who have impaired control over video game play where gaming takes precedence over other activities and continues despite negative consequences. Both functional and psychological impairments have been identified with problem gamers. However, evidence-based assessment tools are currently lacking. The aim of this knowledge translation project is to develop a tool that assesses clients’ triggers to gaming using a mixed-methods study design. This research will result in an assessment tool that identifies antecedents to gaming problems that may be used for treatment planning, management of gaming disorder, or as an educational tool to bring awareness to the possible triggers to video game play.


Dr. Jing Shi | CAMH
Dr. Nigel Turner | CAMH

C4 Applying a Wellness and Health Promotion Approach to Exam Facilitation

In this session, the presenters will preview their soon-to-be released ‘Self Study Guide to Applying a Wellness Approach to Exam Facilitation’. The guide helps post-secondary institutions consider how different exam experiences can affect student wellness, and how applying a wellness and health promotion approach can enhance the experience for both the institution and students. Using a hands-on workshop format, participants will engage with the Self-study Guide to gain insight in how it could be applied within their post-secondary environment to enhance practices and procedures that support student mental health.


Dr. Jennifer Gilles | University of Waterloo, AccessAbility Services
Dr. Geoffey Shifflett | University of Waterloo, AccessAbility Services

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Concurrent Sessions

D1 Creating a caring classroom: Designing and implementing courses to promote well-being while maintaining academic rigor in higher education

University campuses have seen a rise in reported mental health issues and there are likely many students that are not seeking available support. The proposed workshop aims to discuss effective strategies that can be incorporated into curriculum design and classroom culture to promote student well-being and openly discuss mental health issues. The strategies were implemented in upper-year medical science courses at Western University after observing that students reported challenges related to a shift in higher-order expectations and uncertainty following graduation. Results of a mental health inventory will also be presented along with plans to address the findings. Lastly, the session will discuss faculty well-being and how to manage an increase in responsibility while navigating traditional boundaries of the role.


Dr. Nicole Campbell | Western University

D2 The Embedded Certificate in Mental Well-being and Resilience: A University- Level Program to Create Mental Health Champions in the Community

The University of Calgary’s Campus Mental Health Strategy strives to create a culture where their students learn and talk about mental health and well-being and are able to flourish. Building this, they developed an embedded certificate in Mental Well-being and Resilience, which is a first among Canadian post-secondaries. Those enrolled in this university-level certificate will develop a research-informed, multidisciplinary understanding of mental well- being through six courses. Students will develop resilience skills to support their own well- being, as well as knowledge to better support others. In the experiential learning-based capstone, students will engage with the campus community to complete a mental health- related project. Certificate graduates will become mental health champions who promote healthy coping and resilience in others and contribute to build a strong workplace and community. This workshop will provide guidance on how one can develop a similar for-credit program and how to incorporate mental wellness into university courses.


Dr. Melissa A. Boyce | University of Calgary
Brittany Lindsay | Graduate student

D3 Applying LEAN & Stepped Care Methodologies to a College Counselling Service — A Brief History

In 2008/09 the Algonquin College Counselling Services team began using LEAN tools to inform improvements to the service delivery, with great effect. In 2017/18 as the numbers of students presenting at Counselling Services continued to rise the decision was made to implement the Stepped Care 2.0 model at the College. This presentation will review changes made over the 10 years and outline the spectacular results that have followed.


Ben Bridgstock | Algonquin College

D4 Trauma-Informed Yoga for Mental Health & Addictions

This workshop reviews the manifestation of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress in the body and mind. With an integrated approach to breathing exercises, movement and meditation, this exploratory workshop will cultivate awareness and reduce stress. Mind-body practices will help participants reset their nervous system, reconnect with their bodies, and increase their ability to be in the present moment.

Participants will experientially learn how trauma-informed yoga uniquely enhances the brain’s capacity to heal itself by rewiring stress response pathways and why trauma-informed yoga is taught functionally, rather than aesthetically. Participants will not only learn how to activate the parasympathetic nervous system through breath, movement, meditation and mindfulness but also how to balance the mind and body to reduce anxiety, sharpen concentration, and increase motivation.

Participants will learn a variety of self-care and self-regulation tools that can be applied on a daily basis, on and off the yoga mat.


Sarah Yeung | flexyogaTO

7:30 am – 9:00 am

Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:00 am – 9:00 am

Breakfast Sessions

BP1 Services en santé mentale : connaissances, ouverture et obstacles pour les étudiant-es aux cycles supérieurs (présentation en français)

Bien que les taux d’anxiété et de dépression soient six fois plus élevés chez les étudiant-es aux cycles supérieurs que chez la population générale (Evans, Bira, Gastelum, Weiss, & Vanderford, 2018) et que ceux-ci aient une réalité différente des étudiant-es aux premiers cycles, peu d’attention est dévouée à cette question.  Cette présentation propose les résultats d’une évaluation qui avait comme objectif d’identifier les besoins en santé mentale des étudiant(e)s aux cycles supérieurs en psychologie de l’Université d’Ottawa et de déterminer si les services de santé mentale qui sont à leur disposition répondent à ces besoins. À l’aide d’un sondage mixte (quantitatif et qualitatif), nous avons évalué leurs connaissances des ressources en santé mentale disponibles sur le campus et leur ouverture envers celles-ci. Les étudiant(e)s ont également partagé des obstacles liés à leur utilisation. Les recommandations proposées afin de répondre à ces obstacles seront partagées.

Marie-Pierre Daigle | Université d’Ottawa

BP2 Pawsitive Support

There is increasing awareness and documented evidence of the effectiveness of Animal- Assisted Interventions in Canada, ranging across many fields and facilities, including post- secondary campuses. What is commonly known is a recognition of the animal-human bond and the reciprocal impact on well-being. The Carleton University Therapy Dog program is creating a “pawsitive” approach to mental health on their campus by rooting its implementation in their campus Mental Health Framework, and they will demonstrate how this initiative directly supports their strategy.

They have created an alternative service model; doing more with what they already have. The Carleton Therapy Dogs program is an innovative Mental Health program focused on help-seeking and connection to resources and is a true demonstration of a whole campus coming together. With staff and faculty directly involved as handlers with their own trained and evaluated dogs, they are engaging with students in a highly personable way, and subtly integrating the conversation about mental health at a grassroots level. They are intentionally creating an environment which encourages students to seek support. With their program serving as an example, in this workshop they will initiate a discussion around how you can bring tangible ideas back to your campus and inspire participants to capitalize on “hidden” resources that may already be available.

Shannon Noonan | Carleton University
Vicki Boman | Carleton University
Allie Davidson | Carleton University

Blue | Carleton University
Murphy | Carleton University

BP3 Mental Health Strategies – 3 Perspectives

BP3-1 Workshop Presentation

Carol Dweck’s (2016) work on mindset illustrates the difference between a fixed and growth mindset and demonstrates how a growth mindset is instrumental in fulfilling our human potential and setting us up for academic and personal accomplishment. This workshop includes a discussion on the different ways in which the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre at Brock University is implementing Growth Mindset across three sectors of the university – health service providers, the students they serve, and the university community at large. Hands-on activities will explore the questions: What is Growth Mindset? Why use it in post-secondary settings? What are the practical applications? Participants will look at where to start, desired outcomes and future goals, and ways to address structural challenges at the institutional level.

Suzanne Zook-Johnston | Brock University
Dawn Shickluna | Brock University

BP3-2 Workshop Presentation

As part of a stepped-care model, a new form of peer mentorship program has emerged on post-secondary campuses as an approach to better support students with identified mental health issues. This presentation will address the question: are there intrinsic psychological benefits provided to mentees who are engaged in mental health-based peer mentor programs? Research, although limited, has found that student mentees benefit from peer- provided support through increased self-efficacy, development of coping and interpersonal skills, and an improved ability to reframe negative experiences. These findings can be applied in order to elevate and transform on-campus mental health services.

Sean Connors | Mohawk College

BP3-3 Workshop Presentation

How do we build a holistic, integrative, and innovative strategy to boost the mental well-being and resilience of our campus community? This workshop will explore this question through shared learnings from the University of Guelph, and facilitated discussions of workshop participants. Participants will learn about the successes and setbacks of developing, implementing, and evaluating a variety of mental well-being and resilience initiatives at the University of Guelph. From interactive resilience workshops rooted in positive psychology and embedded wellness curricula, to communities of practice and collaborative faculties forming research centres, participants will learn about the tools, resources, as well as experiential and academic learning opportunities to build well-being and resilience on campuses. This workshop will also include a discussion of training opportunities to increase mental health literacy, and the use of multiple approaches to promote easily accessible and digestible well- being messaging.

Sara Kafashan | University of Guelph

BP4 Land Based Learning and Wholistic Wellness

The colonial classroom has played a integral role in the continued removal of Indigenous understandings of wholism and wellness from the “mental health and wellness” conversation. Post-secondary education continues to deprive students the opportunity to learn from and on the Land, especially for those students who live and study in urban settings. In this session the presenter will use his post-secondary classroom as a case study for the benefits of Indigenous Land-based learning on the wholistic wellness of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students within an urban context.

Garrison McCleary | Conestoga College 

Garrison McCleary is an Indigenous Land-based practitioner and educator of mixed ancestry.  He is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Master of Social Work – Indigenous Field of Study program where he focused on student learning needs and social work pedagogy in the context of the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its subsequent 94 Calls to Action. Garrison currently works as the Coordinator of Land-based Education and Programming for White Owl Native Ancestry Association and is a Part-time Faculty member of Indigenous Studies in the School of Liberal Studies at Conestoga College.

9:15 am – 9:30 am

Opening Remarks

9:30 am – 10:30 am

Keynote Address

Louie Di Palma, Vice President of SME Programs

Cindy Chao, Senior Manager, Youth Strategy and Innovation, RBC’s Future Launch Initiative

Lawrence Blake, Manager, Mental Health Works

Moderated by: David Fulford, Vice President, Research and Policy, Colleges Ontario 

How do we help students transition and thrive in the workplace?

While much discussion is taking place on helping students transition into post-secondary institutions, there is also growing pressure to prepare our graduates to enter the workforce. For many, this time can be overwhelming. As they prepare to enter the workforce, uncertainty and anxiety can set in when students encounter new challenges such as, job hunting, interviewing, finding a place to live, budgeting, and balancing personal life with work demands. This panel brings together leaders in this field from the Royal Bank Foundation and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce who will discuss how their programs are preparing and supporting a thriving future workforce.

Discoverability/Ontario Chamber of Commerce:

The network brings together service providers, employers, post-secondary and other stakeholders to help businesses connect with the talent they need and jobseekers access employment opportunities. It is a one stop portal where businesses can post jobs and job seekers can post resumes. The technology matches talent to jobs and automatically sends job ads to qualified individuals. Discover Ability is a free online portal and resource that connects Ontario businesses directly to people with disabilities. The online portal includes a 6-step hiring road map that acts as a great resource for employers and provides answers to many questions employers may have when hiring and retaining employees with disabilities.

Website link:

Royal Bank of Canada:

RBC recognizes the importance of mental well-being on a young person’s ability to achieve success and their success directly impacts the strength of our workplaces, schools and communities. RBC facilitates access to mental health supports and services to help address barriers for young people with mental health struggles, including the low recognition of early signs and symptoms of mental illness, a lack of peer support networks and a disconnected system of care. RBC Future Launch is supporting young people achieve mental well-being so that they can reach their potential. Learn why a corporation like RBC is funding youth mental health programs in the community and what RBC has learned in the process. Also hear about some of the lessons learned from RBC’s own mental well-being strategy as an employer.

Mental Health Works – CMHA Ontario:

This session will explore the challenges facing Ontario’s emerging workforce, and the unique stressors convocating students have in entering the job market given the lack of supportive psychological care. It will amplify existing work being done by the Canadian Mental Health Association in the post-secondary sector and connect those programs to the overall workplace initiatives being run across the country. Utilizing emerging best practices, participants will take away a targeted understanding of the concepts of resilience, workplace mental health, emerging workforces, and the duty-of-care all managers have in the workplace.

10:30 am – 10:45 am

Energizer Exercise

10:45 am – 11:00 am

Travel Time

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Concurrent Sessions

E1 OUSA’s Stance on Campus Mental Health

This workshop will focus on the concerns discussed in OUSA’s student-written policy paper on campus health and wellness. These concerns include: insufficient mental health care, inadequate substance abuse education, lack of adequate medical accommodations and insufficient OHIP+ coverage, and insufficient sexual health education.

Ryan Tishcoff | Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

E2 Move Your Mind: a physical activity peer support program to promote mental wellness

Move Your Mind is a program offered by the Department of Athletics and Recreation at the University of Waterloo that aims to help students experience all the mental health benefits of physical activity by using peer support and coaching to remove any barriers that might exist for their participation. Using a one-on-one, peer-to-peer approach, Move Your Mind creates unique success plans for students struggling with mental health. It aims to help them find an activity they love to do while encouraging them to build self-efficacy and confidence by creating healthy routines and habits involving physical activity. In this workshop, the presenters will share the journey to develop Move Your Mind, the successes and challenges of this program and the tools and strategies they use to ensure success and continued development. They will guide workshop participants through the steps to developing a peer- support program on their university campus.

Robbyn Hesch | University of Waterloo
Kristen Leal | University of Waterloo

E3 Thrive at Centennial: Fostering Resilience, Building Community

Thrive was developed by the University of British Columbia in 2009 as a campus-wide initiative to promote positive mental health and well-being. It has now expanded nationwide, with over 12 participating universities and colleges across Canada.

At Centennial, Thrive is intended to foster resilience and encourage conversations about mental health, healthy living, community engagement, social support, diversity and inclusion. In this session, participants will share their experience of engaging student leaders, academic stakeholders, student life/services teams and their Human Resources department to plan and host over 85 Thrive Week events during their first two years.

Michelle DeIrish | Centennial College
Eric Schwenger | Centennial College

E4 The Standard for Psychological Health and Safety of Post Secondary Students

The Mental Health Commission of Canada is working with the CSA Group, Canada’s leader in the development of standards, to develop a Standard on Psychological Health and Safety for Post-Secondary Students. One of the decisions is whether to implement the workplace standard ahead of the student standard, simultaneously or after the student standard – what are the challenges and opportunities? When students have experienced mental health support from their institution, will they seek out psychologically healthy and safe employers and bring their experience and perspective to the workplace? We are seeking the perspective of the attendees on aligning the student standard and the workplace standard, as well as the challenges that students are experiencing as they transition to the workplace.

Amy Fogarty | Mental Health Commission of Canada

12:00 am – 1:00 pm

Buffet Lunch

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Concurrent Sessions

F1 Movement and Mental Health

Truth: today’s world can be intense for university and college students. Academics, performance, workload, time management, social networks, time with friends, authenticity, and (dare we say) FUN? Positive mental health requires students to have a positive sense of self, spirit and belonging, yet through the juggling act of the activities above, many of our students are stumbling through their post-secondary experience. In this interACTIVE workshop, you’ll gain a better understanding of mental health and the factors that affect it. Get ready to experience practical activities that use movement to promote and foster positive mental health, by addressing the cognitive, social, physical and emotional domains of well-being.

Mélanie Levenberg | PL3Y Inc.

F2 CICMH Evaluation Capacity Project

In 2018, the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health launched its Evaluation Project with the primary objective of building the capacity of colleges and universities across Ontario to evaluate diverse mental health and addiction services and initiatives. One of the project’s most exciting features was the provision of tailored, site-specific coaching, provided by evaluation experts in the post-secondary sector. Two mental health and addiction support/counselling services on two different campuses (i.e., Durham College and George Brown College) and one staff person responsible for developing a campus-wide Mental Health Strategy (Northern College) were given access to a coach/champion who worked with them consistently over 10 months to provide support to develop and implement evaluation activities at their sites. The results from all three sites proved to be very successful.

This panel session provides a brief overview of the evaluation project but focuses on the lessons learned from the champion initiative in particular. Evaluators and campus staff will share their collective experiences in developing and implementing evaluation activities on campuses.

Dr. Debbie Chiodo | CAMH
Dr. Tayyab Rashid | University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus
Dr. Sandra Yuen | University of Toronto
Dr. Andrew Szeto | University of Calgary
Nichole Roy | Northern College
Ali Dohadwala | George Brown College
Darlene Heslop | Durham College
Nicole Daniel | Durham College

F3 Supporting the Mental Health and Well-being of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Post-Secondary Learners

This session will share a collaborative support model that focuses on holistic wellness for First Nations, Métis and Inuit post-secondary learners. In bringing together Indigenous worldviews with appropriate, western-based therapeutic approaches, as well as student-focused programming and services, the goal is to create wrap-around supports for Indigenous learners. Participants will learn about some common themes and trends, how to foster a collaborative and culturally appropriate community of care on campus, and discuss opportunities for cross-applicability with other student populations.

Natasha Young| University of Guelph 

Natasha Young is Anishnaabe (she/her, they/them) and is a registered Social Worker. She is the Aboriginal Student Advisor at the University of Guelph and supports the holistic well-being of Indigenous learners. Natasha also completed both her BA and MA degrees at the University of Guelph, where their research focused on the person-environment experiences of First Nations, Métis and Inuit post-secondary learners on university campuses.


F4 Supporting Student Wellness at Robarts Library: Meditation and Light Therapy

Student mental health and well-being has become a prime consideration in post-secondary institutions. The University of Toronto has been promoting initiatives which provide a wide range of supports and programs beyond mental health counselling services. These initiatives recognize the need to continue and expand programs that are preventative in nature. Such programming develops resilience in students, equipping them with the tools to effectively manage the challenges of university life.

The library has launched initiatives to improve the quality of the student environment so that it is conducive to well-being and academic success. They recently opened a Reflection Room and installed light therapy lamps at Robarts Library, a major, 24/5 student hub on campus. The Reflection Room, a space for spiritual and secular practices, is equipped with meditation benches, yoga equipment and reference books. Noise cancelling headphones and iPods loaded with yoga and meditation sequences are available for loan.

Margaret Wall | University of Toronto Libraries
Christina Tooulias-Santolin| University of Toronto Libraries
Susan Gropp| University of Toronto Libraries

2:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Travel Time

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm

Concurrent Sessions

G1 A Campus-wide Approach: Strategies for Getting Others Involved

This presentation will focus on ways to foster campus-wide participation in mental health support. While supporting student mental health is often seen as the job of counseling staff, students are best served by a supportive community of care. The presenters will introduce participants to the eight key elements of a comprehensive approach to enhancing student mental health, and will provide real-life examples to inspire participants to think about what might work on their campuses. Additionally, they will discuss how to build a team of stakeholders to improve collaboration among different departments. Presenters will share personal experiences in mental health strategic planning and invite participants to engage in brainstorming activities so everyone can leave the session with ideas of what to do next.

Mélanie Levenberg | PL3Y Inc.
Laura Swanson | SUNY Geneseo
Erica Riba | The Jed Foundation

G2 Making It Work: A Campus-wide Approach to Career Advising

Graduate employment is an institutional priority and perhaps an ethical responsibility because many students view education as a pathway to future economic and social well-being. In a disruptive economy and ever-changing employment landscape, students are ambivalent and increasingly anxious as they prepare for the school-to-work transition. The National College Health Assessment (2016) results indicated that 42% of Centennial College’s students experience career anxiety as one of their top stressors. Given the multiple touch points for students throughout their academic journey and the need for efficient use of resources, Centennial adopted a holistic and integrated approach to career education. The model engages various stakeholders who influence students’ career decision-making and employment prospects. Presenters will share the framework that guides a holistic approach to advising, enhances engagement throughout the student life cycle, and supports the development of career self-management competencies. They will highlight strategies to engage campus partners in realizing the vision.

Tracey Lloyd | Centennial College
Becky Robinson | Centennial College

G3 From Surviving to Thriving — Building Student Academic and Personal Resilience

In 2018, a resource was developed to help build student resilience. A pilot analysis was done by McMaster University which resulted in significant updates. The updated version was then put through an evaluation study led by Dr. Heather Stuart from Queen’s University. The result is a free resource that can result in statistically significant improvement in both reducing distress and increasing healthy coping strategies in students immediately upon completion and potential for longer term development of resilience. The panel will help explain how it works and why you should be using this on your campus. A version is also available for staff and faculty because a mentally healthy campus includes all stakeholders.

Mary Ann Baynton | Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace
Dr. James Gillett | McMaster University
Natasha Sheikhan | Former McMaster Student
Brooke Linden | Queen’s University Evaluation Study
Sami Pritchard | Former representative for Ontario with the Canadian Federation of Students

G4 Party n Play Your Way: Sex, Substance Use & Gay Men’s Health

During this interactive workshop, participants will go ‘between the sheets’ to explore and unpack contemporary issues and trends in the use of drugs by gay, bisexual and queer men. Expect to increase your knowledge, develop new skills and feel more confident in your work with sexual minority men.

Dane Griffiths | Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance

3:45 pm – 4:00 pm

Closing Remarks/Raffle Draw