Opening Session

The opening session welcomed participants to the Annual Symposium and focused on the people and places of the Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund (MHP-IF). Words of welcome were offered on behalf of the KDE Hub as the symposium host; the Public Health Agency of Canada as the funder of the MHP-IF; Renison University College as the Hub’s home. A networking activity built familiarity and connections and a video montage celebrated the people and places of the MHP-IF community.

Key messages

    • The MHP-IF is part of an open, evolving community that is passionate about promoting the mental health of all young Canadians
    • With context as a unifying theme, the symposium will focus on the hallmarks of the MHP-IF: upstream approaches, promoting health equity, scaling up, cultural safety, and knowledge development and exchange
    • The symposium is an opportunity for immersion; to gather for a concentrated time, in a safe environment, with a shared purpose
    • While meeting on a virtual platform, we gratefully acknowledge the ancestral and unceded territory of all the Inuit, Métis, and First Nations people who call this land home, and commit to move forward in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration


    • Barb Riley, Scientific Director, KDE Hub
    • Stephanie Priest, Executive Director of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Division, Centre for Health Promotion, Public Health Agency of Canada
    • Wendy Fletcher, President and Vice-Chancellor of Renison University College, University of Waterloo

In the words of the speakers

The theme of context was chosen given how relevant and timely it is now, at this point in the MHP-IF, at this point in the development of child and youth mental health promotion in Canada, and at this point in the global context within which we’re all operating. Together, we will explore the people and places of the MHP-IF; the positioning or niche of the MHP-IF; the influence of the pandemic; and the potential of all of our efforts to advance child and youth health promotion in Canada. Barb Riley

We shine a light on inequities so that we can take collective action. The process that you are undertaking to support families, children, youth and to influence the broader determinants of health is part of that and can create long-term and lasting impacts for health promotion and health equity. Stephanie Priest

We have gathered because we have decided what we will do with the time that has been given, we have decided to pour our life energy to empowering local communities and contexts, to inspire and sustain resilience, wellness, the possibility of wellness for our young. Wendy Fletcher

Resources related to this session


January 25, 2021