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Back to School: Mental Health Promotion on Campus

By Monica Nunes, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

This week, the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre (CAMH HPRC) co-presented a webinar with the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health (CICMH) looking at Mental Health Promotion on Campus as part of the Ask the Experts webinar series. Ask the Experts is a webinar series by CICMH which brings together specialists to share promising practices for promoting mentally healthy campuses with support from the CAMH HPRC and the Evidence Exchange Network.

Targeting student leaders and post-secondary institution administrators, this webinar offered an introduction to addressing mental health promotion on campus settings. Monica Nunes, a Research Analyst with CAMH HPRC, kicked off the webinar with a presentation that provided some basic definitions about mental health and mental health promotion. Monica described mental health as a positive concept that relates to our ability to feel, think and act in ways that help us reach our goals and cope with life's challenges.

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Next, Dr. Su-Ting Teo, Director of Student Health and Wellness at Ryerson University, provided some practical examples of how to embed mental health promotion into campus settings. Su-Ting referenced a handbook from the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services and the Canadian Mental Health Association called Post-Secondary Student Mental Health: Guide to a Systemic Approach which outlines that mental health promotion can be applied in campus settings in three main ways:

  • Though institutional planning and policy;
  • By creating a supportive and, inclusive campus environment;
  • And, by building mental health awareness on campus.

The last presenters in the webinar were John Horrox, Research and Policy Analyst, and Veronica Barahona, Communications Manager, with the College Student Alliance (CSA). John and Veronica introduced an upcoming initiative from the CSA focusing on stigma reduction called the Yellow Umbrella Project. The Yellow Umbrella Project aims to increase awareness about mental health in post-secondary education and launches at the end of October.

Click here to watch the full webinar. And you can download the slides here. CICMH will also be posting answers to questions asked during the webinar. So check back on their website for continued discussion on this topic.

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