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15th Annual George Brown College Mental Health Conference

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15th Annual George Brown College Mental Health Conference

Sponsors logos: RBC and CAMH  

George Brown College's Centre for Preparatory & Liberal Studies and Academic Services & Student Affairs Departments are pleased to be co-hosting the following event with sponsorship from RBC Foundation and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Ontario Disability Support Program.

15th Annual George Brown College Mental Health Conference on

Post-Secondary Student Success: Fostering Mental Health and Wellness on Campus

Thursday, February 27, 2014
Waterfront Campus, 51 Dockside Drive, Toronto


Participants of this one-day conference will explore the concept of “healthy campuses”, where the learning environment and organizational culture enhance health and well-being and enable students to achieve their full potential.

Student panelists will share their experiences and perspectives along with keynote speaker and moderator, Jonny Morris, Canadian Mental Health Association, B.C. division who will present the current landscape nationally and provincially.

Attendees will be encouraged to take part in discussions, reflecting on the opportunities that exist to create healthier campuses across Ontario and as well, choose from a variety of workshops to learn about promising practices across universities and colleges in the afternoon such as:

  • creating inclusive environments,
  • addressing teaching and learning needs,
  • designing supported education models,
  • providing awareness and training opportunities, and
  • engaging student leadership.

Participants will also have a chance to learn about new resources, projects, and ideas; network with students, staff, and community members; enjoy refreshments, lunch, and book draws; and leave inspired to make changes in their own community!

Keynote Speaker:

Photo of Johnny MorrisJonny Morris is the Director, Public Policy, Research, and Provincial Programs at the Canadian Mental Health Association, B.C.

A key part of his portfolio includes the Healthy Minds/Healthy Campuses initiative, which focuses on promoting mental health and minimizing harmful substance use amongst post-secondary students. Jonny stewarded the Healthy Minds/Healthy Campuses community of practice from 2008-12.

Since moving into a new role at CMHA B.C., Jonny has supported the development of national post-secondary mental health activities, working in partnership with the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services, the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health in Ontario, and college, universities, and institutes in provinces across Canada.

He brings a research and practice background focused on youth suicide prevention and he completed his applied training at Counselling Services at the University of Victoria. Currently he teaches in the undergraduate UVic Child and Youth Care program.

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8:00 a.m.

Registration and Continental Breakfast


9:00 a.m.

Welcome and Mindfulness Activity


9:30 a.m.

Keynote: Post-Secondary Student Mental Health

Jonny Morris, Director of Public Policy, Research, and Provincial Programs, CMHA, B.C.

Jonny Morris will present the current landscape in post-secondary mental health nationally and provincially, informing participants of recent initiatives and exploring the concept of the “healthy campus”.


10:00 a.m.

Morning Panel

The focus of this session will be on practices in engaging students to take leadership roles in addressing education, awareness, and supports needed in promoting positive mental health and addressing mental health concerns on campus.

Moderator: Jonny Morris


10:45 a.m.

Refreshment Break / Book Draws


11:00 a.m.

Participant Discussions

Turning the focus on the attendees – staff, students, and community members – to a discussion on ideas and issues raised by the student panel.

Moderator: Jonny Morris


11:45 a.m.

Lunch Provided

Participants will have the opportunity to engage in an activity over lunch, identifying their ideas of where the focus should be to create positive change.


12:30 p.m. and 1:50 p.m.

Interactive Sessions

Participants to choose one of the six sessions [listed below] to attend at 12:30 pm and again at 1:50 pm.

These sessions showcase how various individuals and organizations are working within their local, national and global communities to make a difference.

3:00 p.m.

Refreshment Break


3:15 p.m.

Afternoon Panel  

Reflections on the morning and afternoon sessions – where do we go from here?

Moderator: Jonny Morris


3:45 p.m. Closing & Wrap up


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Interactive Sessions:

Participants will have a chance to participate in one of the following six sessions. All will be given both at 12:30 pm and at 1:50 pm.

Creating Inclusive Campus Environments – Where Everyone Belongs
This session will focus on the connection between safe and inclusive space, mental health, and student success, particularly for LGBTQ students. Egale Canada Human Rights Trust (ECHRT), Canada’s only national LGBTQ organization, will share their “Safer and Accepting Campuses” project, which is aimed at creating safer and more accepting campuses at Ontario colleges and universities.

George Brown College will share their work on “Queering the Waterfront” and “Free to Pee” initiatives. Participants will be encouraged to think about the concept of inclusive space and share ideas to create positive change on campus.

Teaching and Learning – Making Success More Attainable
University of Guelph’s “Understanding Mental Health Issues” credit course for students dealing with mental health challenges, and the Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College initiatives to develop standards and guidelines for academic accommodations for mental health concerns will be presented to the group.

Attendees will be encouraged to share information on initiatives at their own institutions related to increasing academic success for students in mainstream programs who are dealing with mental health issues.

Supported Education – Lessons for Mainstream Education
Participants will learn about models of supported education for students with mental health issues and/or addiction challenges at George Brown College. Three programs: Transitions to Post-Secondary Education, Construction Craft Worker Extended Training, and Assistant Cook Extended Training, will be profiled. Basic principles of Universal Design for Learning and how they have been applied when designing and delivering courses for these programs will be shared.

Attendees will discuss key aspects of supported education that mainstream education can adapt to support greater student success for students with mental health issues.

Awareness and Training – Sharing Resources and Supports
Participants will learn about Brock University’s “More Feet on the Ground” resource and support project, Mind Your Mind’s tools for coping as well as George Brown College’s work on Mental Health First Aid training for staff and students.

Participants will have the opportunity to discuss these resources on how they can be used inside and outside of the classroom.

Engaging Student Leadership – Putting Students at the Forefront
The focus of this session will be on practices in engaging students to take leadership roles in addressing education, awareness, and support needs regarding promoting positive mental health and addressing mental health concerns.

Discussions will focus on how to provide opportunities for students for these leadership skills, supporting their peers, and making changes on campus.

Experiences of Violence and the Impact on Learning – What Educators and Students Need to Know
This session will provide information on a 2-year project carried out by George Brown College and Parkdale Project Read to raise awareness of the impact of experiencing violence have on learning.

Attendees will learn about free online resources and tools to enhance student success and discussions will bring attention to the role of the institution in creating positive and inclusive environments to maximize potential for learning.

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Registration Information:

This event has reached its maximum capacity. Please contact the event administrator if you need assistance.

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For More Information

Please contact Daniella Ceci at 416-415-5000, ext. 6277 or send an email to 
Mental Health Conference Mailing Address:
George Brown College
200 King Street East
Room 524A
Toronto, ON
M5A 3W8

Please visit our website for information about parking.

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