The Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health’s (CICMH) Annual Conference is an opportunity for stakeholders in post-secondary mental health across Ontario and Canada to come together, connect over their shared goals, and learn new strategies to bring back to their practice. Our event represents the heart of CICMH’s work: bringing together diverse stakeholders among Ontario’s university and college staff, students, community organizations, and campus champions so they can collaborate on, and ultimately innovate solutions to, campus mental health problems. This year the conference will be held virtually on November 1st, 2023. In the past, this event has attracted over 600 participants, 20 exhibitors, and a wide variety of speakers from across the post-secondary mental health sector, offering workshops on best and emerging practices.

Conference Theme: Dialogue to Action

Dialogue is a critical step in the process of shaping change; it allows us to share ideas, work through logic, and problem-solve, together. However, this process brings us nowhere without being followed by action. This year’s conference theme, Dialogue to Action, invites us to engage in that process in its entirety. Not just talking about decolonization but doing it. Not just discussing the whole campus approach but actively participating in it. Throughout the conference, attendees will be encouraged to take initiative, put in the effort, and make moves to bring our collective vision of a healthy campus to reality. In working with this theme, each conference session will feature a call-to-action for participants to consider and join. Through this lens, we will also be exploring topics that embed and examine the social determinants of health.

To facilitate this discussion, we will delve into the five following streams:

1. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
2. Changing Systems
3. Indigenous Student Engagement and Wellness
4. Student Engagement
5. Substance Use & Harm Reduction

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

There is a growing movement for institutional leadership and campus frameworks to implement equity, diversity and inclusivity-related policies to ensure equitable access to services and programming on campus. Province-wide, there has been a focus on understanding the unique needs of students based on the various intersections of their identity such as culture, race, religion, sexual orientation, and physical or mental health disability. Presentations in this stream will address equity-driven and student-driven programming.

Changing Systems

Presentations in this stream will focus on the overarching systems of mental health provision on campus and how students and staff are challenging and changing those systems through anti-oppressive practices. Presentations in this stream will speak to systemic barriers within this work and strategies for shifting the structure and organization of mental health services on campus through the application of EDI (Equity, Diversity & Inclusion) principles. This includes work around the National Standard for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students.

Indigenous Student Engagement and Wellness

Presentations in this stream will centre around Indigenous world views grounded in holistic understandings and the value of interrelatedness as a model for wellness and engagement of Indigenous student populations. Areas of focus may include: embracing Indigenous worldviews in campus and learning environments; Indigenous pedagogy and educational interconnections.

Student Engagement

Facilitating connection and belonging among students is vital to counter the increasing experiences of isolation and loneliness in the virtual world. The recent shift away from being physically on campus has highlighted a need to devise innovative strategies to allow students to engage with their institution and their peers in a meaningful way. Presentations in this stream will centre around innovative initiatives that: create meaningful programming outside of the classroom environment for students; utilize peer-to-peer models to create meaningful relationships among students; emphasize communal spaces for students to address mental health and wellness topics; and feature co-design with students.

Substance Use & Harm Reduction

There has been an increase in substance-related harms throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Presentations in this stream will focus on the use and misuse of drugs, alcohol and other substances by student populations. Example topics might include: trends and patterns in student substance use during the pandemic; harm reduction programming on campus and strategies for reducing substance-related harms.

Submissions should provide a brief explanation of the presentation in 150 words or less.

Abstracts will be accepted until May 12, 2023, at 5pm.

Presenters will be notified if their abstracts have been accepted by the end of May.

Honoraria, accommodation and travel reimbursement are not available for presenters. A discounted registration rate for the conference will be available to accepted presenters.

About You

Please provide presenter names as you would like them to appear in the conference program:

Presenter Name(s):

Is there an alternate contact person (example: an assistant)?


Preferred Presentation

Please note: Based on the number of presentations we receive, we may have to combine presentations. If your abstract is not accepted, you may have an opportunity to present a poster presentation.

Your preferred presentation duration is:

Conference Streams

Please note: The presenter may submit multiple abstracts for the conference. One submission for each presentation. If your abstract is accepted, we will reach out for your full abstract and your AV/Tech needs.

Please choose the stream that your that relates to your submission

Your Submission

The presenter may submit multiple abstracts for the conference. One submission for each presentation. If your abstract is accepted, we will reach out for your full abstract and your AV/Tech needs.

Title of your Presentation: (no more than 10 words) (Required)

Description of your workshop/presentation/poster: (150 words or less) Required

Please provide 1-3 learning outcomes for your workshop/presentation/poster

How does your submission relate to your selected stream? (150 words or less)

It is important for all sessions to be interactive and encourage participation among attendees. Please explain how your session will be interactive, giving concrete examples (150 words or less)

What is your call to actions for participants?

Who is your intended audience?
(Select all that apply)
Front-line staff (e.g. counsellors, clinicians, case managers, advisors)
Student leaders
Peer mentors
Administration (e.g. vice-president of student services, counseling centre directors, program managers)
Health and well-being staff (e.g.: health promotion specialist, accommodations specialist, athletics and recreation staff)
Community mental health staff

Please provide a short biography of each presenter (50-60 words or less) with the first presenter bio below and then using the presenter options below for additional presenters.

Presenter #2

Presenter #3

Presenter #4


All submissions will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  •  Relevance to the conference theme

  •  Clarity and coherence of submission

  •  Relevance and utility to participants

  •  Evidence that the submission will encourage interaction with conference participants

  •  It is encouraged that presenters include a lived experience component or perspective where relevant.


  •  Presenters must register for the conference. Honoraria and travel reimbursement are not available.

  •  Presenters will be asked to submit an electronic version of their presentation two weeks prior to the conference.

  • Recordings of the presentations will be made available to conference delegates following the conference

  •  Presenters are encouraged to provide responsible for providing written material to conference participants

  •  Presenters will be provided with a designated time to present by the conference committee.

  •  Accepted presenters will be provided with essential training on the use of the conference platform. This will involve a live training session prior to the conference, that will take approximately 1-hour.