Upstream Approaches: Invitation to Present

Building off the momentum from our 2020 Wellness Summit, Healthy Campus Alberta is excited to further explore the theme of “Moving Upstream” through a special 2020-2021 webinar series. In recognition of the exciting work being done to promote mental health and wellness at post-secondary institutions across Alberta, we would like to invite all members of the HCA community and the general public to share their knowledge and expertise on this topic.

Webinars will be 1 hour in length, and have traditionally taken the form of a 30-40 minute presentation, followed by an opportunity to interact with viewers through Q&A and chat. Proposals are welcomed from all individuals and groups with an interest in post-secondary mental health, including students, staff/faculty, healthcare professionals, and members of the community.

The theme of “Moving Upstream” seeks to inspire and celebrate change on post-secondary campuses about upstream approaches to mental health and wellness by addressing social determinants and root causes at the individual, relational, and community level. By building caring environments, supporting interpersonal relationships, and strengthening personal skills, upstream approaches to mental health can enhance our community’s ability to flourish during times of uncertainty and change.

In addition to the theme of “Moving Upstream”, your presentation should fall within one or more of the following areas of focus:

1. Creating Healthy Institutional Policies and Frameworks – exploring how post-secondary campuses can advocate for and strengthen mental health at the institutional level
2. Centering Wellness in Teaching and Learning – understanding how program and curricular changes and strategies can promote positive mental health in the classroom environment
3. Strengthening Personal Skills, Relationships, and Resilience – exploring programs and initiatives that aim to strengthen personal skills in coping, self-esteem, resilience, and connectedness
4. Building Supportive Campus Communities – exploring how post-secondary institutions can build campus communities that reduce stigma and foster a sense of connection, helping, and belonging
5. Reorienting Health Services – examining how health services on campus and in the community can be redeveloped to increase accessibility and incorporate new ideas that best meet the mental health needs of post-secondary students, staff, and faculty
6. Engaging the Student Voice – exploring how student-led initiatives (e.g. involving post-secondary students in inception, planning and/or delivery) can champion positive mental health on post-secondary campuses

Applications for the Invitation to Present will be due on August 15th, 2020. The HCA staff team will review submissions and conduct casual phone calls with applicants over the subsequent weeks, with final selections to be made by mid-September.

Selections will take into consideration the desire for diversity across institutions (e.g. type [university/college/technical institute], size, and context [urbal/rural/commuter/residential]) and individuals (e.g. students/professionals/diverse perspectives). The selection process will also consider relevance to the theme of Moving Upstream and equal representation of the 6 subthemes.