Summit Overview

The Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses Summit 2012 – Revolutionizing Campus Wellness: A Vision for Healthy Campus Communities – took place September 26-29 in Victoria, BC.

Imagine a healthy campus community.

What does it look like?

How do we get there?

Summit 2012 provided a unique opportunity to design a shared vision for campus communities that support well-being and to identify methods to get there. Building upon four years of growth and learning, we created a space to come together to learn about, share and advance strategic efforts to promote mental health and reduce risky substance use at post-secondary institutions.

This event facilitated knowledge exchange, collaborative thinking and innovation using a mix of creative techniques. Leading thinkers helped animate critical discussions related to policy, teaching, student services and campus life. Delegates examined issues, sustainable solutions and actions to support health-promoting, vibrant campus communities that enable all people to reach their full potential.


The goal of Summit 2012 was to create a shared vision for campus communities that support well-being and to identify methods of getting there. One of the main objectives was to increase awareness of complex social, economic, cultural, political and environmental factors that influence mental health and substance use in the post-secondary campus context. The Summit aimed to build a space to learn about, share and explore local issues and stimulate collaborative thinking and innovation. Further, it engaged and strengthened connections between new and existing Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses community of practice members. 

Click here to view the 2012 Summit Program.

summit 2012 program photo

Highlights from the 2012 Summit include keynote speakers Dr. Jennifer White and Dr. Richard Keeling who spoke about the importance of continually asking questions when it comes to promoting campus wellness in the midst of complexity and called for the radical redesign of post-secondary education where “the learner matters in the learning.” Their topics helped motivate thinking and action throughout the summit. 

Presidents and student leaders from a variety of campuses across BC were consulted to help identify some of the challenges and opportunities for designing healthy campus communities. In a presentation about rethinking success for Indigenous students, Sarah Hunt shared six best practice elements from the LE,NONET project at University of Victoria: reciprocal learning, supporting indigenous identity development, culturally relevant programming, community building, relationship building and individualized programming. In a ‘double flip’ on the traditional critical incident response team case conference, a panel of thought animators “diagnosed” a healthy campus community. Through rich discussions, delegates provided data about key features, barriers, facilitators and methods to foster positive change related to a number of facets of campus communities such as direct care services, student development, learning environments, places and spaces, organizational culture and policies. They also had the chance to explore issues, solutions and responses related to questions and ideas they put forward during open space on the final day of Summit 2012.

The Summit had several exciting announcements for the future of Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses including additional funding from the BC Ministry of Health. In her welcoming remarks, Health Minister Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid announced a two-year distinct project within Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses that will build local capacity and a provincial support infrastructure towards changing the culture of substance use on campuses. In relation to this announcement, delegates explored effective mechanisms to support healthier relationships with substance use on campuses. Additionally, a number of campuses showed interest in taking an active role in the new project. Delegates left the summit inspired and motivated to make a change on their campuses.


 Registration is now closed for the 2012 Summit. The Summit successfully brought together 150 students, student service professionals, faculty, administrators, government and community partners to discuss mental health and substance use on campuses. Through a mix of presentations, facilitated panel discussions, world café, open space and networking, the diverse delegation helped take significant steps towards accomplishing the goals of Summit 2012. View the invitation for participation in the 2012 Summit here.

      Summit 2012 invitation photo



Promoting Campus Wellness in the Midst of Complexity, Plurality and Contested Knowledge Is There a Toolkit for That?


Higher Learning on Healthy Campuses: A Radical Re-design of Post-secondary Education


Rethinking Success for Indigenous Students: Intersecting Dynamics of Health and Cultural Relevance in Shaping Educational Environments


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