The first provincial Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses conference was held at the University of Victoria in 2009. This first-of-its-kind conference for BC marked a unique opportunity to bring together students, counsellors, staff, faculty and administrators from across the province to engage in dialogue, share promising practices, and learn from each other in an effort to advance a vision of mentally healthy campus communities for BC.
The conference was a striking example of partnership and co-action. The Post-Secondary Counsellors’ Association of BC and the BC Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses Initiative, a project led by the Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division and supported by the BC Partners, joined forces to organize and implement a conference designed to inspire change in how we think about campus mental health promotion efforts. The conference provided an opportunity to not only feature the many examples of practice excellence that currently exist on campuses throughout BC, but it also provided a chance to imagine a future of campus mental health that actively invites and engages a broad cross-section of campus constituencies. In many ways this conference offered up space for a nexus of exciting and lively conversations about campus mental health between campus community members who may not have had opportunity to interact with each other before about these issues. And it is clear that these conversations have lent momentum for moving forward together to navigate the complex terrain of campus mental health and substance use.