You are invited to submit abstracts for the Canadian Mental Health Association’s fourth annual Mental Health For All (#MH4A) national conference, taking place September 23-25, 2019, in Toronto. This year’s theme is Connection Interrupted: Restoring Mental Health in a Fractured World.
In 2018, we posed the question: what does a mentally healthy society look like? We held up a public-health lens to the issue and asked, could mental illness prevention and mental health promotion be the vaccines of the next century? We predicted the shape of things to come and looked upstream. Thinking upstream means taking a longer-term view of the society we want, and creating the social, physical, spiritual, cultural, economic and psychological conditions for people to enjoy good health.
And yet, these are times of profound disconnection. In this increasingly technologically connected world, we are disconnected from the land, from family, from self, from community. Rather than reinventing our society, perhaps we need to reconnect with our roots and with each other.
We need to honour and reflect on Indigenous knowledge and on wisdom that has been lost or ignored. And we need to recognize that if we connect to each other, to the earth and to our communities, we will shore up our mental health, our sense of meaning, and of purpose, hope and belonging. This will make us more resilient and capable of responding to the disruptive social, environmental and geopolitical turmoil we face.
Human connection and community bonds build the strength that makes us resilient to turbulent times. Not just for the 1 in 5 of us who will experience a mental illness or mental health issue in any given year, but for the 5 in 5 of us who have mental health.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), by next year, depression will be the second leading cause of disease worldwide. At what point does a diagnosis become so common that it’s the new normal? At what point do we radically shift our thinking about mental illness and mental health to embrace the fact that everyone exists on a continuum, and that everyone deserves to live, work, play and learn in psychologically safe spaces that foster well-being?
The climactic and economic challenges we face today are likely to amplify in the future. Our best role is to deeply understand our fears and predict what the new version of flourishing can be in this as yet-unknown context. We can restore mental health in our increasingly fractured world by re-establishing meaningful connections. And not just by strengthening the individual threads, but by weaving a stronger societal fabric. What is required is a collective resilience that supports and improves the lives of many in broad service to all.
So, let’s connect, create and collaborate to demand and design the mentally healthy schools, campuses, workplaces and communities that our citizens deserve, and reimagine the healthcare system and supports required to serve their needs of the future. Let’s look back and think ahead. Let’s shore up everyone’s mental health for the world to come.
Instructions for Abstract Submission
The presenter may submit multiple abstracts for the conference. One submission for each presentation.
Please complete your online submission here by April 5, 2019: conference.cmha.ca/abstracts2019
Conference sessions will be offered in a variety of formats:
- Panel discussions (60 or 90 minutes): Panels should include a minimum of two and a maximum of four presenters addressing a common issue or topic from different perspectives followed by an interactive discussion. Each panel must also provide a moderator.
- Individual presentations (30* or 60 minutes)
- Oral Presentation: Your presentation should have a coherent structure and a clearly stated purpose. It should provide descriptive information, including necessary contextual detail, and report on research findings, evaluation results, lessons learned and best or promising practices
- Paper Presentation: Will address innovative programming, completed research that has been demonstrated through evaluation to have an impact on clinical practice, system design or policy development related to collaborative mental health.
- Storyboard: Opportunity to tell your story of a project or an experience that included a life-changing event that changed your attitudes, clinical approach, or interactions towards individuals
- Poster Presentations: Poster Presentations are mounted on a poster board. We will schedule a time for you to be available at your station to give attendees an overview of your project and answer questions. This year, poster presentations will have a separate room for the duration of the conference where delegates can come check out the posters any time they want. There will be a poster competition again this year for the chance to win one of three Visa gift cards!
* 30-min presentations will be sharing a workshop slot with another 30-min presentation on a similar topic.
Acceptance as a Presenter
- Please note: being accepted as a presenter does not include conference fees. All presenters must register as delegates. Reduced rates are available for all presenters.
- Honoraria and travel reimbursement are not available.
- Presenters will be asked to submit an electronic version of their presentation prior to the conference.
- Electronic copies of the presentations will be made available to conference delegates following the conference, when possible.
- Presenters are responsible for providing written material to conference participants if applicable.
- Presenters will be provided with a designated time to present by the conference committee.
All submissions will be evaluated using the following criteria:
- Relevance to the conference theme
- Clarity and coherence of the submission
- Relevance and utility to participants
- Presence of interactive components
Please note: we encourage presenters to include a lived experience component or perspective where relevant.
Call for abstracts opens: February 12th, 2019
Abstract Submission Deadline: April 5th, 2019
Results Notification: May 6th, 2019
For any questions regarding the abstract submission process, please contact us by email at [email protected] or by phone at 1-416-646-5557 ext. 24932 or 1-866-655-8548