Students, faculty present work at CMHA Conference
November 5, 2019
Dr. Rosemary Vito, faculty in Social Work and students Hailley White and Hannah Hunter, both 4th Year Honours Psychology Majors, presented posters the 2019 Canadian Mental Health Association Conference. The conference, titled “Connection Interrupted: Restoring Mental Health In A Fractured World,” was held September 23 – 24 at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto.
Dr. Vito and White presented a poster, titled “Building Mental Health and Holistic Wellness On-Campus.” King’s mental health and wellness plan, three-tiered framework, core values, practice examples, and recent results from a campus-wide wellness inventory were highlighted.
Dr. Vito explains that, as members of the Mental Health and Wellness Committee at King’s, she and White “developed these presentations to share our collective efforts at King's to support everyone's mental health and wellness. They submitted their poster under the “Mentally Healthy Schools and Campuses stream because there is increasing awareness and attention being given to students' mental health and wellness at post-secondary institutions.”
Hunter and White presented a poster, titled “Best Practices in Assessing and Diagnosing Depression in Men.” The poster showed their research as part of their course requirements for Dr. Marcie Penner’s "Psychology for the Common Good: Creating Research-Based Applications" class.
White says presenting at the conference was “an opportunity for us to introduce our research to an audience that can use it. We submitted our research under the "Embracing Diversity" stream because men are often underrepresented in conversations about mental health, and especially depression.”
She explains “Dr. Penner's class and mentorship that empowered the team (which included White, Hunter, Michael Moes and Derek Boswell) to work on a project that can change people's lives. Her guidance and dedication to her students helped us feel that, even as undergraduates, we can make positive contributions to our field with the knowledge and passion that we already have.”
Both posters received positive reactions at the conference according to the presenters. Vito says she connected with several educators and researchers interested in campus-based mental health services, including those involved with the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s draft national standard on Psychological Health and Safety for post-secondary students. White says she and Hunter have spoken with other researchers and professionals with an interest in men’s mental health and suicide prevention.
“Presenting at the CMHA National Conference was important for helping us disseminate our research to a broader audience,” says both White and Vito.
To learn more about Mental Health and Wellness initiatives at King’s, please visit https://www.kings.uwo.ca/current-students/student-affairs/mental-health-and-wellness-at-king-s/