Yellow benches from TheFriendshipBench.org encourage students to talk about mental health on campus.
Colleges and Institutes Taking Mental Health to Heart
Health-care funding has been a hot-topic in Ottawa over the past few months, as nearly all of Canada’s provinces and territories are now in agreement with the federal government on individualized funding deals that include a specific focus on mental-health. With each agreement, Health Minister Jane Philpott underlined that Ottawa is topping its list of priorities with home care and mental health. As we predicted in our new-year’s “17 Things to Watch” issue, we’ll see that colleges and institutes continue to be key providers of training and support to address the mental health needs of all Canadians.
Part of what makes colleges and institutes so vital to Canadian mental health is their proximity to affected populations. The Globe and Mail recently reported that a fifth of Canadian postsecondary students are battling mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. This is why campuses across the country make support available in addition to training programs. In Ontario, the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health (CICMH) provides a list of all the mental health initiatives on campuses across the province, including a Healthy Minds App and an online support service, iCopeU; while in Quebec, the Federation des cégeps recently underlined the collective commitment of Quebec cegeps to suicide prevention and awareness among Canada’s young people. Lambton College takes their approach off campus with its From Tension to Triumph program, designed to ease anxiety and stress for graduating high-school students.
Informal initiatives such as yellow Friendship Benches installed across campuses also offer students a place to sit and talk to their peers about mental health in a non-judgemental setting. Niagara College, Seneca College, Sheridan College and Centennial College are now among those working to reduce suicide among young people with this initiative. Confederation College runs a similar initiative using a Red Couch.
These mental health services on campus are only part of the focus – preparing the next generation of mental health workers with specialized training programs tailored to the realities of individual communities is of utmost importance. For example, the two-year Mental Health and Addiction Worker program offered jointly between Canadore College and the First Nations Technical Institute focuses its curriculum on the root causes of addiction within Indigenous communities, while incorporating both mainstream and traditional Medicine Wheel approaches to counselling.
Colleges and institutes also train emergency responders, paramedics, personal-support workers, and other first responders who help others cope with trauma, often without significant resources to help them deal with their own. That’s why Langara College launched Strategic Resilience for First Responders in September 2015, a program designed to teach paramedics, firefighters, police, military, and crisis line professionals how to properly handle the effect their professions have on their physical and mental health, nervous systems, and empathetic engagement. Similarly, JIBC – an institution dedicated to training first responders – took to addressing the burnout and turnover rate of first responders by developing a new online course to help emergency crews reduce and manage post-traumatic stress.
Colleges and institutes help many populations– including students, Indigenous communities, and first responders – build strong mental health support systems for themselves and for others. It’s just one of the ways we can all work together to make mental health a priority for all canadians!
Innovation and Art Showcases Calls for Submissions
CICan currently has two open calls for submissions: the CICan Innovation 2017 Showcase, and the CICan 2017 Art Showcase!
CICan is updating its online Innovation Showcase, and invites colleges and institutes to submit new stories about innovation and applied research projects that have realized positive impacts and results for industry and community partners. These amazing success stories will be used to promote the applied research and innovation capacity of our member institutions to new potential partners from industry, government and communities.
The deadline for submissions is March 27, 2017. Submit here!
CICan is also looking to showcase student talent on the walls of the association’s national office at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa for the fourth year in a row. Students can submit paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints, works of textile/mixed media, photography, and digital illustrations/animations for a chance to win a prize and gain recognition as an artist!
The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2017. For details and to submit, click here.
CICan 2017 Conference update!
CICan is pleased to announce Conference 2017’s Opening and Closing performers. Opening regional festivities will be headlined by Aboriginal Experiences, while the Closing Gala will feature an opportunity to celebrate in Red and White with Drum!, a musical group featuring performers from Canada’s Aboriginal, Black, Celtic, and Acadian communities.
Click here to register for the event.
Registration is open for The 16th Annual RE$EARCH Money Conference
The Government of Canada is preparing to release its Budget 2017, which will reveal the first elements of the broader Canadian Innovation Agenda. ISED Minister Navdeep Bains has said that the GoC “fundamentally believes that innovation is the path forward for Canadians,” and has already identified three key action areas: People (including digital literacy and talent development); Technologies (including fostering Canadian STI networks and clusters); and Companies (including supporting and encouraging scale-ups).
Will the Agenda finally ignite Canada’s innovative potential? What opportunities will it provide for Canada’s innovation community?
Be a part of the discussion at the 16th annual RE$EARCH MONEY conference alongside over 30 innovation thought leaders from industry, finance, policymaking and academia. An Opportunity to Excel will provide a unique opportunity in an intimate gathering of 150 attendees to grapple with these issues. Together we’ll explore which action areas are addressed in Budget 2017 and which ones will need to be tackled in future budgets. As a group, we’ll look at how we – as stakeholders in Canada’s innovation ecosystem – can contribute to moving the Agenda forward in the coming year.
Did you know that students from the Cégep de Sainte-Foy’s Business Management program will be taking part in a visit to Washington DC at the end of May? The trip will include conferences, visits to local businesses, and an opportunity to develop a network of American financial and commercial contacts! Read more here.
University of the Fraser Valley was pleased to welcome a new Interim President and Vice-Chancellor. Jackie Hogan will assume the position effective July 1. Hogan currently serves as Chief Financial Officer and Vice-President Administration.
Both the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and the Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) were pleased to announce updates to their Boards of Governors. Ray Martin has been appointed Chair of NAIT’s Board of Governors, while Carol Ryder will be returning as the Chair of ACAD’s.
Toronto, Toronto Marriott City Centre
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