Project Spotlight: Ontario College of Art and Design

The Mindful Campus Initiative

To enhance students’ coping and resilience skills by incorporating mindfulness training and practice


Art and design student populations at OCADU, NSCAD, ACAD and other art colleges/universities across the country.



  • Link a comprehensive set of mental health promotion materials to a peer support network in order to foster student wellbeing and access to resources.
  • Increase student access to resources
  • Improve student wellbeing


The Mindful Campus Initiative has 5 distinct elements:

  1. Self-paced video lessons teaching students about mindfulness and how to practice it.
  2. In-person and virtual group classes for students
  3. Mindfulness training for staff and new student wellness peer support workers.
  4. Videos to help students practice mindfulness and talk about their health.
  5. Pop-up activities on campus to help students take a breather from their work, socialize, and learn more about mindfulness.



  • Virtual
  • University and College

Implementation sites

  • Toronto, Halifax, Montreal, Calgary, and Surrey


  • There was a recognized need to use a lens specifically catering to the niche of art and design students in order to relieve the stressors particular to this population.


Key protective factors

  • Social and emotional skills
  • Pro-social behaviour
  • Resiliency
  • Coping
  • School connectedness

Key approaches

  • Peer support
  • Mindfulness-centred



Aisha K