Schools of Thought: A Provincial Summit on Student Mental Health
No more months-long waitlists.
No more unnecessary handcuffs.
No more stigma, isolation, and preventable losses.
Students are more than capable of assessing our own needs and the interventions that can be used to meet them. That’s why, on March 14th, members of post-secondary communities from across Ontario are gathering at a mental health summit organized by students, for students.
At a time when meteoric increases in mental illness, isolation, and inadequate services are impacting every single one of our campuses and our lives, we need space — specifically, connective spaces. We need diverse experts to be able to share insights into today’s micro-level “student experience” and province-wide challenges; to build relationships and co-create calls to action that enrich all our communities.
Students need to be able to combine our research, stories, networks, and voices, because when we do, we can play a decisive role in systemic change.
So if you are or recently were a student at a publicly-funded post-secondary institution, and if you want to help form the foundation for future evidence-based advocacy work that can improve the mental health of millions of current and future students, then be sure to register by following these instructions:
If you require financial or accessibility-related accommodations* OR you wish to share a brief presentation**, please fill in the registration form below ASAP and by no later than 5 PM (EST) on Sunday, March 8th. Note: the earlier you register, the more likely it is that our organizers will be able to partially or fully accommodate your requests!
If you wish to attend the summit and do not require any special accommodations, please fill in the registration form below by no later than 5 PM (EST) on Wednesday, March 11th.
Once you’ve submitted your form, our volunteers will endeavour to follow up on your registration status and any related requests within 1-3 business days.
REGISTRATION FORM LINK: http://bit.ly/on-smh-summit
*more info on accommodations and accessibility is included in the Q&A section at the bottom of this email
**registrants are welcome to pitch a) brief presentations about student mental health-related advocacy work, admin responses, ‘best practices’, and/or research that they wish to present at the summit, and/ or b) sharing relevant reports, research, and resources that can be incorporated into a package all participants receive prior to the summit.
Featuring Special Guests: BHUTILA KARPOCHE (MPP, Parkdale-High Park; Ontario NDP Critic, Mental Health and Addictions), KELLY DAVIS (Director of Peer Advocacy, Supports, and Services at Mental Health America), ROBBYN ZWAIGENBAUM (Director of Indigenous Knowledge & Curriculum – Toronto at Canadian Roots Exchange), and MORE!
11 AM: Registration & Lunch
sign in, free local catering, meet new people
12 PM: Introductions
to the summit, one another, and the land
1 PM: Presentations; Q&A Periods
by various student and non-student mental health experts
3:30 PM: Discussions Pt. 1
brainstorm key themes, calls to action, and “next steps”
5 PM: Dinner
free local catering; volunteers will synthesize points thus far
6 PM: Discussions Pt. 2
co-create final draft of our calls to action and next steps (that will be built upon in future advocacy work to come, and can be shared with our communities, institutions, and governments)
8 PM: (Brief) Closing Remarks
1. Who’s organizing this event?
The organizing team is being led by student mental health advocates from UofT’s Mental Health Policy Council (MHPC) and uOttawa’s uOCollective 4 Mental Health. Members of these grassroots organizations decided to connect and co-create this summit after mounting mental health-related issues spurred a series of recent deaths by suicide at both institutions.
2. When will I hear back about my registration and components therein?
Our volunteer team will endeavour to get back to you ASAP, and at maximum within 3 business days of your registration form’s submission.
3. How can I get involved as a volunteer and/or in future related advocacy work?
Feel free to send an email with any inquiries like this to firstname.lastname@example.org!
4. How do accommodation, transportation, and accessibility-related requests work? Is there a limit to the amount of funding a single attendee can receive?
This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. We have secured a finite amount of funding dedicated to making this summit as accessible as possible, and said fund will prioritize students who identify as members of historically marginalized and underrepresented communities, who are elected representatives of their local student communities, and/or who are travelling significant distances to attend.
Re: accommodations specifically, our organizers are putting together a team of volunteer hosts who are each willing to accommodate a guest or multiple guests for free at their homes in Toronto; if you request help with securing overnight accommodations and are successfully matched with a local host, you will be sent additional information (i.e. relevant logistics and expectations) shortly.
5. Can I attend remotely?
Yes! While we encourage folks to attend the summit in person if possible, registrants will be able to attend via video call during most portions of the summit. Please be sure to indicate your request to attend remotely in your registration form if this option applies to you.
Feel free to email summit organizers at email@example.com with any questions, concerns, or comments at any time, and we hope to meet you on the 14th!
UofT Mental Health Policy Council & uOCollective 4 Mental Health