College Life-- Food, Drugs & Health: Upcoming Webinar
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Dear Community of Practice Members,

Can you believe it is already mid-semester? November came soon with a busy start to the Fall!  While some students are thriving in their current campus environment, others are falling back.  We hope that as you approach the end of this semester that you take advantage of the resources available in our online community platform to help support students.

A brand new resource has just been uploaded titled, "Healthy Relationships with Food and Substances on Campuses-- Framework for Moving Forward" which is a result of the Food and Substance Use Project.  As the semester becomes increasingly stressful for many students, it is important we better understand the intersection between eating and substance use.

The webinar recording and PowerPoint slides from the first part of "Promoting Healthier Residence Environments" is now available for viewing.  Register now for the second part of the webinar, which will highlight promising practices for creating healthier residence environments. At a time when we start planning for the arrival of new students in residence, this webinar will share promising practices for promoting healthier residence environments.

In addition, the webinar recording from "Academic Accommodations for Students with Mental Health Disabilities" is now available. Visit the community platform for a variety of new resources related to accommodations for students (including faculty videos).  

Miss a Webinar?
Watch the Recording or Download the Slides


Promoting Healthier Residence Environments: Part One

Academic Accommodations for Students with Mental Health Disabilities 

>> Join the online group to continue the discussion!

Note: You need to register or login to the community platform to open the resource links.
Read Later

Healthy Relationships with Food & Substances on Campuses - Framework for Moving Forward


Eating and substance use are associated with health issues on college campuses. Like sex and other feel-good things in life, food and psychoactive substances change the way people feel. And, just as food and substances have benefits, they can also lead to health and social problems.
The Centre for Addictions Research of BC (CARBC), Jessie’s Legacy Eating Disorders Prevention Program (JL), and the Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division (CMHA BC) invited BC post-secondary institutions to help us think through the issues related to the intersection of substance use and eating in campus settings.

We held four focus groups with campus members, including students, residence staff, health promotion staff and counsellors, to explore the following questions: 
  1. How do campus members experience their relationships with food and substances and the intersection of these relationships?
  2. Why do these intersections exist (what is influencing these experiences in the campus environment)?
  3. How can campuses be supportive in creating healthier relationships with both food and substances?

The "Healthy Relationships with Food and Substances on Campuses--- Framework for Moving Forward" is meant to reflect back what was discussed in the focus groups, and to give others a sense of what was shared. The intent is to use these ideas and observations to help campuses determine how they want to move forward with health promotion in this area and how the partners (CARBC, JL, CMHA BC) can support them.

Of particular interest, focus group participants were asked specifically to comment on the factors that influence student patterns of eating and substance use on campus. The following factors were cited:
  • Academic pressures
  • Access
  • Built environment
  • Financial status
  • Fitting in
  • Friendships 
  • Knowledge and skills
  • Mental health
  • Policies
  • Transitions

Upcoming Webinar: College Life-- Food, Drugs & Health 

November 19th, 2015 10:00-11:30am 


Campus members experience a continuum of healthy to unhealthy relationships with food, alcohol and other substances. Like sex and other feel-good things in life, food and psychoactive substances change the way people feel. And, they can affect the way people relate to each other.

On college campuses today, the intersection of food and substance use is an important part of the positive interactions and community-building that takes place. But this intersection is also associated with increased risks to health and social wellbeing.

This webinar intends to:

  • Look at the complex behaviours of eating and substance use from a broad perspective that considers the many factors that influence student choices (e.g., academic pressures, food access, built environment, mental health), and
  • Explore a comprehensive approach to address these influences and shape the campus culture.

Discussion will reflect on the following ideas to help guide a campus response:

  • A better understanding of what a healthy relationship with food and substances looks like
  • Making the healthy choice the easy choice
  • Social support and social responsibility

We look forward to a variety of campus community members joining this discussion, including student leaders and those working in counselling, health services, residence and food services, and health promotion.

This webinar is taking place within National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW). NAAW provides an opportunity to highlight issues and solutions to help address alcohol- and other drug-related harms.


Upcoming Webinar: Promoting Healthier Residence Environments 

November 10th, 2015 10:00-11:00am 

Register now for an upcoming Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses webinar on promising practices for building a healthier residence environment.  The first residence webinar session was cut short due to a network-wide problem with the teleconference service.  The first 30 minutes of the webinar is available in a recording and the remaining one hour of the webinar is being rescheduled for November 10th, 2015.  


Residences heavily influence the culture of drinking and other substance use on post-secondary campuses. A residence scan conducted through the Changing the Culture of Substance Use Project offers insight as to how residence service personnel can shape their environment to affect the patterns of use by residents and improve the overall campus culture around alcohol and other substance use.  Hallmarks of a healthier residence community, promising practices and helpful resources will be shared with webinar participants.

Featured Example: TRU’s Drink with Class 

At TRU, Drink with Class has become a central philosophy in residence.  Residence Life Coordinators have spread the message to all residence personnel, including resident advisors, front desk staff, housekeepers and even maintenance staff in an effort to provide one cohesive, thoughtful message to students: “Drinking is part of our culture. Not everyone drinks, but if you choose to drink, drink with class.”

Questions to be Explored:

  • Have you tried anything new in your residence that’s promising?
  • Has anything new come up as an issue in residence?
  • Any new trends/policies/training that have emerged?
  • Anything missing from the current residence guide that’s emerged more recently? 


Webinar Recording: Academic Accommodations 


This webinar presented findings and recommendations from a three-year research project funded by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities that was jointly undertaken by researchers at Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College. The project focused on academic accommodations in the postsecondary sector for students with mental health problems. The webinar focused on the project’s three key deliverables:
  1. Recommendations regarding accommodations: these fourteen recommendations deal with documentation standards and guidelines, functional limitations as the basis for accommodation, temporary accommodations, retroactive accommodations, the roles of the Office for Students with Disabilities, etc. The Functional Limitations Assessment Form developed as part of the project were also discussed
  2. Information and training for students, faculty, access/disability advisors, student leaders and administrators, on how best to accommodate post-secondary students with mental health disabilities
  3. An information and resource handbook for students with mental health disabilities
In addition, there was an rich panel discussion with representatives from Ontario and BC to reflect on the implications of the new recommendations for practice and students.

Continue the Conversation 

You are invited to join the online group on academic accommodations to connect and share with other folks who are interested in this focus area and working towards implementing the recommendations. Once you have logged into the Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses online community platform (sign up here), the group can be found at this direct link

Upcoming Events

If you are not already signed up for the Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses online social learning community, visit 
to join today!  

For immediate support in using the online community, view the 

How-To-PDF Guide or the How-To-Video Guide.

Contact for further assistance.
Copyright © 2015 Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division, All rights reserved.
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