About the Conference
Conference Theme: Dialogue to Action
Dialogue is a critical step in the process of shaping change; it allows us to share ideas, work through logic, and problem-solve, together. However, this process brings us nowhere without being followed by action. This year’s conference theme, Dialogue to Action, invites us to engage in that process in its entirety. Not just talking about decolonization but doing it. Not just discussing the whole campus approach but actively participating in it. Throughout the conference, attendees will be encouraged to take initiative, put in the effort, and make moves to bring our collective vision of a healthy campus to reality. In working with this theme, each conference session will feature a call-to-action for participants to consider and join. Through this lens, we will also be exploring topics that embed and examine the social determinants of health.
To facilitate this discussion, we will delve into the five following themes:
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
There is a growing movement for institutional leadership and campus frameworks to implement equity, diversity, and inclusivity-related policies to ensure equitable access to services and programming on campus. Province-wide, there has been a focus on understanding the unique needs of students based on the various intersections of their identity such as culture, race, religion, sexual orientation, and physical or mental health disability. Presentations in this stream will address equity-driven and student-driven programming.
Presentations in this stream will focus on the overarching systems of mental health provision on campus and how students and staff are challenging and changing those systems through anti-oppressive practices. Presentations in this stream will speak to systemic barriers within this work and strategies for shifting the structure and organization of mental health services on campus through the application of EDI (Equity, Diversity & Inclusion) principles. This includes work around the National Standard for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students.
Indigenous Student Wellness and Engagement
Presentations in this stream will centre around Indigenous world views grounded in holistic understandings and the value of interrelatedness as a model for wellness and engagement of Indigenous student populations. Areas of focus may include: embracing Indigenous worldviews in campus and learning environments; Indigenous pedagogy and educational interconnections.
Facilitating connection and belonging among students is vital to counter the increasing experiences of isolation and loneliness in the virtual world. The recent shift away from being physically on campus has highlighted a need to devise innovative strategies to allow students to engage with their institution and their peers in a meaningful way. Presentations in this stream will centre around innovative initiatives that: create meaningful programming outside of the classroom environment for students; utilize peer-to-peer models to create meaningful relationships among students; emphasize communal spaces for students to address mental health and wellness topics; and feature co-design with students.
Substance Use & Harm Reduction
There has been an increase in substance-related harms throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Presentations in this stream will focus on the use and misuse of drugs, alcohol and other substances by student populations. Example topics might include: trends and patterns in student substance use during the pandemic; harm reduction programming on campus and strategies for reducing substance-related harms.