Concurrent Sessions

Wednesday, November 13, 2024

CONCURRENT SESSIONS | A1 – A6

Georgian will overview the Building Belonging project, designed to support international student mental health through building the cultural competence of faculty and student services staff, enriching existing services to address the unique needs of international students, and deepening community connections beyond the college environment.

As part of this project, the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and Mental Health and Well-being (MHWB) developed a culturally attuned toolkit to better support international students. This toolkit provides a roadmap to internationalizing curriculum and supporting the academic success and well-being of international students. Cultural awareness, empathy, and effective communication are emphasized, with ideas to incorporate Universal Design for Learning and an Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging lens to support inclusion and nurture a culture of belonging.

The session will focus on two toolkit modules, Cultural Humility, and Intercultural Communication, and expand this learning to include student services interactions and communication.

Presenters

|International Student Counsellor for the Building Belonging ProjectGeorgian College

|EducatorGeorgian College

|Georgian College

|Georgian College

Changing Systems

DBT is a therapy modality that centers living in the moment, developing healthy ways to cope with stress, regulating emotions, and improving relationships with others. While this therapy modality has successfully supported young adults coping with negative emotions, a one-size-fits-all all approach to DBT does not work for everyone. The Stella’s Place, Peer Support staff discovered that there was a need to create a space where BIPOC young adults could learn DBT skills in a way that aligned with their needs. Through a co-design model incorporating young adults with lived/living experience of mental health, Stella’s Place created their DBT BIPOC program, which considers participants’ intersectional identities and how individual and systemic experiences impact the mental health and wellbeing of BIPOC young adults. In this session, participants will have the opportunity to explore Stella’s Place’s unique format of DBT and learn how anti-oppressive practices can be incorporated into DBT programs.

Presenters

|Senior Peer AmbassadorStella’s Place

|Mental Health ClinicianStella’s Place

|Peer Initiatives ManagerStella’s Place

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Anti-Racism (EDIAA)

The Indigenous Institutes Consortium partnered with the Regional Assessment Resource Centre (RARC), Find Our Power Together, and the IIC Wellness Implementation Working Group to co-develop the customization of an online Wellness Resource for students, staff, and community to take leadership of their wellness journeys, and apply their learnings in the classroom, at home, at work, and in their communities. This interactive session will engage attendees in a mock interaction with the online platform, so that they experience the wellness journey.

Presenters

|Dean of Post Secondary Education and TrainingIndigenous Institutes Consortium

|Student Success and Wellness CounsellorShingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig

|Indigenous Institutes Consortium

|Indigenous Institutes Consortium

Indigenous Student Wellness and Engagement

Wondering how to provide low-barrier, inclusive and engaging mental health programming on campus? Start an Art Hive!

As some campuses struggle with student engagement post-pandemic, The Art Hive at Ontario Tech University continues to be a popular and well-attended weekly event.

Created in collaboration with The LivingRoom Community Art Studio in Oshawa, Ontario Tech University’s Art Hive enters its third year this fall.

The Art Hive is a space where everyone is welcome. Participants are invited to sit, relax, and interact with each other and a variety of art materials. Supportive conversations are facilitated by student Mental Health Peer Mentors, Student Ambassadors, and community-based Art Therapy students.

During this workshop, learn about the logistics and benefits of running an Art Hive on campus. Experience a mini online Art Hive. Learn how an Art Hive provides a non-hierarchical and stigma-free zone to “let the art hold the hard stuff.”

Presenters

|StudentOntario Tech University

|StudentOntario Tech University

|Public Practice Art Therapist and founder of The LivingRoom Community Art Studio

|Mental Health CounsellorOntario Tech University

|Mental Health and Wellness FacilitatorOntario Tech University

Student Engagement

Substance Use & Harm Reduction

As Ontario enters its third year in a newly regulated online gambling and sports betting environment, gambling activity has been strongly established and continues to gain traction across the province. With 47 operators, 77 websites – 29 of which offer sports betting – and more than 1.3 million player accounts as of March 31, 2024 there continues to be a significant presence of online gambling activity in Ontario and in particular, with young adults.

This session will provide attendees with a current overview of the changing online gambling and sports betting landscape, the risk this presents to young adults and highlight RGC’s new 3-year education and prevention strategy. We will also present opportunities to work together to share important and necessary education and prevention messages with students.

Presenter

|Associate Director, Special Projects and ProgramsResponsible Gambling Council

Substance Use & Harm Reduction

Alcohol and cannabis are the two most commonly consumed substances by post-secondary students in Canada, and a common reason for use is to manage stress. Join Drug-Free Kids Canada and the Canadian Institute for Advancements in Mental Health as we discuss the way that stress impacts a student’s well-being and why youth may turn to cannabis or alcohol use to cope with their stress. Learn about how using substances impacts stress, anxiety, and depression in the brain, as well as the risks of substance use as a coping mechanism in both the short and long term. From there, we will discuss strategies for care providers to engage in meaningful conversation with students about managing stress, as well as provide healthy alternative coping strategies to help students maintain a sense of balance in their post-secondary lives.

Presenters

|Project DeveloperDrug-Free Kids Canada

|Clinical CounsellorCanadian Institute for Advancements in Mental Health

Substance Use & Harm Reduction

(Présentation en français)

Cette séance vise à faire connaître les différents mandats et stratégies de l’Observatoire sur la santé mentale étudiante en enseignement supérieur (OSMÉES) et de l’Initiative sur la santé mentale étudiante en enseignement supérieur (ISMÉ). Ces deux initiatives québécoises sont issues du Plan d’action en santé mentale étudiante publié en janvier 2021 par le ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur du Québec et visent un changement en profondeur de la manière d’agir efficacement et contribuer à milieux d’études sains, sécuritaires et bienveillants. Leurs mandats respectifs sont construits à partir d’une vision systémique au sein duquel la santé mentale étudiante ne repose pas uniquement sur la personne étudiante et où les établissements d’enseignement supérieur, en tant que milieu de vie, mais aussi comme partie prenante de la société, influencent significativement la santé mentale et le parcours de vie des personnes étudiantes. Leurs travaux ainsi que leurs stratégies de mobilisation avec les établissements et partenaires concernés par la santé mentale étudiante seront décrits.

Presenters

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Changing Systems

CONCURRENT SESSIONS | B1 – B6

Sharing accomplishments from our Indigenization, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IIDEA) Committee which has encouraged shifts in understanding, discourse, and practices within the Counselling team and beyond.

We are contributing to a significant cultural shift encouraging cohesive connections and courageous conversations amongst clinicians from diverse intersections of identity. This shift supports clinicians in navigating complex therapeutic interactions with greater sensitivity, comfort, and care. By virtue of this culture shift, we are empowering expanded advocacy and risk-taking affecting broader systemic change.

Leadership has fostered capacity for structural and systemic changes through the creation of intentional spaces to sit in the discomfort, inviting dialogue and positive risk-taking to support unlearning and relearning.

These efforts are contributing to a significant cultural shift which are inviting a new direction forward, recognizing we are early in this pursuit and further change beckons.

Presenters

|Indigenous CounsellorGeorge Brown College

|CounsellorGeorge Brown College

Changing Systems

Our presentation aims to illuminate the lived experience of international students across our membership and provide insight into the best ways to support these students throughout their post-secondary education journey. Pulling qualitative and quantitative results from our Ontario Undergraduate Student Survey (OUSS), OUSA will explore the experiences and mental health effects of studying in Ontario for international students. Our presentation will look at the sociopolitical challenges students face, including culture shock, food insecurity, housing crisis, tuition, the lack of academic support, discrimination, challenges in labour market access, and visas (especially in the wake of the cap). We will then delve into the unique ways, both institutionally and through student-run initiatives, that OUSA schools have supported international students and provide recommendations on how to support international students better. This presentation aims to take an intersectional lens and highlight those who may face additional barriers due to other aspects of their identity, such as their ability, race, religion, gender, or sexuality.

Presenter

|Research and Policy AnalystOntario Undergraduate Student Alliance

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Anti-Racism (EDIAA)

Our session delves into enhancing Indigenous student wellness and engagement via Gabor Mate’s compassionate inquiry. This method emphasizes understanding and empathizing with students’ lived experiences to foster a supportive educational environment. By integrating traditional Indigenous knowledge and practices with compassionate inquiry, we aim to create a holistic approach to student wellness. This session will explore practical strategies for applying this method in educational settings, showcasing how empathy and understanding can lead to transformative changes in student engagement and well-being.

Presenter

|Mental Health Project ManagerIndspire

Indigenous Student Wellness and Engagement

Many talk about student-centered and co-created programs, but how do you actually make them work? This session dives deep into OCAD University’s journey to co-designing wellness programs with students. We will share honest insights (true confessions!) from the team of student leaders, wellness centre leaders, and innovation designers who have been working to shift student wellness programs and services from an expert-led model to a student-centered and culturally informed model. The team will share experiences using a community co-creation and participatory design approach. As a result they have fostered trust with the student body, have put feedback loops into action, prioritized implementation based on co-creation with students and a clear commitment and approach to continue to engage students as they build towards delivering services that are student-centered.

Reflecting on the experience, the team will offer practical guidance for institutions embarking on this path and a set of actionable principles and practices.

Presenters

|Director, Student Wellness CentreOCAD University

|Dean of StudentsOCAD University

|PrincipleInnovation Design

|OCAD University

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Student Engagement

This presentation delves into the escalating mental health crisis among Canadian post-secondary students, illuminated by recent research indicating a marked increase in psychological distress and mental health diagnoses. Amidst a backdrop of social, economic, and environmental stressors, including the impacts of social media, the COVID-19 pandemic, socioeconomic disparities, and climate change anxiety, this talk explores the critical role that post-secondary institutions play in reversing this trend. Highlighting the effectiveness of accessible mental health interventions, such as positive coping mechanisms, stress management techniques, and bolstered social support, the session underscores the necessity of integrating universal prevention efforts into the educational framework. By presenting evidence-based strategies, this presentation aims to champion a comprehensive approach to student wellness, ensuring every student benefits from proactive mental health support, overcoming barriers to access, and fostering a more supportive academic environment.

Presenter

|Mental Health StrategistUniversity of New Brunswick

Changing Systems

LUNCH SESSION | L1

CONCURRENT SESSIONS | C1 – C6

What do Ontario’s PSE institutions need to address around the growing need for mental health support on campus? Through a scan of publicly available institutional strategies and semi-structured interviews with academic institutions and service providers, HEQCO studied mental health supports at Ontario PSE institutions/organizations.  This included exploring mental health strategies, diversity, and cultural relevance in the provision of support and the use of data to inform policy decision making. This study identified systemic factors that influence service delivery and trends, including increasing demand for mental health support among students; greater attention to EDID in service provision; innovative and promising practices; and gaps in support. HEQCO’s findings reveal the creativity and resourcefulness of Ontario PSE institutions and mental health service providers and has wide-reaching strategic, policy and funding implications for both institutions and government. This research will also share systemic factors that impact the delivery of mental health services to students. This presentation will discuss how proactive systems of change are required to address the rising demand for mental health services in Ontario.

Presenter

|Senior ResearcherHEQCO

Changing Systems

Following an identification of barriers that BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ students experienced in accessing counselling support at Fleming College, the counselling team hired two BIPOC counsellors and a 2SLGBTQ+ counsellor to support specific groups of students. The goal was to break down barriers marginalized students face to create a safe and inclusive environment

This presentation will discuss what led to the creation of these roles, the ways in which the information about these supports were disseminated within the college community, outreach conducted, the creation of identity-specific support groups, impacts on students, and the ways in which these changes have led to lasting change within the college.

This session will also collaboratively explore the complexities inherent within engaging in identity-specific counselling in a post-secondary environment, including ethical challenges regarding use of self, impacts on marginalized counsellors working with students of shared identities, and more.

Presenters

|Personal Wellness CounsellorFleming College

|Personal Wellness CounsellorFleming College

|Personal Wellness CounsellorFleming College

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Anti-Racism (EDIAA)

Through this presentation, Kids Help Phone will provide an overview of how, as an ally organization, we have incorporated Indigenous leadership as a core component of strategy, program development and implementation – fundamentally changing the way we work. This presentation will share how an approach that celebrates the expertise of equity deserving communities in their own mental health and wellness is critical to supporting access and the development of culturally informed e-mental health supports for youth and students across Canada. This presentation will discuss the implementation of Finding Hope: an Indigenous Youth Action Plan, which highlights actions such as the Indigenous Advisory Council that provides leadership for all Indigenous initiatives across the organization, Brighter Days (an Indigenous wellness program), and Weaving Threads (an Indigenous Engagement program), amongst others.

Presenters

|Director, Indigenous Initatives and Equity ProgramsKids Help Phone

|Kids Help Phone

Indigenous Student Wellness and Engagement

Taking a holistic approach to mental health acknowledges that providing mental health support extends beyond counsellors. A mentally healthy campus that is connected, supported, and educated on mental health; has access to and awareness of the resources they need to navigate the challenges of post-secondary; and facilitates access to mental health practitioners when an individual needs extra support. We present the Student Garnet Guide, designed by students, for students, as a holistic guide to navigating mental health and wellness at Mount Allison University. The guide aims to meet students where they are at, building on lived experiences each year to provide accessible information on resources, as well as education and tools to navigate post-secondary challenges. For faculty members, the guide further serves to redirect students to support. Our presentation provides templates of our comprehensive guide, promotional materials, participatory feedback strategies, and overall approach, to support institutions in implementing an individualized, comprehensive, student-lead guide.

Presenters

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|Director of Accessibility and Student WellnessMount Allison University

|Mental Health & Harm Reduction Outreach CoordinatorMount Allison University

Student Engagement

This concurrent session will examine the latest trends and patterns of substance use, focusing on alcohol, drugs, and cannabis. The session will also share details of the most recent innovations in the field, with practical real-life examples from a range of international post-secondary institutions. There will be an opportunity to look at what harm reduction is, what it’s not and what the research suggests are the most successful approaches to harm reduction programming.

Presenter

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Substance Use & Harm Reduction

The new University of Manitoba Student Wellness Centre (SWC), opened in September 2023, through the generosity of the Bell Let’s Talk Implementation Fund, has had a wildly successful inaugural year of community building events, student connections, wellness-focused learning, and fun. Founded on the values of respect, inclusion, community, and holistic wellness, and utilizing a peer health education and stepped-care model, the SWC is a space for all students to learn skills to actively engage in and maintain their wellbeing. Join Bryanna and Arlana as they explore the role of collaboration, consultation, and responsivity to create community, provide a safer space for marginalized students, enhance the existing Healthy U peer health educator program, and broaden the scope of our stepped-care framework of support. Bouncing off our experiences, a facilitated discussion with participants of other institutions’ community-building-for-wellness strategies will inspire future program planning for all.

Presenters

|Psychiatric Nurse, Coordinator of Student Health and Wellness EducationUniversity of Manitoba

|Associate Director Wellness and PreventionUniversity of Manitoba

Student Engagement

This session will be introducing one of Carleton University’s newest initiatives: The Wellness Desk. Uniquely located in Carleton’s library, The Wellness Desk is a drop-in service that provides a safe and calming space for students. It is a space to connect with trained student staff regarding their wellness and mental health concerns as well as being navigated to appropriate resources. At the Wellness Desk, students are invited to decompress by participating in grounding activities, are given necessary tools to support with their emotional literacy, and ultimately get connected to relevant resources on and off campus. We will also explore the various events hosted, the importance of peer-to-peer support and normalizing wellness in all aspects of student life. Participants will as learn about the Wellness Desk’s guiding principles that inform its programming, such as the 8 Dimensions of Wellness and how understanding these dimensions can in turn improve how we support students in distress.

Presenters

|Wellness CoordinatorCarleton University

|Manager, Mental Health Strategy and InitiativesCarleton University

Student Engagement

CONCURRENT SESSIONS | D1 – D6

Synergy is a praxis integrating Diversity, Equity and Inculsion (DEI) and Wellbeing that underlies a successful Stepped Care approach to mental health service delivery on campus. In this session we will help participants apply Synergy as an approach to Workforce Development that underlies mental health system change toward a Stepped Care model. Participants will engage with reflective questions, case studies, and share personal experiences in dialogue to foster Synergy in the session itself.  The pillars of Synergy (Creativity, Agency, Growth Orientation, Truth and Reconciliation, Flexibility, Contextualization, Empathy, Awareness, Diplomatic Disruption, and Interconnectedness) will be exemplified and applied to individual, interpersonal, and collective levels of Workforce Development in campus mental health.

Presenters

|Vice President for Culture and DiversityStepped Care Solutions

|Stepped Care Solutions

|Engagement and Social Impact AssociateStepped Care Solutions

Changing Systems

The Gifts of Our People is a brave space for racialized youth to engage in meaningful dialogue about their lived experiences and the impacts of racism within the sector. Together we reclaim the tools our cultures provide to liberate us from oppression. The Gifts of Our People will open with an Art Navigation to ground the participants in a 40-minute “fishbowl style” conversation, where onlookers will witness an open dialogue exploring various aspects of being Black, Indigenous and racialized in a Canadian context.

Youth and advisors of The Gifts of Our People will unpack their experiences of racism within the sector, discuss their most recent contributions to the network, and what they believe is necessary to make the Child and Youth Mental Health sector a brave space for all youth.

Presenters

|Multidisciplinary Artist, Educator and Cultural InnovatorThe Gifts of Our People

|The Gifts of Our People

|The Gifts of Our People

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Anti-Racism (EDIAA)

At Jack.org, one of our goals is to build and empower a community of youth to engage in action around mental health. To imagine new programming, we participated in a co-design project whereby we engaged the user (e.g. youth) in the different design processes.

The project adapted human-centered design methods of empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test, and implement. Within each phase, we incorporated and built on additional and existing design processes (e.g. design thinking, design for the margins, equity-based design, and agile). The result was a co-design model where we created programming for youth, alongside youth.

Through this project we have answered how might we build a diverse community of youth advocates to effectively take action to promote mental health. We will highlight the learnings from this process, especially as it relates to youth engagement.

Presenters

|Program Manager, ImplementationJack Talks

|Program Manager, ImplementationJack Chapters

Student Engagement

This presentation will provide an overview of a research project focused on addressing knowledge gaps about the experiences of LGBTQ+ students with mental health services at the University of Toronto. Summarizing data gathered from 30 interviews with LGBTQ+ students, 20 interviews with university stakeholders, and a series of engagements with a LGBTQ+ Student Mental Health Advisory Committee, this presentation will focus on how mental health services at the University of Toronto could be enhanced to better support the mental health and wellbeing of diverse LGBTQ+ students. We will discuss the implications of these recommendations for Canadian postsecondary institutions more broadly and will encourage discussion amongst participants to reflect on how the study findings could be used to inform the mental health care of LGBTQ+ students across Canadian postsecondary campuses.

Presenters

|Research AssociateCentre for Sexual and Gender Minority Health Research at the University of Toronto

|University of Toronto

|PhD StudentUniversity of Toronto

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Anti-Racism (EDIAA)

The transition from high school to post-secondary presents challenges for all youth but it can be particularly challenging for students struggling with disordered eating or eating disorders. Issues like social isolation, loneliness, food insecurity, and financial challenges can all be triggers for an eating disorder to start or return. While research shows that the sooner someone starts treatment the better the chances of recovery, publicly funded training and supports are scarce, both on and off campus.

NEDIC and WaterStone are working together to bridge that gap by working with staff, faculty, and students to create the supports that students need to cope, improve, and hopefully overcome their eating disorder.

Together, they will share how their established programs are making a difference. NEDIC’s SPARK program has delivered more than 90 free workshops and training sessions on campuses since 2019. Since 2022, WaterStone’s Student Support Program (SSP) has delivered more than 3000 direct counselling hours and piloted several innovative group programs.

Presenters

|Senior AdvisorWaterStone Foundation

|Community Engagement FacilitatorNEDIC

|CounsellorCarleton University