Champions

A Champion is a program, service, course or research initiative that improves the mental health and wellbeing of students, and relates to an aspect or all aspects of the McMaster Mental Health & Well-being Framework. If you would like us to shine the spotlight on a Mental Health Champion, contact us.

McMaster Champions

There are many Mental Health Champions on our campus, demonstrating innovation and going beyond their job description to enhance the student experience and improve the mental health and overall wellbeing of our community.

  • McMaster University Logo

    HEALTH PROMOTION

    Open circle

    A safe place for students to reflect on their lives with their peers, through weekly reflection circles, meditation and mindfulness, a Personal Discovery Course, and individual coaching by our staff mentors. The on-campus activities, through the Open Circle club, provide a community of support for students and are particularly relevant for who deal with mental health challenges.

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  • Wellness@Mac Newsletter Cover

    HEALTH PROMOTION

    Wellness@Mac Newsletter

    Wellness@Mac is a widely distributed and respected source of health and wellness information. Produced as a newsletter, the Student Wellness Centre has covered topics such as ‘dealing with depression’ and ‘breaking the silence on social anxiety’.

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  • Wellness@Mac Newsletter Cover

    INTERVENTION

    Group Therapy

    The SWC has developed over 15 different groups to meet the many and differing needs of students. These groups are designed to build student resilience and enhance self-care abilities.

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  • Student-Led McMaster Health Forum

    INCLUSIVE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

    Student-Led McMaster Health Forum

    The forum brought together concerned community members, influential thinkers and practitioners to dialogue about mental health at McMaster, providing key stakeholders with recommendations and action items, including the development of a McMaster specific student mental health strategy.

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  • Mental Health In-Reach (MHI): Student Led-Faculty Supported

    INCLUSIVE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

    Mental Health In-Reach (MHI): Student Led-Faculty Supported

    Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology

    The concept of the MHI was conceived by students with the intent of creating an event in which all participants could comfortably discuss mental health concerns that were being experienced in the academic environment. The student leaders sought faculty members to assist in organizing and facilitating discussion focused upon key messages: ‘If you are experiencing stress, you are not alone’; ‘It is okay to talk about mental health’; ‘Let's get students connected to resources’; ‘Maintaining mental health is as important as maintaining physical health’. The integrated approach (students, staff and faculty) to this event was of particular importance to address stigma and provide a culture of caring, validation and support to students around the topic of mental health and well-being. Two Faculty members from Chemistry & Chemistry Biology Department took the lead in supporting the development and coordination of this event. The student leaders and the Faculty, those that organized and those that attended, are McMaster University Mental Health Champions.

  • Aboriginal Mentorship Program (AMP)

    INCLUSIVE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

    Aboriginal Mentorship Program (AMP)

    Aboriginal Students Health Science Office

    Aboriginal Students Health Science Office’s mentorship program provides substantial support and service to First Nations, Inuit and Métis students within Health Sciences, through mentorship, skills based education and overall guidance to Health Science students and aspiring students.

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  • Professionalism Office

    INCLUSIVE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

    Professionalism Office

    Faculty of Health Sciences

    The Professional Office ensures an environment where students, faculty and staff of all FHS schools and educational programs can learn and work in an inclusive environment that fosters respect, diversity and collaboration. Using principles of fairness, the Professionalism Office handles confidential consultations, provides a clear complaints process with informal/formal options for resolution, and guidance with respect to issues related to regulated health professional guidelines, harassment, intimidation, conflict and discrimination and accessibility issues.

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  • Dr. Parmjit Singh

    HEALTH PROMOTION

    Body, Mind and Spirit

    Bachelor of Health Science

    Bridging the gap between academia and experiential learning, Dr. Parmjit Singh (in collaboration with Ms. Margaret Secord, instructor of Physical Activity and IPE; Mr. Hartley Jafine, instructor of Applied Drama; Dr. Jennifer Nash, instructor of Physical Activity and IPE) has designed a mandatory course (HTH SCI 2J03, Health, Attitude and Behavior) for 2nd year BHSc students to explore mindfulness training, yoga and meditation as one of the ways to foster health among students and learn ways to reduce stress and lifestyle-related mental and physical health issues. Additional courses are offered to upper-year students, including a Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction (MBSR) pilot program for 1st year medical students. Dr. Singh is developing a Smartphone App to promote health mental habits among students is currently under development

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  • Instructional Re-Design

    INCLUSIVE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

    Instructional Re-Design

    Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology

    With a focus on improving the quality of instruction in large classrooms, Dr. Locke introduced a flipped classroom design (blended learning using video lectures with homework performed in class with professors and students discussion and solving questions) based upon current research in the area of neuroscience, learning styles and retention. The ‘flipped classroom’ enhances social connections between faculty and students and makes the classroom more accessible for students. Based upon the success of the initial project, similar efforts have been launched to revise the entire undergraduate chemistry program.

  • Student Academic Assistance Program

    PREVENTION

    Student Academic Assistance Program

    Faculty of Engineering

    The McMaster Engineering Society (MES) subsidized tutor service (student pays $5.00 per hour), matching McMaster Engineering students as tutors with McMaster Engineering students who identify as needing extra academic assistance.

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  • Blended Learning Course

    PREVENTION

    Blended Learning Course: 'life, university and a bit of everything'

    Faculty of Social Science

    A foundational course using a blended learning design (on-line material, classroom discussion and experiential learning opportunities rather than a lecture) using a small class size, social atmosphere to enhance social connections and resiliency while teaching critical and reflective thinking, learning about study habits, time management and conflict resolution skills.

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  • Collaborative Testing

    INCLUSIVE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

    Collaborative Testing

    School of Nursing

    Dr. Terry McCurdy, is currently researching the use of collaborative testing to enhance learning and collaboration and reduce stress within the McMaster Nursing Program. This concept has been proven as a worthy method of evaluation in nursing (Sandahl, 2010). The process is based off of Dr. Brett Giley’s methods (Giley and Clarkston, 2014). Further research is being done within the Faculty of Nursing on the retention of learned concepts through collaborative testing project. Dr. McCurdy research at present and next semester involves collaborative testing with immediate feedback.

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  • The Art of Seeing

    PREVENTION

    The Art of Seeing

    Museum of Art, School of Graduate Studies and Linguistics PhD Candidate

    A program designed to make us better observers by developing greater skills in non-verbal communication, observation and reflection. Each session includes both visual literacy training, using works of art, and art creation. Though the program is offered to the Department of Family Medicine, it is applicable to other programs.

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  • Creating an Accessible Campus

    INCLUSIVE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

    Creating an Accessible Campus

    McMaster Institute for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, MIIETL

    McMaster Institute for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (MIIETL) in consultation with Accessibility Services, Human Rights and Education service developed a YouTube video about the importance of creating an accessible campus.

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  • Inclusive Sport Community on Campus

    INCLUSIVE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

    Building an Inclusive Sport Community on Campus

    Athletics and Recreation Department

    Since 2012, McMaster Athletics & Recreation began a pilot project to build inclusion on university campuses across Canada, with a focus on sport and LGBTQ-identified persons. Along with CIS, CAAWS, UBC and U of T, the goal is to open a dialogue and take action to build a more inclusive (sport) community.

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  • Accommodation for a Medical Condition

    INTERVENTION

    Accommodation for a Medical Condition

    Student Code of Conduct and Community Standards Office

    The Student Code of Conduct has been recognized as a promising practice in the ‘Policy Approaches to Post Secondary Student Mental Health (2014) report as our revised policy provides a flexible and supportive response to students whose mental health difficulties have led to a breach of the student code of conduct.

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  • President's Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community

    INCLUSIVE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

    President's Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community

    Provide reports and make recommendations for action to the President, the University Planning Committee (UPC) and other relevant University bodies in order to channel advice through the University structure and thus sustain a University culture that advances equity and inclusion; including the Mental Health Working Group & the Violence Against Women/Gender Based Violence Working Group

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  • Student Wellness Education Lower Lounge

    HEALTH PROMOTION

    Student Wellness Education Lower Lounge

    Student Wellness Centre

    SWELL offers weekly programming to learn more about yourself and your well-being. It’s also a place to relax, grab a tea, read, pick up wellness resources, study and chat with friends.

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  • MacPeers

    PREVENTION

    MacPeers

    Student Wellness Centre

    The Student Wellness Centre’s MacPeers is a cross-faculty peer mentorship program in association with the Student Wellness Centre. Successful upper year students use their insight to help younger students flourish at Mac.

  • Peer Support Line

    PREVENTION

    Peer Support Line

    McMaster Student Union

    Student volunteers are specifically trained as active listeners and have an extensive list of resources and supportive services to refer students, as appropriate. Based upon the service usage since its launch, the program has expanded to provide more hours of operation to support the needs of the community.

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  • Transition Program for 1st Year Students

    PREVENTION

    Transition Program for 1st Year Students

    McMaster Student Union

    Spark is a brand new MSU service designed to bridge the gap between high school and university, providing mentorship and transition programming for first-year students coming to McMaster. The sessions have been designed to ease the shift into university life, and will cover a wide range of topics such as time management, exam writing techniques, and what the city of Hamilton has to offer McMaster students.

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  • Student Ally Program

    PREVENTION

    Student Ally Program

    Student Accommodation Service

    Shifting Gears, a series of Transition based services for students entering McMaster who are registered with SAS, including the Student Ally Program, a program that matches incoming students/1st year students with an upper year student who has had a year or two to get comfortable living and working in a University setting. The mentoring relationship is meant to answer questions and give support throughout the school year, helping students adjust to University life.

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  • Wellness Recovery Action Plan and Peer Mentoring

    PREVENTION

    Wellness Recovery Action Plan and Peer Mentoring

    Mad Student’s Collective

    The Hamilton Mad Students Collective is for students at any school and at any level of study including those on a break from school and planning to return. All members self-identify as having personally experienced madness, mental health disability, mental illness, significant spiritual or emotional distress, and/or the psychiatric/mental health system. Mad Students Collective currently offers the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) an internationally recognized and evidence-based peer-led recovery education program. www.hamiltonmadstudents.ca

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  • Student Services, Indigenous Studies

    PREVENTION, INTERVENTION

    Student Services

    Indigenous Studies

    Indigenous Studies provides a wide range of student services to support students, enhance social connections and wellness, including a Student Counsellor (to provide ongoing assistance and support on a professional and experiential basis. This includes academic, practical and culturally appropriate advising to incoming and current students) and the Elder-in-Residence Program (attends weekly to share cultural knowledge, provide advice, lend a supportive ear and do crafts with students).

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  • COPE & Mood Disorders Canad

    HEALTH PROMOTION

    COPE & Mood Disorders Canada

    McMaster Student’s Union

    A cross-collaborative initiative with Mood Disorders of Canada and McMaster Student Union (COPE), the blue elephant campaign is an on-going anti-stigma initiative on campus. The blue elephant demonstrates a safe place to talk about mental illness without fear of being looked upon differently.

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  • Nature @ McMaster

    PREVENTION

    Nature @ McMaster

    Athletics & Recreation and Public Affairs

    Connecting nature to health, with exposure to natural systems to be shown to have beneficial effects on both stress and depression; the ‘nature’ website has been developed to encourage the McMaster community to connect with the nature that surrounds our campus.

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  • Mindfulness at Mac

    PREVENTION

    Mindfulness at Mac

    Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). MBSR has been demonstrated to be an effective means of treating and managing numerous emotional and health concerns including anxiety and depression, and has had a growing presence on the McMaster campus including: Mindfulness Centre housed in the Athletic and Recreation Department; “Developing Resilience Through Applied Mindfulness” series for faculty development; MBSR groups offered by trained volunteers on campus in various locations including “MBSR on the move” combining the benefits of mindfulness with hiking and being outdoors.

  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) videos

    PREVENTION

    Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) videos

    The development of the MBSR videos is an interdisciplinary effort involving the Student Wellness Centre, Student Accessibility Services, Athletics and Recreation, and the Faculty of Health Science, funded by Forward with Integrity. To date the Natural High relaxation audio files have been requested by numerous individuals and institutions (including the VA Hospital associated with the Harvard Medical School) across the globe and the MBSR videos have also been utilized in the Ontario wide Graduate Professional Skills initiative.

    View MBSR Videos
  • Faculty of Social Science and Student Health Education Centre (SHEC)

    PREVENTION

    Pet Therapy for Stress Reduction

    Faculty of Social Science and Student Health Education Centre (SHEC)

    SHEC & Mac Libraries offer a series of ‘Stress-Buster’ sessions, including pet therapy sessions offered in the library during exam periods.

    The new Social Sciences pilot with the Scout initiative has been created with the intention of connecting students specifically to the Faculty and as a means to academic advising, and also as a research project to investigate the potential benefit of human/animal relationships.

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  • Counselling Triage and same day physician appointments

    INTERVENTION

    Counselling Triage and same day physician appointments

    Student Wellness Centre (SWC)

    In January 2014, a new counselling triage system was implemented, enabling all new students to counselling to be seen by a counsellor Monday thru Friday, without an appointment, for a Drop-In Consultation Time (15 minute appointment with a counsellor)

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  • Worry Warriors: A non-pharmacologic approach to Anxiety

    INTERVENTION

    Worry Warriors: A non-pharmacologic approach to Anxiety

    Student Wellness Centre

    Student Wellness Centre in partnership with Athletics and Recreation and the Department of Kinesiology are conducting a pilot randomized controlled trial (Worry Warriors) to evaluate the effect of an exercise intervention for female sedentary McMaster students with a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). The aim of the research is to create an evidence-based exercise program for students suffering from anxiety.

  • Mental Health Training, Early Indicator System for Students of Concern

    INTERVENTION

    Mental Health Training, Early Indicator System for Students of Concern

    Housing & Conference Services

    The Residence Life team is trained on mental health, including ASSIST suicide prevention training for the Residence Managers. The Community Advisors, student-staff are trained on how to create a wellness focused community and how to identify and respond to a student of concern.

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  • Collaborative Mental Health Care

    INTERVENTION

    Collaborative Mental Health Care

    Student Wellness Centre (SWC)

    SWC has adopted a shared or collaborative care model for the provision of mental health care for students, building on the model originally developed in Hamilton. This means that SWC counsellors, family doctors, and psychiatrists work together (not in silos) to serve the mental health needs of students, through the use of shared medical records, team meetings, and consultations. This approach improves access for all students to comprehensive mental health care.

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  • National College Depression Partnership (NCDP)

    INTERVENTION

    National College Depression Partnership (NCDP)

    Supporting Student Learning by Overcoming Depression

    NCDP is a college health consortium benchmarking healthcare quality via ongoing measurement of treatment outcomes with well validated depression severity measures emphasizing collaborative learning. Effective collaborative depression care relieves suffering, improves readiness to learn, and promotes student retention and success. In 2013, with funding provided from Dr. Phil Wood, Dean of Students, McMaster became the first Canadian university to join the partnership.

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  • McMaster English Language Development Diploma (MELD)

    INCLUSIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

    McMaster English Language Development Diploma (MELD)

    Faculty of Humanities

    A supportive environment for international students whose primary language is not English, focusing on English language development and acculturation, living on campus or off campus.

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  • Leadership Program

    PREVENTION

    Leadership Program

    Faculty of Humanities

    A Peer to Peer mentoring program matching senior undergraduate students from across the university with undergraduate students in Humanities or the MELD program for credit or certificate of attendance, focusing on the development of leadership skills and techniques.

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  • Investigation Science: Opportunities and Experiences SCIENCE 1A03

    PREVENTION

    Investigation Science: Opportunities and Experiences SCIENCE 1A03

    Faculty of Science

    A course designed to give students tools to help their academic progress. Students spend more of their time in small classrooms (25 students) working closely with each other, their TA and some upper-year mentors. Learning through Mini Research Investigation, student mentors are on-hand to offer advice, answer questions and share their own academic experience.

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Community Champions

There are many programs, services and research initiatives amongst various Universities and Colleges across the country and within United States, demonstrating innovation as they strive to enhance the student experience and improve the mental health of transition-aged adults.

  • INCLUSIVE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

    The Centre for Innovation on Campus Mental Health (CICMH)

    Simon Fraser University

    The Centre for Innovation on Campus Mental Health (CICMH) is a partnership project involving Colleges Ontario, the Council of Ontario Universities, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, the College Student Alliance and the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario. They have many helpful resources linked on their site related to student mental health.

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  • INCLUSIVE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

    Well-Being in Learning Environments Tool

    Simon Fraser University

    Positive well-being is a key predictor for learning and student success. In partnership with the SFU Teaching and Learning Centre, SFU Health Promotion is working with instructional staff to create conditions for well-being within learning environments.

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  • INCLUSIVE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

    Policy Approaches to Post-Secondary Mental Health

    Campus Mental Health Partnership Project, Mental Health Innovation Fund

    OCAD University and Ryerson University have committed to working together in collaboration around the strategic development of campus wide mental health initiatives. The project has a special focus on postsecondary mental health policy development, service and system design approaches to student-centered care, and the application of design and visual thinking to campus mental health. This project is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, Mental Health Innovation Fund.

    View PDF
  • INCLUSIVE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

    Universal Design for Learning

    McGill University

    The Universal Design Model enables Higher Ed campuses to meet the inclusion expectations of the millennium learner Universal Design, by focusing on modification to the environment, constitutes a sustainable approach to the management of the diverse needs of learners.

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  • INCLUSIVE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

    Examination Schedule Available During Course Selection

    Guelph University

    At Guelph the student examination schedule enables them to manage their time and stress from academic load. Students are informed of the examination schedule for their courses during the course selection time period, which can support their time management, stress management and course selection.

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  • NTERVENTION

    Framework for Supporting Suicidal Students

    The JED Foundation

    Over the last fifteen years, The Jed Foundation has emerged as the leader in protecting the emotional health of America's 21 million college students. Our proven model and award-winning programs are changing the way campuses, communities and families promote mental health and prevent suicide.

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  • NTERVENTION

    Fresh Start: for students required to withdraw

    Ryerson University

    A Student Success Program designed for students who have been 'Required to Withdraw' from their program of study. It is designed to help students make better and more informed decisions about their studies, and get back on track.

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  • NTERVENTION

    Get Clear: for students on academic probation

    Ryerson University

    Get Clear helps students achieve a clear academic standing. By offering connection to available workshops and resources for students on probation, Get Clear will supplement Faculty-based activities and assist students in finding their way to academic success.

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  • NTERVENTION

    Early Alert Program

    University of British Columbia

    A co-ordinated campus-wide training and response system to identify and support students in distress.

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  • PREVENTION

    The Jed Foundation

    Organization

    The organization collaborates with the public and leaders in higher education, mental health, and research to produce and advance initiatives to promote emotional health and prevent suicide.

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  • PREVENTION

    Suicide Prevention Resource Center

    Promoting a public health approach to suicide prevention

    A best practice registry for evidence based resources, programs, standards and guidelines for suicide prevention.

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  • PREVENTION

    American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

    Foundation

    Provides resources regarding suicide (prevention, coping, research and policies)

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  • HEALTH PROMOTION

    More Than Sad

    Online Aid

    Aid in recognition of depression in both yourself and others through a program called ‘More than Sad

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  • PREVENTION

    Mental Health First Aid

    Mental Health Commission of Canada

    Training improves mental health literacy, and provides skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague.

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  • HEALTH PROMOTION

    National College Health Improvement Program

    Dartmouth

    Public health and quality improvement approach to address high risk drinking amongst colleges and universities, using a plan-do-study-act cycle.

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  • HEALTH PROMOTION

    Art with Impact

    Online Resource

    Art With Impact's mission is to connect people to global issues through art and media and provide opportunities to share their voices, time and talent in meaningful ways.

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  • PREVENTION

    Notice & Respond: Multi-Tiered Education Program

    Cornell University

    Students In Distress: Recognizing and Responding to Students in Distress. Multi-tiered education program for students, staff and faculty recognizing and responding to students in distress.

    View Faculty PDF View Staff PDF
  • PREVENTION

    Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies Survey

    University of Michigan

    The Healthy Minds Study (HMS) is an annual survey-based study examining mental health and related issues (depression, anxiety, substance use) and service utilization among college students.

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  • PREVENTION

    Green Dot Program

    Violence Reduction Program

    This is a violence prevention program, with a primary mission of focused on the reduction of power-based personal violence, while recognizing the inextricable link between effective prevention and effective intervention.

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  • HEALTH PROMOTION

    The Jack Project

    Youth led initiative

    A youth led initiative to re-think the traditional approach of mental health awareness and stigma reduction.

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  • HEALTH PROMOTION

    Student Athletes Mental Health Initiative (SAMHI)

    Online Blog

    SAMHI vision is to support the mental health of student-athletes to help them flourish in and out of competition, across all life domains.

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  • PREVENTION

    Enrollment Service Professionals (ESP's), Personalized Service Model

    University of British Columbia

    Each incoming first-year student is assigned a service specialist who will guide and assist them throughout their entire UBC career.

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  • PREVENTION

    Transition Program: International Students

    University of Toronto, Scarborough: Green Path Program for international students

    12-week academic and ESL program, teaching life skills and orientation to Canadian culture and society.

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