‘Mental Health on the Prairies’ conference to welcome Jordin Tootoo and other speakers

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The critical importance of mental health has never been clearer, and the entire community is invited to come together this fall to explore opportunities to promote and support good mental health.

The Mental Health on the Prairies Virtual Conference and Community Conversation will be held October 20th, 21st and 28th, 2021, and is hosted by Brandon University. The meeting will bring together researchers, professionals working in health and social care, educators, community groups, and lived experience experts to have critical conversations about mental health research, services, and experiences.

A man smiles at the camera
Jordin Tootoo will be the keynote speaker at the 2021 Mental Health on the Prairies conference.

Jordin Tootoo, a former Brandon Wheat Kings star and the first Inuk player in history to be drafted by the NHL, will kick off the conference on Oct. 20. Tootoo will talk with community members about the importance of creating a culture of inclusivity to promote mental health. Tickets are available at https://www.brandonu.ca/mhp/.

The conference and community conversation will help share important information about mental health and support services with a wider audience.

“We need to work together as a community to support good mental health now more than ever. That is why this is a community conversation,” said Dr. Rachel Herron, conference co-chair and the Canada Research Chair in Rural and Remote Mental Health at BU.

The event planning team also includes community co-chair, Chris Bromley, Director of Mental Health Services, as well as educators and researchers from education, nursing, and science at Brandon University.

The conference features a lived experience panel and rapid research presentations on topics such as student mental health, mental health in everyday places, healthcare and caregiving, and therapeutic approaches. Leading researchers on mental health from across Canada will share their expertise at the event as well. This includes a two-hour workshop on “Nurturing Resilience through a Strong Community” by Dr. Michael Ungar, a Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience at Dalhousie University.

The meeting will conclude with a World Café “lunch” where participants will discuss community challenges and solutions to mental health promotion and maintenance on the Prairies.

Ultimately, the event aims to draw together a broad range of individuals from academic experts across the country to share knowledge and engage in critical conversations about community-based mental health research and solutions, to engaged community members who want to share their thoughts and experiences around mental health.

“This conference and conversation is a priority for us, and an important objective of our Centre for the Critical Studies of Rural Mental Health,” said Dr. Linda Ross, Acting Dean of Health Studies at BU. “I look forward to much ongoing dialogue and support for mental health issues, policies and action coming as a result of this event.”

Mental Health on the Prairies is open to everyone. Anyone interested in participating in the Mental Health on the Prairies Conference and Community Conversation should go to the conference website for more information: https://www.brandonu.ca/mhp/.



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