students play an integral role Christine CleverleyAs a research participant as well as a research design partner, I conduct research on student and youth mental health.
She said the students are now helping form one of the first global partnerships in student mental health research, led by the University of Toronto.
The Inlight Student Mental Research Initiative, chaired by Cleverley, aims to enhance student mental health and wellness through direct collaboration with students, institutions and community partners through the creation of innovative and scalable research. Gaps in the field of student mental health research.
“Student mental health research in Canada is still in its infancy and is a global challenge,” says Cleverley, a clinical scientist for child, youth and family mental health and professional practice at the Margaret and Wallace McCain Center. said Mr. She holds a PhD in Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and is also an Associate Professor at the University of T Lawrence S. Bloomberg School of Nursing.
She received the prestigious Connaught Global Challenge Award from T University in 2021, as well as the university’s first Connaught Global Research Impact Program Award (C-GRIP) to support international research mobility.
“What is interesting about the Inlight and Connaught funding we have received is that it allows us to create an international network of researchers who share their expertise to advance the science of student mental health.”
InLight has partnered with international institutions such as King’s College London, University of Sydney, and National Taiwan University to promote Global Speaker Series and Global Consensus Conferences to promote high-quality, impactful learning that supports the advancement of student mental health. We have, first and foremost, involved our students in our research. campus.
The purpose of this first phase of the funded project is to establish links with global partners and lay the foundation for broader global research collaboration.
Rosina SomaniA member of the Global Student Working Group supporting the project, said the opportunities presented by Phase 1, including partnering with international researchers, have had a significant impact.
“As an international student, I have a unique perspective on the importance of accessible mental health services and understand the challenges myself and my peers have faced through the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Somani. . The Lawrence S. Bloomberg School of Nursing pursues a joint specialization in global health. “Being able to share this knowledge with our international partners to develop a shared language and resource on mental health for students is critical.”
The Global Student Working Group, with the assistance of the Project Engagement Lead, Emma McCann, has contributed to the development of the program’s successful Global Health Speaker Series. Virtual webinars share evidence-based knowledge and strategies on specific topics that affect students, including classroom stressors, microaggressions, self-harm, and self-harm. The first of these events attracted researchers from over 25 countries.
Somani, along with members of other partner universities’ Global Student Working Groups, have played an integral role in the co-design of a global consensus study to identify priorities for student mental health research.
Emma McCann (left) and Rozina Somani are members of the Global Student Working Group for the Inlight project (photo from T College of Nursing)
“Definitions vary from country to country, so developing a common understanding of what constitutes mental health for students is very important,” says Somani. “Our continued focus on shared engagement will help us build our foundation as researchers.”
The second phase of the Connaught-funded project will focus on enhancing international research exchanges with students from partner universities, enabling them to share their expertise on an international scale. increase. The exchange program is expected to start in spring 2023.
McCann describes the underlying principle of Phase 2 as recognizing that students are part of a shared global community.
“A lot of the challenges we have in supporting mental health are shared challenges,” says McCann. “Recognizing that students belong to a global community means they also need shared solutions.”
In anticipation of these international exchange opportunities, McCann and the Student Working Group have also jointly designed an e-module to serve as an important preparation for international research exchange opportunities. The module features components that help users better understand mental health on campus and is designed in collaboration with members of all partner universities. The e-modules are open to staff, faculty, and researchers who want to better understand the common challenges facing students and their mental health.
“The beauty of this project is its true global reach,” says Somani. “By building a foundation of knowledge and involving multiple collaborators, including students from different disciplines, you can have a truly global perspective.”
Cleverley said the new international partnership will have a significant impact in expanding current efforts on student mental health, transforming the way we understand and support mental health for students and young people, and will have a significant and long-term impact. It is said that it will lead to global achievements.
“We are in the process of co-designing evidence-based solutions and recommendations with students,” says Cleverley. “Students are our future researchers. They are our future mental health leaders.”