Hub Update: January 2022 edition 
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Flourishing in 2022 
This is our first Hub Update in the new year and the last one before the Hub’s 2nd annual symposium in February. Flourishing relates to both; as a wish to all for 2022, and as the central theme of the upcoming event. When it comes to mental health, flourishing is where we want everyone to be. The opposite is languishing; an experience that has unfortunately become more common throughout the pandemic. For the mental health of individuals to flourish, the conditions that promote mental health must also flourish. What can we do as individuals, as a growing community to help mental health promotion flourish? Please consider joining us February 16-18th to explore that question and more. Read on for a few program highlights.
From the Hub
Recent highlights

New Hub video: What is mental health promotion?    
Helping mental health promotion flourish will take many people, with many perspectives and from many places – all pulling in the same direction. The strength of this pull will depend on the strength of our shared understanding of mental health promotion. To support this shared understanding, the KDE Hub developed a 5-minute video and a related blog post. We invite you to view the video and share it with others who may be interested in mental health promotion. 
Hub December webinar: Using the Indigenous Inclusion Lens 
The Hub’s Indigenous Inclusion Lens was developed to foster conversations, planning and actions toward inclusion of Indigenous voices and knowledge in ways that are respectful and culturally appropriate. The lead author of the Lens, Dr. Kathy Absolon, professor in Indigenous wholistic knowledge at Wilfrid Laurier University led a workshop for the Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund (MHP-IF) community and invited guests. The Event Brief provides more context on the need for the Lens and includes highlights of small group discussions around its four aspects (Spirit, Heart, Mind, Physical). 
Dr. Kathy Absolon led a workshop on using the Hub's Indigenous Inclusion Lens at the
December 10, 2021 webinar.
Looking Ahead

2022 Annual Symposium program now available 

The 2022 Annual Symposium is only a few weeks away! We are thankful for the contributions of many in shaping the program, encouraged by the registrations, excited by the roster of speakers, and eager to try out a few new ideas for discussion and interaction during live sessions. Access more details about the event including the program and a link to register on the Hub’s Annual Symposium web page. Read on for a sneak peek into just a few of the sessions.
Annual Symposium Program Highlights
  • MHP-IF Project gallery space and roundtable discussions 
  • Keynote presentations from Dr. Carol Hopkins and Dr. Kwame McKenzie
  • Interactive Thought Exchange activity
  • Evidence brief on emerging findings from phase 1 of the MHP-IF
  • ....and more!
Gallery walk and roundtables with MHP-IF projects  
The opening session will provide a first opportunity to interact directly with the projects and people of the Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund (MHP-IF). In addition to small group connections, the event platform will include a gallery space for each of the 20 diverse projects. In that space, you will find infographics, documents and videos for a multi-media tour of mental health promotion in action. 

Two leading keynote speakers 
Through pre-recorded presentations, Drs. Carol Hopkins and Kwame McKenzie will offer ideas for how to help mental health promotion flourish in Canada. This is quite a pair; both leading thinkers and actors in the field of mental health, both advisors to ministers at provincial/territorial and federal levels, both Canadian delegates to the United Nations. Dr. Hopkins is the executive director of the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation and is of the Lenape Nation at Moraviantown, Ontario. Carol’s remarks will draw on leading contributions to national policy frameworks for Indigenous wellness and substance use and help us consider mental health promotion with two-eyed seeing. Dr. McKenzie is CEO of the Wellesley Institute, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and Director of Health Equity at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. His perspective will emphasize social causes of illness and the development of effective, equitable social policy and health systems, including in response to the pandemic.  

Pictured: Dr. Hopkins (left), Dr. McKenzie (right).
Dialogue on actions for helping Mental Health Promotion flourish in Canada  

On day two, the keynote speakers will be joined by three panelists: 

  • Dr. Claire Betker, Scientific Director, National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health 
  • Pascale Mantoura, Conseillère scientifique séniore, santé mentale, Institut national de santé publique du Québec 
  • Dr. Brenda Restoule, Chief Executive Officer, First Peoples Wellness Circle

Guided by participant questions, dialogue will explore actions most needed for advancing mental health promotion that aspires to the Hub vision, especially mental health promotion that is culturally safe and equitable.  

Dialogue on making best use of new knowledge from the MHP-IF,
Phase 1  

Knowledge development facilitated by the KDE Hub is primarily across the MHP-IF projects. This year’s session on findings from the MHP-IF adds another year of project experiences to findings that were shared last year. Insights include how projects continue to adapt to evolving pandemic conditions. How can this new knowledge be used to its greatest potential? This is a question we will put to panelists with rich and varied experience in linking knowledge to action: 

  • Dr. Christine Chambers, Professor, Dalhousie University; Scientific Director, Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR IHDCYH) 
  • Stephanie Priest, Executive Director, Mental Health and Wellbeing Division, Centre for Health Promotion, Public Health Agency of Canada 
  • Valerie Salt, Senior Research & Policy Associate, PolicyWise for Children & Families 
  • Louis Sorin, CEO and President, End Homelessness Winnipeg (Retired)
Cross-project findings from Phase 1 of the MHP-IF will be shared at the symposium.
From the field

Based on commitments to better understand the growing field of mental health promotion and to connect those within it, the KDE Hub regularly seeks and shares timely resources, events and research. Here are a few items that caught our attention recently: 

  • The Chief Public Health Officer’s report for 2021 was published in December. Entitled, A Vision to Transform Canada’s Public Health System, it recognizes the importance of upstream actions for (mental) health and identifying, scaling and spreading effective local interventions (see page 83).  

  • Also published last month, the U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on Protecting Youth Mental Health outlines the pandemic’s impacts on the mental health of youth and families. While written for the American context, it provides information of potential interest in Canada, including recommendations for individuals, families, community organizations, technology companies, governments, and others to improve the mental health of children, adolescents and young adults.  

  • The recent 10th Global Conference on Health Promotion has the Geneva Charter for Well-being as one of its outcomes. 

  • PrevNet hosted a webinar on Indigenous Determinants of Health featuring Shelley Cardinal, Director, Indigenous Relations, Canadian Red Cross. She highlights a circle of wellness, rooted in First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures and ways of being.   

  • From the Young Canadians Roundtable on Health and The Sandbox Project, In Their Own Words is a collection of youth works giving voice to their experiences of the pandemic. 

  • The National Centre for Research Methods in the UK has published a guide on adapting in-situ research methodologies during the COVID-19 pandemic. In-situ methodologies are multi-sensory qualitative approaches immersed in place and time.  

Let us know if there are new resources, events or research you would like us to share. We love to hear from you:

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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