The KDE Hub Annual Symposium is an opportunity to gather, to learn, to share, and work together for mental health promotion in Canada. These gatherings:
  1. Create supportive connections within and between the project communities that the Hub supports and those with shared interests
  2. Increase knowledge and build skills in selective areas that are relevant and timely for mental health promotion and mental illness prevention
  3. Inspire a shared vision for how learnings from projects can contribute to mental health promotion in Canada
Annual Symposium 2024
Annual Symposium 2023Leveraging Momentum for Mental Health Promotion

We are seeing many shifts in approaches to mental health. From a connotation of illness to one of wellbeing and potential; from colonial systems to perspectives that honour and privilege cultural safety and wisdom; from a downstream fixation on ‘individuals in need’ to a broadened consideration of upstream systems and equity. These shifts align with the principles and goals of mental health promotion, which focus on wellness, influencing determinants of health, centering on strengths, and promoting equity. How can the momentum created by these shifts be leveraged to maximize efforts for positive population mental health? The KDE Hub’s 2023 Annual Symposium explored windows of opportunity, leveraging change, and advancing mental health promotion in Canada.

Gathering for momentum at the KDE Hub 2023 Annual Symposium

The KDE Hub supports federally funded projects across Canada that aspire to mental health promotion that is evidence-informed, sensitive to diverse contexts and cultures, equitable and sustainable. Project teams and those with mental health promotion interests were invited to come together for two days of learning, reflecting and connecting. This event aimed to:

  • Increase awareness of and the skills to identify windows of opportunity for improving population mental health
  • Equip participants to identify potential levers of change for action at local, provincial and national levels
  • Create connections within and between those working in various sectors including practice, research and government

Annual Symposium 2022

A Growth Phase for Mental Health Promotion in Canada: Helping it Flourish

Why a growth phase?

The COVID-19 pandemic reinforced and heightened the need for mental health promotion. Mental health is now part of everyday conversations in almost every household. People are hearing, thinking and talking about equity, including ways that identities, cultures, generations and places are systematically excluded, left behind or negatively impacted by our household, neighbourhood, organizational, community and societal norms and practices. Higher needs and greater awareness of them has led to more investment in mental health promotion, especially for those most impacted by the pandemic. Existing investments can also extend their impact, including the Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund (MHP-IF) as it enters a second 4-year phase in 2022.

What does it mean to flourish?

To thrive. To grow and develop successfully. To play to strengths. To connect with like-minded people who have diverse experiences that can nourish your own. To learn with and from each other. To co-design how to spread mental health promotion benefits to all peoples and places in Canada, especially those most in need.

How can we help mental health promotion flourish?

Together – if your work is positioned as mental health promotion or influences determinants of mental health through food systems, community safety, homelessness, education, wellbeing or otherwise. Making the most of a growth phase for mental health promotion in Canada will take expanding awareness of what’s happening in all parts of the country and by whom, strengthening connections between people and resources that can support their work, and sharpening skills for learning as we go to inform ongoing improvements and choices about what to scale, with whom, where and how.

The KDE Hub Annual Symposium 2022 is happening in the early stages of a growth phase for mental health promotion in Canada. The event aims to:

  • Grow awareness of mental health promotion innovations across the country. This includes the work of the Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund, and initiatives that address determinants of mental health while leading with other issues.

  • Grow connections with resources that can advance mental health promotion efforts. This includes gaining access to people, organizations, knowledge, and practical tools that can support your work.

  • Grow skills for learning about promising approaches for advancing mental health promotion. This includes co-designing priorities for what to learn and exploring ways of learning that are suitable for different worldviews, populations, and settings.

Event date: February 16-18, 2022

Highlights from the 2022 Symposium