Mount Al­li­son to host AAU Re­gional Stu­dent Men­tal Health Con­fer­ence to­day

Sackville Tribune - - PUZZLES/COMMUNITY -

what we have ac­com­plished and to plan tar­geted im­prove­ments for the fu­ture. We look for­ward to wel­com­ing par­tic­i­pants and to hear­ing and par­tic­i­pat­ing in the con­fer­ence dis­cus­sions.”

“Mount Al­li­son hosted the AAU’S first re­gional stu­dent men­tal health con­fer­ence in 2012. That gath­er­ing re­ally kick­started greater in­ter-in­sti­tu­tional col­lab­o­ra­tion and shar­ing of best prac­tices among our uni­ver­si­ties on this crit­i­cal is­sue,” said Peter Halpin, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, AAU. “It also marked the be­gin­ning of the AAU’S part­ner­ship with Me­davie Health Foun­da­tion.”

The con­fer­ence will in­clude a panel dis­cus­sion on the cur­rent state of stu­dent men­tal health, as well as pre­sen­ta­tions on stu­dent strengths based re­silience, and the AAU’S stu­dent men­tal health strat­egy.

From Strive to Thrive fol­lows a num­ber of men­tal health-di­rected ini­tia­tives by At­lantic-cana­dian uni­ver­si­ties, in­clud­ing Mount Al­li­son.

In 2012, Mount Al­li­son hosted Mak­ing the Con­nec­tion: De­vel­op­ing a Univer­sity Team Ap­proach to Stu­dent Men­tal Health Care con­fer­ence, pre­sented by the As­so­ci­a­tion of At­lantic Uni­ver­si­ties (AAU) and the Me­davie Health Foun­da­tion. The con­fer­ence was de­signed to cre­ate greater aware­ness and fo­cus on stu­dent men­tal health across the re­gion’s uni­ver­si­ties.

In 2017, the Me­davie Health Foun­da­tion, in part­ner­ship with the New Brunswick Health Re­search Foun­da­tion, an­nounced the ex­pan­sion of Path­way through Men­tal Health Care for Post­sec­ondary Set­tings at Mount Al­li­son. The stu­dent men­tal health ini­tia­tive, led by Dr. Stan Kutcher, is work­ing to en­sure post­sec­ondary stu­dents in New Brunswick will have ac­cess to im­proved men­tal health lit­er­acy and on-cam­pus men­tal health care.

Surgery and anx­i­ety around it will be the top­ics of this year’s Mount A Break­fast Chat, hap­pen­ing Satur­day, Oct. 7.

The event be­gins at 9 a.m. at the Marsh­lands Inn, 55 Bridge St., Sackville. The dis­cus­sion will be held in both English and French with trans­la­tion avail­able.

Mod­er­ated by Rima Azar, Mount Al­li­son Univer­sity as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of psy­chol­ogy and co-di­rec­tor of Navi­care/soin­snavi, the Mount A Break­fast Chat events pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to talk about is­sues in sci­ence and health in an in­for­mal set­ting.

“As hu­man be­ings, we stress when fac­ing the un­known. It is part of life and who we are, and surgery, and the anx­i­ety that can come with it, is no ex­cep­tion,” says Azar. “The Mount A Break­fast Chat event will al­low peo­ple to dis­cuss surgery and re­lated anx­i­ety and fears in a safe set­ting with a gen­eral sur­geon and a re­cent pa­tient.”

Azar will mod­er­ate the event and pro­vide trans­la­tion ser­vices in English and French. Join­ing her this year is Dr. Na­jeeb Kadir, MD, FRCS(C), gen­eral sur­geon at the Cum­ber­land Re­gional Health Cen­tre in Amherst, N.S., and Gayle Key, Sackville com­mu­nity mem­ber and pa­tient with re­cent surgery ex­pe­ri­ence.

Now in its third year, the Mount A Break­fast Chat fo­cuses on a dif­fer­ent health-re­lated is­sue each year. This pub­lic out­reach event brings health­care pro­fes­sion­als as well as com­mu­nity mem­bers to the events, of­fer­ing a unique set­ting for in­di­vid­u­als to dis­cuss spe­cific health and well­ness top­ics.

The Break­fast Chat is open to the pub­lic and ev­ery­one is wel­come to at­tend. Par­tic­i­pants are asked to RSVP by Thurs­day, Oct. 5, at 5 p.m. to Mountabreak­fastchat@gmail. com.

Premier Brian Gal­lant is in Ot­tawa this week to make the case that New Brunswick’s unique de­mo­graphic and in­no­va­tive spirit make it the ideal lo­ca­tion for a healthy se­niors pi­lot fo­cused on how to com­bat chal­lenges pro­duced by an ag­ing de­mo­graphic.

“Rec­og­niz­ing that New Brunswick is home to one of the largest per­cent­ages of peo­ple 65 and older in Canada, our prov­ince is the per­fect lo­ca­tion for a pi­lot project on healthy se­niors,” said Gal­lant. “Find­ing in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions to over­come some of the fis­cal chal­lenges that come with an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion would ben­e­fit New Brunswick and the en­tire coun­try.”

The pi­lot project would aim to de­ter­mine best prac­tices to keep se­niors healthy and in their homes. Gal­lant will have the op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss this when he meets with fed­eral Health Min­is­ter Ginette Petit­pas Tay­lor.

“It is one of the most sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges we face in New Brunswick,” said Gal­lant. “As well, the pi­lot project has the po­ten­tial to spur eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity in the prov­ince in the wake of con­cerns over the vi­a­bil­ity of the En­ergy East pipe­line.”

While in Ot­tawa, Gal­lant will dis­cuss the En­ergy East project and the chal­lenges it is fac­ing. He will also dis­cuss cy­ber­se­cu­rity, eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and job cre­ation dur­ing meet­ings with other fed­eral cabi­net min­is­ters.

Mount Al­li­son pres­i­dent Robert Camp­bell says much has been done to im­prove sup­port in the ar­eas of men­tal health and well­ness, but he adds there is still much more that needs to be done.

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