Session details for Wednesday November 3, 2021
8:30 am – 9:00 am EDT
Masters of Ceremonies
Marija Padjen, Director, CICMH
Camille Quenneville, CEO, CMHA Ontario
Special Guest Speaker
9:00 am – 10:00 am EDT
10:00 am – 10:15 am EDT
10:15 am – 11:15 am EDT
Concurrent Sessions | A1 – A5
A1 Combatting Racism: From Bystander to Upstander
COVID-19 has sharpened the structural and societal inequities that have long existed and permeated disproportionately across racialized communities. These inequities have been maintained by power dynamics that translate into a lack of access to resources and opportunities. This presentation describes the process, delivery, and outcome of a psycho-educational intervention which presenters ran in 2020-21. Facilitated by staff and faculty and offered through multiple formats, the intervention explored ways inequities are embedded in cultural ideas, artifacts, and symbols of the superiority of a specific culture and race. Involving audience through a real-time app (Mentimeter), the presentation will also share practical ways which can help a campus community to move from bystander to upstander—taking purpose and impactful actions to combat anti-Black, anti-Asian and anti-Indigenous racism, as well as Islamophobia and other forms of oppression.
A2 Normalizing Conversations about Substance Use Health: A Regional, Multi-Sectoral Approach
This panel presentation will discuss the implementation of a harm reduction partnership across three post-secondary institutions that increases substance use health through virtual education, naloxone training/distribution, peer-support, and student-led campaigns. Successful partnerships with research, peer-support and public health organizations supported post-secondary student leaders, faculty and other staff with evidence-based knowledge products and harm reduction activities informed by those with lived or living experience. Evaluations show that implementation increased faculty members confidence in supporting student’s substance use health, including supporting students to navigate appropriate resources.
Panelists will describe current campus environments, barriers and facilitators to implementation, and lessons learned. This practice-based evidence will increase the capacity of other post-secondary campuses to foster a harm reduction culture that honours all pathways to increased substance use health, free from stigma or discrimination. All resources are accessible virtually, allowing for implementation during COVID containment measures.
A3 Peer Support Panel
Peer support programs are fast growing on campuses across the province. There is a growing body of evidence that backs peer support being an effective intervention for individuals coping with mental health concerns. This evidence, in conjunction with naturally occurring peer support on campus, makes the implementation and sustainability of formalized peer support programs a vital solution to the mental health demands that young adults are facing within a post-secondary setting. This panel will bring together three examples of how peer support can be implemented and used as an effective intervention for post-secondary students.
Presentations will be made by the University of Toronto, Carleton University and Fanshawe College.
A4 Adapting Campus and Community Collaboration to Support Students in Crisis
Increasing volumes of post-secondary students, changing student profiles and the recent challenges to accessing mental health supports have necessitated the development of increasingly creative solutions. This interactive session explores the evolution and adaptation of the Crisis Support model for students developed in London, Ontario. The partnership between Western University Students’ Council, Western Society of Graduate Students, Western Student Health, Kings University College, Fanshawe College Student Union, Fanshawe Counselling and Accessibility Services, Fanshawe Peer Supports and CMHA Middlesex has grown and transformed over the past 3 years. The presentation will share changes since the launch of evening crisis satellites on campuses, mental health literacy initiatives and transition to a flexible virtual service in response to COVID-19. Key elements of success, challenges, lessons learned, and outcomes will be shared. Participants will be engaged in exploration of innovative ways to further build on this model as the post-secondary landscape continues to change.
A5 Supporting Survivors of Sexual Violence in a Virtual World
During these times of uncertainty, fear, and isolation, the need to support survivors of sexual violence is at an all-time high. Students face various stressors in their lives, from their academic commitments, financial challenges, and mental health struggles, therefore it is crucial that they receive appropriate and accessible supports. This presentation will provide participants with information regarding ways to successfully connect and engage with students who are survivors of sexual violence, off-campus. Our panelists from the Durham Rape Crisis Centre, Durham College, and Trent University are here to provide information regarding how to provide support to survivors through technology.
Tayyab Rashid – Using a culturally contextualized strengths-based approach, Dr. Rashid has worked on complex mental health issues with 9/11 families, survivors of Asian Tsunami (2004) and mass shootings, refugee families, and journalists reporting from the front lines. Recipient of the Outstanding Practitioner Award from the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA), Dr. Rashid has trained professionals internationally. His work has been published in textbooks of psychiatry and psychotherapy. His book, Positive Psychotherapy, with Dr. Martin Seligman, has been translated into several languages.
Kosha Bramesfeld is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream with the Department of Psychology, and the University of Toronto Scarborough. Her scholarly interests focus on social and community psychology; psychology of privilege and oppression; immersive teaching and learning experiences; and teaching with technology.
Chanda Chandalala holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Toronto and a post-graduate diploma in Social Service Work from George Brown College. She is a Registered Social Service Worker who has worked as a Case Manager and Crisis Support Worker for the last ten years, at the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)’s Toronto branch. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work while working at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus’ Health & Wellness Centre as the Student Welfare Case Coordinator. Chanda is a writer who is passionate about social justice and selfcare.
Dillon Brady is the Manager of Student Conduct and Harm Reduction in the Office of Student Affairs at Carleton University. Dillon’s previous work at Algonquin College helped contribute to The Umbrella Project’s harm reduction strategy. Dillon joined Carleton in 2019 as the Student Conduct Coordinator with Residence Life Services before assuming his current role in Student Affairs.
Sarah Crawford is the Sexual Violence Prevention and Harm Reduction Coordinator at Algonquin College. Sarah has a Master of Public Health (Sexology), from Curtin University. Sarah manages Algonquin College’s Harm reduction strategy: The Umbrella Project which provides programming and training on harm reduction, and safer substance use. Sarah has worked as a public health educator for over 10 years.
Kim Hellemans is a teaching professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Carleton University. Her current research focuses on student mental health, with a focus on how current life stressors, cannabis use, and social media among university students relate to mental health and academic outcomes. She has created several freely available animations on the topic of neuroscience, addiction, and stigma.
Tina White works as a Systemic Stigma Navigator with the Community Addictions Peer Support Association and volunteers with them as a peer support meeting facilitator for their student All People All Pathways meetings. She is also a Bachelor of Social Work student at Carleton University and works with their Office of Student Affairs as Harm Reduction Strategy Support Staff. Tina is a person with lived experience and is currently living well with Substance Use Disorder.
Nikki Ross, M.Ed. R.P., is the Manager of Counselling Services at Fanshawe College. Nikki has worked in post-secondary and community mental health for over 20 years. She has been involved in college and community partnerships over the past several years. Nikki is invested in identifying partnerships and service models that will contribute robust supports and advocacy for post-secondary mental health and wellness throughout the college community.
Lori Hassall, MSW, RSW is the Director of Crisis at CMHA Middlesex and a part-time Professor at the School of Social Work, King’s University College. With 20 years clinical and leadership experience in hospital and community mental health, Lori is passionate about destigmatizing mental illness and working collaboratively to develop innovative mental health services, including London’s 24/7 Walk-In Crisis Centre.
Isabella Giuga, RSSW, presently serves as a Counsellor for the Durham Rape Crisis Centre. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree from Laurentian University and a Social Service Worker Diploma from Durham College. Isabella is passionate about Violence Against Women (VAW) work and dedicates her career to supporting youth and women. She believes in being client centered, and empowering individuals through strength-based therapy.
Tanya Montebello, BA, BSW, MSW (ca.), RSW, serves as a Bilingual Clinical Counsellor at the Durham Rape Crisis Centre. She works extensively with youth/students and has completed studies in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Trauma, and Addictions. She holds committee memberships on Trent University’s Social Work Advisory Council, the Concord Adex Survivors’ Education Fund, and Durham Region’s Francophone Community Health Table. Tanya also served in Afghanistan as a civilian with the Canadian Forces.
Tyler Creces presently serves as the Sexual Violence Educator and Support Coordinator at Durham College, in the office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Guelph and a Social Service Worker Diploma from Durham College. She is passionate about supporting and advocating for survivors of gender-based violence and educating youth around consent.
Corinn Phillips, MA, RP is a registered Psychotherapist with experience serving persons in a range of settings, including corrections, community mental health and addictions, and post-secondary education. As a Team Lead, Counselling & Student Accessibility Services at Trent University Durham GTA, Corinn is passionate about providing a continuum of accessible, integrative, client-centered services to support student wellbeing and resilience. Corinn values developing intentional, collaborative community partnerships to enhance services available to students who attend the growing Durham GTA campus.
11:15 am – 11:30 am EDT
11:30 am – 12:30 pm EDT
Concurrent Sessions | B1 – B6
B1 Embedding EDI into TA Training to Promote Student Mental Health
This workshop showcases our discussion-based approach to embedding – not “adding on” – equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) into our programs, workshops, and resources for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. Drawing on a theoretical framework that includes thriving (Schreiner, 2010), flux pedagogy (Ravitch, 2020), and accountable spaces (e.g., see Ahenkorah, 2020) discover how we use a trauma-informed, student-centered approach to (a) model creating accessible and inclusive spaces, and (b) embed active learning activities about EDI and mental health. This approach can inspire TAs, staff, and college or university instructors to create inclusive spaces as they craft connections with their students. We invite you to learn how you can move equity goals from the margins to the center of your existing student-facing resources. Together, we will create a list of concrete strategies to empower you to introduce new conversations and actions about EDI and mental health into your context on campus.
B2 Working for change: How non-Indigenous community members can meaningfully support our Indigenous students, faculty and staff, as we mourn and memorialize residential school victims
Our Indigenous student support staff, faculty, Elders, and Knowledge Keepers are being stretched more and more. Requests to organize and run memorials for residential school victims are demanding time, resources, and emotional energy. They are retraumatizing. Tragically, we will continue to see discoveries of unmarked graves, and uncovering of further atrocities at former residential school sites, and we do not want these to be diminished or dismissed. There are many ways that non-Indigenous community members can take on responsibility for engaging in ongoing memorialization and support activities, in culturally appropriate and action-oriented ways.
Join Dawn Lavell-Harvard (Director of First Peoples House of Learning) and Nona Robinson (Associate Vice President Students) for a guided discussion in ways to provide support for Indigenous members of your institution’s community, and to memorialize in ways that move beyond token activities in order to work for change. They will share initiatives taking place at Trent University, ways to ensure consultation and protocols are being respected and followed, and educating for allyship. They will also facilitate sharing ideas, and help with brainstorming projects that can be effective at your institution.
B3 Eating Disorders: Lessons from NEDIC’s Capacity-Building Trainings on our Post-Secondary Campuses
8-17% of post-secondary students are affected with an eating disorder, yet many campuses are under-resourced to handle these concerns. Over the last year, the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) has worked to deliver 28 educational sessions to post-secondary institutions across the country, aiming to fill a gap by bringing awareness of our free services to students across Canada and facilitate access to support by equipping campus stakeholders with information to refer. In this one-hour workshop, attendees will learn about the lessons from this initiative, the impact of COVID-19 and virtual delivery of mental health services on eating disorders and will be invited to take a whole-campus approach to engage in the conversation so that students who suffer from eating disorders are recognized and are able to receive effective support.
Ary Maharaj | National Eating Disorder Information Centre BIO
Brittaney Gearin | National Eating Disorder Information Centre BIO
Victoria Knoll | National Eating Disorder Information Centre BIO
B4 The 3 C’s: Community, Campus and Co-Design
This presentation will describe the partnership arrangement and co-collaboration that took place between Stella’s Place and the University of Toronto Mississauga Student Union to successfully co-design, create, implement, enhance, and operate a student-run Peer Support program. Presenters will provide an overview of the lessons learned, the impacts seen, and the mistakes that were made along the way, as a means of helping others understand best practices in the co-creation of mental health and substance use programming on campus. They will highlight the value of the partnership that has been created between UTSMU and Stella’s Place through their funder, the CICMH.
B5 A Holistic Approach to Responsive Virtual Mental Health and Accessible Learning Services
From 2018-2019, Centennial College’s Centre for Accessible Learning and Counselling Services (CALCS) had undertaken a significant effort to implement a new service model for student mental health and accessible learning services. This model centered on same-or next-day, drop-in intake and brief counselling supports for students experiencing immediate distress, and those accessing services for the first time, coupled with responsive development of an accommodation plan or personal care plan depending on a student’s presenting challenges and goals. This service model enabled the elimination of waitlists across 5 campuses in the Fall of 2019. During the winter of 2020, we rapidly adapted this service model to offer our full range of services within a virtual care environment. This session will share key insights and outcomes related to our revitalized service model and share tools and promising practices for delivering responsive mental health and accessible learning services in a multi-jurisdictional, virtual environment.
B6 Importance de la socialisation et de l’engagement pour le bien-être en temps de pandémie: perspective de mentorée et d’étudiants-mentor
Notre atelier mettra l’accent sur l’importance de la socialisation et de l’engagement des étudiants spécialement en temps de pandémie.
Notre expérience en tant que mentoré et étudiant-mentor démontrera comment l’engagement social et académique contribue à une meilleure santé mentale, spécialement en temps de COVID, ainsi qu’à la connaissance de soi et au développement de la communauté. En s’engageant, on ne s’isole pas, on contribue à faire avancer les choses, on apprend, on développe un esprit créatif et curieux, et on soigne son bien-être et sa santé mentale. Nous montrerons également comment la collaboration entre les professeurs et les étudiants-mentor contribue à l’engagement social des étudiants ainsi qu’à la dynamique des étudiants dans leur réussite académique. Enfin, compte tenu du fait que la population étudiante de l’Université de Hearst est à majorité internationale, un accent particulier sera mis sur la perception de la santé mentale dans la communauté noire.
Dr. Sanja Ivanov is the Educational Developer, International TA Programs, at Western University’s Centre for Teaching and Learning. Sanja holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto and is passionate about fostering a sense of belonging for underrepresented students, including international students, on campuses in Canada.
Dr. Lisa Aikman is the Educational Developer, TA Programs, at Western University’s Centre for Teaching and Learning. She holds a PhD in Theatre Studies from the University of Toronto and is passionate about Universal Design for Learning and empowering students as partners in their own education.
Dr. Melanie-Anne Atkins is the Acting Associate Director, Graduate Programs at Western University’s Centre for Teaching and Learning. She previously led the creation and development of Western’s Wellness Education Centre into a student-led wellness education innovation hub, teaching evidence-based strategies to improve the mental health and wellness of the Western University community.
Ary Maharaj is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) and a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Master of Education in Counselling & Psychotherapy program. He currently works as NEDIC’s Outreach and Education Coordinator, where he strives to take a preventative, proactive approach to helping people with their relationship with food and weight, while buffering them from developing an eating disorder.
Brittaney Gearin is a recent graduate from the Bachelor of Social Work program at Ryerson University. She has taken an active role with NEDIC as an Outreach and Education volunteer where she seeks to bring awareness about eating disorders and increase help-seeking among those suffering.
Victoria Knoll is a recent graduate from the Bachelor of Social Work program at Ryerson University. She is focused on using her role with NEDIC as an Outreach and Education volunteer to improve social awareness of eating disorders and aid in promoting prevention techniques.
Allison Dunning (she/her) is the Peer Initiatives Manager at Stella’s Place. As a certified Peer Supporter with Peer Support Canada, Allison has had numerous opportunities to facilitate the development and implementation of various Peer Support programs in community, hospital, and campus settings. Allison consistently draws upon her own lived experience and works to amplify the voices of folks around her while engaging in the work.
Asante Haughton (he/him) combines the tenets of Peer Support with community building, collectivist thinking and storytelling to uncover the strengths we all have developed on our life journeys. Asante believes that community and clinical knowledge can intersect to find the changing mental health solutions.
Mitra Yakubi (she/her) is the President at the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU), where she represents over 15,000 full-time and part-time students at UTM. Mitra is passionate about mental health, advocating for student rights both on and off-campus and providing services, programs, and events for UTM students. Mitra is also a huge advocate for free and accessible post-secondary education.
Dr. Rick Ezekiel is the Director of Equitable Learning, Health and Wellness at Centennial College. His research and work focus on student mental health within post-secondary learning environments, with a focus on students holding one or multiple marginalized identities. Rick led the co-construction and design of the revitalized service model within CALCS, enabling responsive and robust mental health and accessible learning services for Centennial students.
Catherine Chen is a Counsellor and the Coordinator of Intake and Scheduling within the Centre for Accessible Learning and Counselling Services at Centennial College. Catherine brings significant direct experience with provision of psychotherapeutic services and systems design in both community and post-secondary settings. Catherine has engaged in significant work over the past two years to develop intake and scheduling approaches to enable same day / drop-in supports for new students and those experiencing immediate distress. Catherine played a significant leadership role in the implementation of a robust Electronic Health Record, including the launch of virtual care.
Dr. Sterling Crowe is the Associate Dean, Student Wellness and Equitable Learning at Humber College. Sterling’s scholarly and professional work has focused on change leadership to offer high quality student services and engagement opportunities, from orientation and leadership through mental health and accessible learning services. Prior to moving to Humber, Sterling played a significant role in leading implementation of the CALCS Electronic Health Record, service model, and health and wellness education programming.
Simone Amagnamoua est étudiante dans le programme psychologie. Elle participe à l’organisation et l’animation des sessions Psy pour les étudiants en psychologie. Elle est l’une des initiatrices du projet café-étudiant. En tant qu’étudiante mentore, elle offre de l’accompagnement et du soutien académique aux étudiants en psychologie. Elle a remporté le deuxième prix du concours national de l’entreprenariat des universités francophones du Canada en mars 2021.
Jean Jacques Fouda est un étudiant de l’université inscrit au programme d’administration des affaires et gestion. Il fait partie de l’une des références en ce qui concerne l’appui académique des étudiants inscrits en administration des affaires. Il occupe le poste de mentor et participe aux préparations des activités organisées par le mentorat. Dans la communauté, il fait partie du comité de réflexion de lutte contre le racisme et la discrimination et il est membre de l’alliance francophone de la ville de Timmins. Il est aussi bénévole au sein de la communauté.
Dr. Nona Robinson is the Associate Vice President Students at Trent University. Prior to that, she was the Dean of Students at University College at the University of Toronto. She has a Masters and PhD in Higher Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, with her research focusing on elected student leaders for her MA and on the values of student affairs practitioners for her PhD. She has presented on a wide range of student support topics at the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS), as well as written for their national magazine, and has authored a chapter in the book Achieving Student Success: Effective Student Services in Canadian Higher Education. In 2019, she developed and facilitated the national CACUSS Law and Policy Institute, with a focus on legal cases affecting students, human rights, and restorative justice approaches.
Dr. Dawn Lavell Harvard, Ph.D., is a proud member of the Wiikwemkoong First Nation, on Manitoulin Island, the first Aboriginal Trudeau Scholar, and has worked to advance the rights of Aboriginal women as the President of the Ontario Native Women’s Association since 2003. After serving as Vice-president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada for three years, Dawn was elected National President at the 41st Annual General Assembly, July 11, 2015 in Montreal, Quebec. After fulfilling her promise to see the MMIWG Inquiry initiated, in October 2016, Dawn left her role as National Leader and took on the role of Director at the First Peoples House of Learning at Trent University.
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm EDT
LUNCH / Yoga / Meditation
12:45 pm – 1:30 pm EDT
Lunch Sessions | LS1 – LS2
LS1 Mindful Movement for those who can’t Meditate
Mindfulness is about tuning into the present moment. You do not have to be a good meditator or sit still and focus on your breathing to achieve the benefits of mindfulness. Mindfully walking or running, yoga, or many types of movements can help you be more aware of your body. Mindful movement can support stress reduction.
This workshop focuses on how to manage our own unique stress responses by exploring movements that can help regulate experiences of over stimulation (hyper-arousal) to feelings associated with burn-out and low-energy (hypo-arousal).
This physically engaging workshop explores mindful movement such as wavy and fluid motions for self-soothing and calming. In contrast participants will also explore more energizing movement vocabulary and core engagement to support burn-out. It helps participants deepen their inner relationship to their embodied experience from both a cognitive, emotional, and sensory perspective. Although this workshop is loosely dance based, no dance experience is required. There will be accessible prompts given to all mobility needs.
LS2 The UWorkItOut UWin Program: Improving the Mental Health of Students
The UWorkItOut UWin team will discuss the value an exercise and counselling program brings to a campus mental health strategy. Despite various approaches to improving student mental health, exercise remains an effective method (Huang et al., 2018). The 6-week UWorkItOut UWin program has shown to decrease psychological distress and increase psychological well-being. In collaboration with student counselling services and the many students employed to deliver the program, the presenters have successfully implemented this program over 9 semesters. Throughout this panel discussion, they will 1) provide an overview of the program, detailing the counselling sessions and the exercises used in the one-on-one training, 2) highlight the feedback from clients’ exit interviews, 3) discuss the importance of social support, and 4) provide future directions. This evidence-based program relies on students, under the supervision of faculty, to improve the well-being of their peers where students serve as program coordinators, personal trainers, and exercise-counsellors.
Melissa Pare | University of Windsor BIO
Irene Muir | University of Windsor BIO
Dr. Krista Munroe-Chandler | University of Windsor BIO
Dr. Todd Loughead | University of Windsor BIO
Chad Sutherland | University of Windsor BIO
Shaila Khan is a Health Educator & Training Specialist at York University. She delivers wellness and mental health programs to staff, students, and faculty. She has a Masters in Dance and completing her designation as Dance Movement Therapist (DMT) from Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal. Her passion is facilitating mindful movement practices that support well-being from an embodied experience.
Melissa Pare is a PhD student in the Faculty of Human Kinetics at the University of Windsor and a program coordinator for the UWorkItOut UWin program. Her research interests include exercise and mental health, psychosocial strategies use in sport injury rehabilitation, and sport psychology education for injury rehabilitation professionals.
Irene Muir is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Human Kinetics at the University of Windsor and a program coordinator for the UWorkItOut UWin program. Her research interests include the effects of exercise on mental health, and the use of dance imagery. She also works with local municipalities and school stakeholders to promote active transportation in children.
Dr. Krista Munroe-Chandler is recognized for her work in the psychology of sport, exercise, and performance. She is a full professor in the Faculty of Human Kinetics and co-director of the SPPARC at the University of Windsor. In addition to her lead role in the UWorkItOut UWin program, her research interests include mental imagery and mental skills training.
Dr. Todd Loughead is a full professor of Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology in the Faculty of Human Kinetics and co-director of the Sport Psychology and Physical Activity Research Collaborative (SPPARC) at the University of Windsor. Dr. Loughead’s research uses a group dynamics perspective to examine human behavior.
Chad Sutherland is the Director of Operations for the Centre for Human Performance & Health, in the Faculty of Human Kinetics. He has developed various sport and exercise programs to improve the physical and mental health in various local community groups. Chad’s research focuses on strength & conditioning programming and athletic testing, to maximize performance and minimize injury risk.
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm EDT
2:30 pm – 2:45 pm EDT
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm EDT
Concurrent Sessions | C1 – C6
C1 Student Voices on Campus Mental Health: Perspectives of Marginalized Groups
The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA)’s presentation will draw from their own published policy papers, written and informed by students, to discuss the role of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in accessing on-campus mental health support for students from marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds. The presentation will explore the barriers these students face such as the inadequate provision of culturally relevant and sensitive care, and the lack of diverse representation among campus counsellors. The presentation will also highlight how systemic issues like racism, religious discrimination, accessibility barriers, homophobia, and transphobia disproportionately impact students from marginalized backgrounds and further exacerbates mental health challenges. Student-driven policy recommendations that actively incorporate EDI principles will be discussed, demonstrating the ways that the government can support institutions to create more equitable access to services and programming that support the mental health of students from marginalized groups.
C2 Leaning into Art: Indigenized Art Therapy
This presentation will be interactive and demonstrate what Indigenized art therapy is and its relevance and efficacy in post-secondary settings. The presenter will introduce participants to an eco-arts activity using water and other materials that people have access to. The main objective of this workshop is to show how creating and making is an integral part of healing.
C3 Unexpected Lessons: Embracing Virtual Suicide Prevention Initiatives
The current global pandemic has necessitated reimagining the delivery of health promotion programs and pivoting to online delivery for a range of wellness topics including suicide prevention. LivingWorks Start is an asynchronous online suicide prevention training that presents an alternative to the in-person safeTALK training that was a staple of so many institutions’ pre-pandemic suicide prevention strategies. This session will highlight lessons learned from implementing LivingWorks Start with faculty, staff, and students at three Ontario post-secondary universities amid COVID-19. An analysis of pre-and post-training survey data from 800+ individuals will be used to report on the training’s efficacy and participants will be presented with strategies for contextualizing and deepening participant learning. Workshop attendees will learn why the presenters plan to continue to offer LivingWorks Start even after a return to in-person learning and will be provided with a framework for considering whether to adopt this training on their own campuses.
C4 Loneliness Panel
Even before the pandemic, loneliness was on the rise among Canadians. While it touches everyone, loneliness is a shared experience heightened on post-secondary campuses. A 2016 survey across Canadian universities found that nearly 70 per cent of students felt lonely throughout the school year and subsequent polls since the start of the pandemic have highlighted even higher numbers. This panel will bring together various campuses and community organizations to discuss the issue of loneliness on campuses and emerging and best practices to address it.
Presentations will be made by Cambrian College, University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy and Canadian Mental Health Association, York Region South Simcoe
C5 The Jack.org Framework on Effective Youth Engagement in Mental Health
Jack.org is a national charity that works with young people to identify and dismantle barriers to positive mental health and youth help-seeking across Canada. One of the key principles of their work involves youth engagement: bringing youth voices and expertise to the table to ensure that they have meaningful input into the programs they deliver. They have developed a youth engagement framework to ensure ongoing accountability to the youth that they serve. In this presentation, Jack.org staff and youth Network Representatives will present this framework and describe one of their programmatic activities as a case study. They will also reflect on past limitations, challenges, and key learnings on our youth engagement journey. Finally, they will provide space for attendees to share their own lessons in youth engagement so that they may all learn from one another.
C6 The High Stakes of Gambling, Substance Use, and Mental Health Challenges During the Pandemic
Public health restrictions due to COVID-19, like stay-at-home orders, have impacted Ontarians. In particular, many young adults have turned to online gambling. With an expanded, regulated online gambling environment and the recent government approval of single-event sports betting, incoming changes to the gambling landscape will be significant. This session will challenge attendees to think about why problem gambling should be addressed and included in on-campus harm reduction efforts.
Malika Dhanani is a Research and Policy Analyst with the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance. She holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto, graduating from the Social Justice and Diversity field of study. She supports student leaders from across the province in their development of government-targeted policies, completing research to inform student-driven policy advocacy initiatives.
Leanna Marshall works as an Indigenous Counsellor at Confederation College. Leanna is both Anishinaabe and English. She was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Her community and family roots are connected to Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) located in Treaty #9. She is also a practicing artist which influences how she works with students at the college. She is currently in year 2 of the inaugural Indigenized Art Therapy Diploma program at WHEAT (base in Winnipeg). Leanna lives in Thunder Bay and is a mother to two vibrant daughters.
Chad Jankowski (he/him) is the Mental Health Programs Officer in the Faculty of Arts & Science at the University of Toronto. His role builds mental health literacy within academic units by providing training and programming to faculty, staff, and researchers. Chad also serves as a systems navigator, helping to connect individuals to mental health resources and services.
Melissa Fernandes (they + she) dabbles in the worlds of queer youth health, supporting survivors and is an experienced Student Affairs professional across three post-secondary institutions. Currently, Melissa is the Mental Health Programs Officer at U of T’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and here she exercises her specialty of taking health promotion knowledge and turning it into action.
Taylor Montgomery – As a Program Lead, Taylor leads Jack.org’s Network Representative program and works to adapt and implement Jack.org’s youth engagement strategy and best practices. Taylor completed her undergraduate degree at Carleton University in Sociology and Psychology. Since university, Taylor has found her passion for mentoring and training youth to ensure their crucial voices and lived expertise are brought forward in our work.
John Labao is currently a Knowledge Translation Manager at jack.org, where he oversees their knowledge translation efforts, with particular responsibility for the Campus Assessment Tool and the Youth Voice Report. John is a Project Management and Change Management professional who most recently worked as a Manager of Knowledge Translation at CAMH and worked as the National Program Manager, Program Innovation at the Canadian Mental Health Association. He has also worked for Health Quality Ontario and the Ontario College of Pharmacists, and began his career in client services, working as a case manager in Toronto and Winnipeg. John has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba, a Bachelor in Health Administration from Ryerson University, and a Master of Health Sciences (Health Administration) from the University of Toronto.
Lisa Couperus is a program manager with RGC, with more than 20 years experiences creating and delivering successful prevention and awareness initiatives for youth and young adults.
Sasha Stark is an experienced researcher with a long history of working in the area of gambling and problem gambling research in both academic and non-profit settings.
Alex Price is a senior researcher with 15+ years of experience in public health research, policy analysis, and strategic planning.
Aswani Siwakoti was born in Nepal and currently lives in Toronto, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Toronto. She grew up without the right tools or language to express her struggles, motivating her to advocate for mental health education. Studying psychology armed her with the ability to understand mental health and illnesses but jack.org has given her a platform to put her knowledge to practice. Breaking down barriers one conversation at a time, Aswani plans to continue her mental health advocacy in her future endeavours. In her free time she enjoys painting, cycling, cooking, and baking.
3:45 pm – 4:00 pm EDT
4:00 am – 5:00 pm EDT
Concurrent Sessions D1 – D6
D1 Young Caregivers Connect: Recognizing and Supporting Young Caregivers
There are an estimated 500,000 caregivers under the age of 25 in Ontario (YoungCaregiversConnect.ca). Many young caregivers struggle to manage the demands of caregiving alongside school and/or work. Until recently, there have been no provincial resources available to support young caregivers. This presentation will highlight some of the unique challenges that young caregivers face and describe the process that the OCO took to engage young caregivers in developing the YoungCaregiversConnect.ca resource. This presentation will help front-line service providers, faculty and staff recognize and support young caregivers. This presentation will also demonstrate the importance of engaging with youth in the development of programs and services and provide some suggestions for successful collaboration. Attendees will leave this presentation with a better understanding of how to recognize a young caregiver, respond to their needs, and understand what support is available to them.
D2 8th Fire Ogimaawag (Anishinaabek Leaders): The Teachings of Generosity
8th Fire-Ogimaawag is a program of service for Indigenous and settler students based on findings of a research survey using Indigenous student’s qualitative responses (Algonquin College, 2021). The program of service integrates traditional Indigenous medicine wheel teachings and incorporates concepts of belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity based on the Circle of Courage model created by Brokenleg, M. (2013). Using the Circle of Courage model in association with the foundational teachings of the Medicine Wheel can foster Indigenous students’ empowerment and life-long successes based on traditional Indigenous and Anishinaabek teachings. The 8th Fire-Ogimaawag challenges current held mainstream concepts of success, and it introduces holistic Indigenous resilience and empowerment strategies to create a welcoming doorway that nurtures Indigenous initiatives and worldviews.
D3 Improving Timely Access to Support Using Virtual Single Session Counselling
In response to the steady increase in the number of students reaching out for mental health supports, the University of Calgary Student Wellness Services pivoted to the use of the single session therapy model (SSTM) as an additional service that is client-centered and efficient for mental health support. The SSTM was offered online, due to the rapid shift of campus mental health services to the virtual world during the COVID-19 pandemic. This panel will compare the SSTM to other therapy models (e.g., brief psychotherapies), explain the challenges with the virtual SSTM, and provide recommendations to improve current offerings of SSTM online. This presentation will also provide attendees with lessons learned on 1) student perception of support, efficacy, and engagement in the virtual SSTM; 2) coordination between student needs and recommended supports in the virtual SSTM; and 3) provide evidence to support the effectiveness of the virtual SSTM in diversifying services.
David Norstokke | University of Calgary
D4 Impact of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic on People Who Use Drugs (PWUD) Substance Use, Supply, and Service Access: A National Qualitative Assessment
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on people’s lives and has disproportionately affected people who use drugs (PWUD) who are at an increased risk of experiencing related consequences. The present study qualitatively examined the impacts of COVID-19 on PWUD’s substance use, supply, and access to key services among 200 PWUD from across Canada. Results highlight increased substance use and a toxic supply, combined with an inaccessibility of critical services, which consequently resulted in increases in relapse, withdrawal, and unattended overdose events. These findings warrant the need for accessible supports/services for PWUD during the pandemic and beyond.
D5 Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic: Focusing on Graduate Student Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has had deleterious effects on student mental health. In conversations about student wellness, undergraduate and graduate students are often grouped together. However, graduate students face unique stressors that impact their mental well-being (e.g., competitive atmosphere, conflict with supervisors) and it is imperative to have discussions specifically regarding graduate students’ academic experiences. In this workshop, the presenters will present data on pre- to post-COVID changes in mental health and well-being among psychology graduate students at a Canadian university. These findings will serve as a starting point in an interactive discussion examining individual and campus-level changes in mental health due to the pandemic, and the lessons we can learn from this experience.
Discussion questions will include:
- How can we support students when ‘business as usual’ is not feasible?
- How has the pandemic highlighted missing needs in graduate student experiences?
- How can departments maintain sense of community in a virtual environment?
D6 From “They to Ze”
This workshop will help to increase our understanding and importance of using preferred pronouns to create safe inclusive spaces. We will discuss the grammatical use of gender-neutral pronouns and break down the steps to creating safe spaces for the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
Micaela Harley (she/her) is a strategic change-maker in the Youth Mental Health and Substance Use System, with a focus on the inclusion of lived experience. Micaela’s passion for change stems from her experiences as a service user and a youth providing care to a loved one who was struggling. Micaela is a Registered Social Worker and is completing her Master of Applied Health Sciences at Western University.
Kathleen Slemon, MA (she/her) is the Peer Support Program Lead at the Ontario Caregiver Organization. Kathleen was a young caregiver during her undergraduate and master’s degrees, both of which she received from the University of Guelph. She is passionate about leveraging lived experience to develop effective programs and supports.
Dr. Gail Lafleur, Gitigaaningkwe-Garden Woman, is a member of Nipissing First Nation, Mink Clan. Her understanding of the importance of sharing our gifts comes from our original teacher and elder-Shkagamik-kwe (Mother Earth). She would like to honor her elders in sharing our teachings for bringing hope to future generations.
Jackie Tenute, M.A. Individual and Couple Counseling, RSW (she/her)
Jackie is Anishinaabe Kwe, Thunderbird Clan from Neyaashiinigimiing First Nation. She is the Aboriginal Counselor at Algonquin College. Jackie provides culturally appropriate counseling services that blends mainstream clinical skills and traditional knowledge. She offers cultural sensitivity workshops, full moon, and other ceremonies to support students, staff and faculty at the College.
Nathaniel Parant is a graduate of Indigenous Wellness Addiction Prevention from Canadore College. He serves as the Activities and Events Representative at the Mamidosewin Centre and as part-time faculty in the Pathways to Indigenous Empowerment program.
His Spirit name is “Ondaakiin” which means ‘keeper of the land’ and he is a lifelong learner of wholistic health, cultures, community development, and stewardship as an oshkaabewis to Mother Earth. He is currently studying a Masters of Global Leadership through Royal Roads University.
Claire McGuinness is currently completing her PhD in School & Applied Child Psychology at the University of Calgary. She has worked on the program evaluation team at UCalgary’s Student Wellness Services for the past three years. As a program evaluator, she assesses the need for a program, the impacts of a program, and the achievement of the program’s objective.
Kelsey Friesen is currently a PhD student in the School & Applied Child Psychology program at the University of Calgary. Her research and clinical work have primarily focused on supporting the mental health and well-being of children and youth with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families.
Melissa Mueller is currently a PhD student in the School and Applied Child Psychology program at the University of Calgary. Her research primarily focuses on the interplay of factors in screen time and child development. Melissa works at The Family Psychology Place in Calgary conducting assessments with a wide range of clients and areas of need.
David Norstokke (TBA)
Dr. Jennifer Thannhauser is Associate Director (Counselling) and a registered psychologist with UCalgary’s Student Wellness Services. She uses a strengths-based and holistic approach to mental health. Her research focuses on programming that fosters resilience in post-secondary students.
Cayley Russell is a Research Coordinator at CAMH. She has a master’s degree in Criminology and Addictions Studies from the University of Toronto. As a qualitative researcher, her research focuses on the intersection of mental health and addictions among people who use drugs. She has published numerous articles and reports, primarily examining opioid and cannabis-related health harms in Canada.
Farihah Ali is the Manager for the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) Ontario Node. She has her PhD in health policy and equity. Her current work focusing on substance misuse, harm reduction and specialty-based addiction treatment. She is currently supporting the Ontario CRISM Node with various knowledge translation projects including the impact of COVID-19 on PWUD.
Katey Park is a PhD candidate in Psychology at Ryerson University. Her research interests include body image, eating behaviour, engagement in exercise, and investigating these constructs during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also passionate about advocating for improved mental health in academia and is the co-lead evaluator on Ryerson University’s evaluation of the mental health and well-being of graduate students.
Annabel Sibalis is a PhD candidate in Psychology at Ryerson University. Her research investigates youth mental health and uses electroencephalographic methods to investigate the neural underpinnings of attention and their relation to mental well-being. She also investigates student wellness in academic spheres and is the co-lead evaluator on Ryerson University’s evaluation of the mental health and well-being of graduate students.
Tyler Creces presently serves as the Sexual Violence Educator and Support Coordinator at Durham College, in the office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. She holds a Bachelor in Anthropology from the University of Guelph and a Social Service Worker Diploma from Durham College. She is passionate about supporting and advocating for survivors of gender-based violence and educating youth around consent.
Shauna Moore, M.Ed., is an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor at Durham College and facilitates the RISE (Reach, Include, Support, Elevate) program. Through this role, Shauna has worked closely with several community service agencies within Durham Region, and has first-hand experience with increasing access to post-secondary education for youth facing barriers to educational success. She also plans many of the diversity initiatives and celebrations for staff and students at Durham College.
5:00 pm – 5:15 pm EDT