Session Recordings

For full program details in pdf format, click here.

Monday, August 24


Session 1 –

Session 2 –

Session 3-


Welcome and remarks by officials

Highlights from Atlantic Consultations

Atlantic Community Showcase of Projects that have influenced policy

Keynote Address (Trish Hennessy, Director, Think Upstream, a project of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)

Tuesday, August 25

8:40 – 8:45Morning welcome – Julie Pellissier-Lush, Poet Laureate, PEI
8:45 – 9:30OPENING PLENARY – Let’s talk Policy! A call for transformative change

Claire Betker, Scientific Director, National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health, StFX University, Antigonish Nova Scotia

Albert Marshall, Elder, Moose Clan of the Mi’kmaw Nation, Eskasoni First Nation, Unama’ki- Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Summary: Brenda Restoule, CEO, First People’s Wellness Circle

9:30 – 10:15OPENING PANEL – Evidence for upstream policies that promote mental health

Moderator: Claire Betker, Scientific Director, National Collaborating Centre Determinants of Health, StFX University, Antigonish Nova Scotia


·         Dr. Jean Clinton, Clinical Professor McMaster University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences – Why the Early Years Matter: The Brain, The Biology, The Dollars and Cents

·         Karen Bierman, Evan Pugh University Professor; Director, Child Study Center, Pennsylvania State University – Promoting Social and Emotional Learning in Preschool: Programs and Practices that Work

·         Marie-Claude Roberge, Scientific Advisor, Mental Health Promotion, Institut national de santé publique du Québec – Favoriser la santé mentale en soutenant le passage vers la vie adulte (Promoting mental health by supporting the transition to adulthood) Delivered in French with simultaneous interpretation

10:15 – 10:30Break – Networking – Music – Be active!

Music: Jessica Jurgenliemk – NS

10:30 – 11:30ROUNDTABLES – Exploring current policies and their gaps – Municipally, Provincially and Nationally

Facilitated by David French and Mary Jane McKitterick, A Way Home Canada

·         How do we ensure upstream efforts aren’t compromised with changes in governments?

·         What can be done to allow governments to support multi-year funding cycles to ensure programs and organizations can sustainability support communities?

·         How has COVID 19 changed the policy conditions around upstream approaches to children and youth mental health?

·         How can we influence a new and different kind of normal that values healthy families, communities and public institutions?

11:30 – 12:30Lunch break – Networking – Music – Be active!

Music:  David Myles – NB

12:30 –1:45Let’s Talk Politics!

Moderator: Scott MacAfee – Chair of National Advisory Council on Poverty Introduction to cross-ministerial planning and policy fusion, and the Sustainable Development Goals as a potential framework for government action upstream.

Political Panel: Three panelists will address the challenges and influencers they face in developing and implementing “upstream” policy to support mental health.

·         Darlene Bernard, Chief, Lennox Island First Nation; Co-chair, Epekwitk Assembly of Councils Inc.

·         Sean Casey, Member of Parliament, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

·         Dawn Arnold, Mayor of Moncton

1:45 – 2:00Break – Networking – Music – Be active!

Music: Brielle Ansems – PEI

2:00-3:30CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS – Skill development

Participants may choose one 90 minute workshop to attend*.

*Workshops were repeated on Wednesday, Aug. 26, to give participants a chance to attend more than one.

A.      Communities that care: What we know about promoting community resilience for mental health outcomes

–Linda Liebenberg, PhD, Researcher and Evaluator, Nova Scotia

B.      Promoting Positive Mental Health by Exploring our Purpose

–Andrew Culberson, NB Dept. of Education and Early Child Development

C.      Nurturing SEL for policy makers, principals and teachers (preparing for system change)

–Ellen Coady, Program Development Specialist, NL Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

D.      Comment parler aux élus (How can we be partners with elected officials?) Delivered in French with simultaneous interpretation

–Isabelle Lizée, Directrice générale, Carrefour action municipale et famille

E.       Créer, développer et renforcer la santé mentale de tous, tout au long de l’année – comment mettre l’accent sur la santé mentale, plutôt que sur la maladie mentale (How to create, develop and strengthen mental health for all, all year round – how to move the focus from mental illness to mental health ) Delivered in French with simultaneous interpretation

–Renée Ouimet, Directrice, Mouvement santé mentale Québec

F.       Connecting data to policy – 2020 Without A Home Study (Pan Canadian study on youth homelessness)

–Mary-Jane McKitterick, Community Planning Manager, and David French, Director of Policy and Planning, A Way Home Canada

G.     How a “Duty to Assist” Can Inform Our Thinking on Upstream Policies

–Melanie Redman, President & CEO of A Way Home Canada, and Dr. Stephen Gaetz, President and CEO of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and the Homeless Hub (presenting August 25 only)

H.      Mental health and (second) language – empowering migrant children by strengthening parents’ mental health literacy

–Stefanie Harsch, Research Associate, University of Education, Freiburg, Germany

Wednesday, August 26

8:00 – 8:30Youth Learning Circles
8:45 – 9:00Welcome – Julie Pellissier-Lush, Poet Laureate, PEI
9:00 – 10:00Let’s Talk More than Economics! Let’s Talk Quality of Life!

Bryan Smale, Director, Canadian Index of Wellbeing, University of Waterloo

The interplay of factors contributing to wellbeing and mental health: Evidence from the Canadian Index of Wellbeing

Lisa Wolff, Director of Policy and Research, UNICEF Canada

Lightening the shadow of the pandemic on young lives: Evidence from the Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being

10:00 – 10:15Break – Networking – Music – Be active!

Music: Robert Cahill – NL

10:15 – 11:45CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS – Skill development

All of the workshops offered on Tuesday, Aug. 25, were repeated at this time. To see recordings of these workshops, please see Tuesday’s schedule, above.

Transformative change: through the lens of Two-Eyed Seeing

–Dr. Brenda Restoule (presenting August 26 only)

11:45– 12:45Lunch Break – Networking – Music – Be active!


David Myles – NB

Jessica Jurgenliemk – NS

Brielle Ansems – PEI

Robert Cahill – NL

12:45– 1:30Economics as if wellbeing mattered!

Trevor Hancock, Professor and Senior Scholar (retired), School of Public Health and Social Policy, University of Victoria

1:30– 2:00Upstream Policy Momentum in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and beyond. Add your voice!

Facilitated by David French and Mary Jane McKitterick, A Way Home Canada

·         Highlights of the Policy Forum – What have we learned together?

·         Next steps for policy action – So what? Now what?

2:00 – 2:30Closing – Song Circle

·         Youth reflection

·         Closing Song – Julie Pellissier-Lush, Poet Laureate, PEI

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