Getting practical: Actions for helping Mental Health Promotion flourish in Canada

This session was about getting practical with actions that are most needed to help mental health promotion flourish in Canada. Actions considered and built on keynote, panel, and participant perspectives. All session participants were invited to share their initial ideas anonymously using an interactive online platform and rated actions suggested by others (see Resources below for a summary of findings). Following the online exercise in plenary, participants chose a small group for deeper discussion in an area of keen interest (namely, knowledge development and exchange, local programming, funding programs, strategic communications, advocacy and policy). A short return to plenary consolidated the set of day 2 sessions on actions to help mental health promotion flourish.

Key messages

    • Helping mental health promotion flourish requires shifts in mental models about mental health and wellness. Examples of relevant actions include appointing influential mental health promotion ‘champions’, de-stigmatizing mental health, and building a shared understanding of mental health promotion.
    • Mental health promotion must be built around inclusiveness and diversity. Supportive actions include using participatory approaches in all facets of mental health promotion, increasing cultural awareness and sensitivity across sectors, and amplifying voices of groups that are at risk of being marginalized.
    • Mental health promotion benefits from effective and equitable knowledge development and exchange. Key actions include addressing colonial or narrow understandings of ‘quality evidence’, providing capacity support for community-led research and evaluation, investing in mechanisms for knowledge exchange between those with shared interests and goals.

Breakout room facilitators

    • Shannon Bradley Dexter, Sarah-Michelle DeSchiffart, Alexandra Fortier, Leslie Payne, Andrea Simpson

Resources related to this session

February 17, 2022