Hub Update: November 2021 edition 
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Gratitude and Mental Health Promotion
It may seem like this theme is dated since Canada’s Thanksgiving holiday was last month. But in other parts of the world a similar holiday goes until the end of November. Holidays aside, along with any narratives about their origins, we felt nudged to spotlight the importance of gratitude in mental health promotion in this Update. Gratitude emphasizes positive mental health and well-being. It influences mental health. It is strengths-based and inclusive. These are all features of mental health promotion. An evidence-based video concisely explains the role of gratitude on wellbeing. The Hub gives thanks to Iman Hassan, PhD candidate at University of Ottawa, whose research focuses on gratitude interventions, for sharing this video with us.
The connection between gratitude and wellbeing is explored in this video from Kurzgesagt.
From the Hub
Recent highlights

Hub and projects co-lead a session at the Canadian Public Health Association Conference
The Hub looks for ways to collaborate with Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund (MHP-IF) projects and to add value to the field of mental health promotion. As described in a recent blog, co-presenting at conferences is one tangible way that we do just that. The Hub recently co-led a session with members from two MHP-IF projects at the Canadian Public Health Association conference (October 6-8th 2021). Joey Jalal from Celebrating Culture, Celebrating Life and Lisa Gamblin from The Cedar Path, along with members from the Hub Secretariat, shared MHP-IF project experiences of pandemic adaptations. Thank you again Joey and Lisa for joining us in this event. An Event Brief is available.
The Hub recently co-led a session with members from two MHP-IF projects at the Canadian Public Health Association conference (Top row: Barb Riley and Lisa Gamblin; Bottom row: Renata Valaitis and Joey Jalal).
Hub October webinar: KDE Hub 2022 Annual Symposium – Hopes, dreams and details!
Applying participatory principles to our work is one of the Hub’s core commitments. That means that as planning for the Hub’s second annual symposium gets underway, so does the Hub’s engagement of perspectives from the MHP-IF community and beyond, starting with MHP-IF project teams. The Hub’s October webinar invited MHP-IF project teams to share their biggest hopes, ideas and preferences for the symposium. We heard you: the growth theme resonates and privilege interaction and discussion over presentations. An Event Brief is available.
Profiling all 20 MHP-IF projects on social media  
One of the most enduring interests expressed by those from within and outside of the MHP-IF community is a desire to learn more about, learn from, and connect with the 20 projects funded through the MHP-IF. Message received! Social media is one way that we share information about MHP-IF projects – the full set of project infographics was showcased in a recent series of Hub Tweets. Consider those teasers. The Hub’s upcoming annual symposium will be a chance to learn more about the MHP-IF projects in real-time and share your experiences too.
Blog post: From surge to steady - A few new resources and what to expect this Fall
Last month, the Hub completed a surge of activity focused on the release of a set of 10 tools intended to support the work of MHP-IF projects and others with similar interests. What’s next for the Hub? As described in this blog post, supports will continue to roll out at a steady pace and flow, and will include expanding our list of annotated resources. Last month, new resources were added within the categories of ‘mental health promotion context’ and ‘planning for scale up’, with more to come over the next few months.
Find resources relevant to mental health promotion on our Annotated Resources page.
Extending MHP-IF project stories – Now in the field
And we’re off! A second round of conversations with team members from all 20 MHP-IF projects is underway. These conversations will pick up where they left off about a year ago (relatively early in the pandemic) and explore how project pandemic adaptations have continued to develop as well as overall lessons from phase 1 of the MHP-IF. A huge thank you to MHP-IF project teams for their willingness to share their evolving stories and insights. The findings from Hub-led studies across projects complement projects’ individual stories

Looking ahead

Hub November webinar: Project roundtables on youth engagement
Engaging youth is central to mental health promotion and to the work of many MHP-IF projects. Youth engagement, and connecting with project participants more generally, is also a moving target with virtual, in-person and hybrid options. The Hub’s November webinar will be a chance for MHP-IF projects to gather around virtual roundtables and share their experiences – the feats and the flops – about youth engagement. Thanks in advance to project teams for your willingness to learn with and from each other. See you on November 10th.
Hub annual symposium 2022 – Helping mental health promotion flourish in Canada
With the Hub’s second annual symposium a mere three months away, planning is ramping up. Feedback has been positive on the event being open to all and on the theme – a growth phase for mental health promotion and how we can help it flourish. Why is a growth phase important? What does it mean to flourish? How can we help mental health promotion flourish? These questions and more will be explored at the symposium. Please check often for event updates at our annual symposium page. A new feature this year will be some pre-event online dialogue – more to come on this soon.
The Hub team is growing too!
Keeping with the themes of growth and gratitude, we are pleased to welcome two new members to the Hub’s Secretariat at Renison University College, University of Waterloo. Carol Murray, Operations Manager, and Marissa Lair, Events and Communications Coordinator, joined us this past month. We’re grateful to them for choosing to apply their unique skills and experiences to the work of the Hub and grateful to you for welcoming them to the community.
Carol Murray (left) and Marissa Lair (right) recently joined the KDE Hub team.
From the field
Another thing to be grateful for is the consistent growth of resources, events and research from the field of child and youth mental health promotion. Here are a few items that may be of interest:
  • The Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health hosts an annual video competition to present evidence-based messages. Submissions to the 2021 competition include several on topics relevant to child and youth mental health promotion such as well-being of Refugee mothers during the pandemic, Canadian children and youth’s play during the pandemic, impacts of prenatal stress on infant and child development, and development of resilience in children and youth.
  • The government of Quebec released a report titled La santé mentale positive : étude du concept et de sa mesure (in French only) that describes concepts and measures relevant to positive mental health
  • UNICEF’s flagship report focuses on risks and protective factors and delves into the social determinants that shape mental health and well-being.
  • A recent Frayme video describes how First Nations, Inuit, and Métis, children and youth helped develop a tool that is being used to collect data needed to promote wellbeing in a range of Indigenous communities across Canada.
  • The Mental Health Commission of Canada’s new National Standard of Canada for Mental-Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students provides a set of flexible, voluntary guidelines to help post-secondary institutions support the mental-health and well-being of their students.
  • An evidence summary on the mental health impacts of screen use during the pandemic from the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health.
Let us know if there are new resources, events or research you would like us to share. We love to hear from you:
Spotlight: Hub Journal Entries on Gratitude

The video shared in this Update’s greeting ends with one of the most extensively researched approaches to fostering gratitude – the practice of journaling. Normally done by individuals, the practice can also be used by organizations. Here are a few entries from the Hub team as we adopt this practice:
  • We appreciate learning about and connecting with a growing number of talented people who are passionate about their work in mental health promotion.
  • The Hub team is grateful for the chance to contribute perspectives, knowledge, skills, and energy to help grow the field of mental health promotion.
  • We’re thankful to our MHP-IF partners – Public Health Agency of Canada and funded projects – for all intentions and efforts to bring out the best in each other and the work we do.
  • Ditto the point above for all of you!
Sincere thanks and until the next time.
The Knowledge Development and Exchange Hub is dedicated to advancing child and youth mental health promotion in Canada. Our niche is supporting projects funded through the Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund and others with shared interests. Learn more at
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