Mental Health Symposium in the Past

Innovate youBC Culture: 2014 Mental Health Symposium

Date: Saturday, February 1st, 2014


Change the culture of unhealthy academic competition at UBC by building community and promoting intercultural understanding.


  1. Target broad UBC population, which includes people who are not yet part of the mental health conversation and people who are already involved. Engagement + Empowerment of Diverse Demographics = Sustainable Involvement/Change.

  2. Change beliefs surrounding mental health and increase mental health literacy.

  3. Provide opportunities and resources for attendants to take initiative.

  4. Discuss the value of community and intercultural mindset to foster a culture of collaboration, thus addressing feelings of isolation.


A couple months ago, over 80 students, staff, faculty and community members gathered on a cloudy Saturday morning to discuss how to innovate campus culture, specifically around mental health. The key themes that we explored were intercultural understanding, reconstructing the culture of competition, building community and their connection with mental well-being. We looked at what our campus is like currently, identified strengths and space for improvement. The exciting part of this year’s Symposium was the opportunity to connect with mentors, like-minded peers, take action and apply for initiative funding that was made available by our generous sponsors.

The day started with a passionate and engaging opening address by Rabbi Dr. Robert Daum which challenged us to consider how our diversity can help us be stronger as a community and how we each have inherent value.


Dr. Daum gives the opening address.

The follow-up panel included diverse members of UBC: Kiran Mahal, Dr. Wendy Frisby, Dr. Michael Krausz, and Dr. Hugh Brock. After an opportunity to explore issues in-depth, and learn new skills, participants engaged in dialogue, idea generation and action planning.








Panel members answer crowd-sourced questions that were collected leading up to the event. From left to right: Kiran Mahal, Dr. Michael Krausz, Dr. Hugh Brock, and Dr. Wendy Frisby

It was an amazing day of thought, reflection, learning, unlearning and re-learning. Filled with passion and drive, along with the support from one another, our community came together to make change, and change… never stops.

The invitation to INNOVATE our campus culture was taken up by participants as they discussed and presented ideas for new initiatives to support campus well-being. We are excited to announce the creation of a fund to support the Innovate youBC Culture Projects that were proposed at, or are related to the themes of the 2014 Mental Health Symposium.


Student and faculty in the middle of a great conversation



The UBC Thunderbirds dance team gives a lively performance during lunch break.


Patty Hambler opens up the ‘marketplace’ for delegates to present their ideas and projects during Open Space.


Shawn Shabaquay (left), President of the Indigenous Students Association at UBC, with Alden Habacon (right), Director of Intercultural Understanding Strategy Development at UBC, discussing mental health and future initiatives.

2013 Mental Health Symposium – Last year’s event

Date: Saturday, January 26th, 2013


  • Networking between students interested or already involved in mental health initiatives on campus
  • Dialogue about mental health at UBC
  • Anti-stigma education/awareness
  • Sharing of Mental Health Needs Assessment results
  • Focus on action planning: what can be done in the short and long term


Students, faculty, staff, parents, and community members came together at this symposium to actively discuss and action plan for the improvement of issues surrounding mental health. The 2013 MHS garnered the largest attendance yet in its history, indicating a larger acknowledgement of mental health across many demographics.

Please enjoy some photos taken at the MHS last year.



The morning is bustling with people eager to learn about and discuss mental health.


Kiran Mahal making a powerful speech about student mental health on campus.



Kim, Anne and Connie present the findings of the Mental Health Needs Assessment.



‘Splatter art’ paintings created by co-researchers of the Mental Health Needs Assessment as a form of coping with stress.



Studets, faculty, staff, and parents engaging and discussing topics about mental health.



A flow chart drawn on the table about the discussion (i.e. about academic policy) being had with others at the table.


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