Mental Health Promotion theme

Preschool Session

Plenary Sessions

Opening and Closing Ceremony

Series 1: First Peoples' Curriculum
Series 2: French Language Curriculum
Series 3: General Curriculum

Small Group Sessions
Toolbox Sessions
Personal Development Workshops

Community Networking and Exchange



The Ontario Health Promotion Summer School consists of many kinds of classes and presentations. We begin the week on Monday, June 25 at 9:00 a.m. (following registration - which begins at 8:00 a.m.) with a warm welcome for all participants including a special audio-visual presentation highlighting Francophone culture and diversity as well as a First Peoples' Opening Ceremony led by two Elders, Jan Kahehti:io Longboat and Walter Cooke.

Following this introduction and a welcome from the Chairs of the various planning subcommittees, our Chair (Suzanne Jackson-Centre for Health Promotion) and Co-Chair (Marianne Kobus-Matthews-Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) will lead you toward an understanding of core concepts in mental health promotion - the theme of this year's Summer School. This session will end at 11:00 a.m. in time for a break, and another hour-long session before lunch.

During this workshop (from 11am-noon), participants will separate by Series -- those registered for Series 1 workshops (the First Peoples' curriculum) will work with Jan Kahehti:io Longboat, one of our Elders. Those registered for Series 2 workshops (French-language curriculum) will meet each other in a 'small group' session. And those registered for Series 3, will meet and work together for their first Core Session.

Each Series has five (5) sessions offered throughout the week - these sessions are called 'Core Sessions'. Each participant will have a schedule for the Series that they have registered for, to guide them throughout the Summer School. (see description below: SERIES)

Pre-selection of Series when registering is mandatory.

Participants in Series 1 and 3 will work in smaller groups twice during the week -once on Monday and again on Tuesday (See description below: SMALL GROUPS).

All participants will attend two Toolbox Sessions; one set is offered on Monday and another on Tuesday. (See description below:  TOOLBOX SESSIONS). Pre-registration is mandatory.

Participants CAN attend the First Peoples' Banquet (Monday, June 25) and Personal Development Workshops (Tuesday, June 26) but they are not mandatory. Pre-registration is mandatory, however. Pre-registration is also necessary to reserve a place on the bus that is booked to transport those who are interested to downtown Toronto (free time). (See description of these in ACTIVITIES AND ATTIRE)




The theme for this HPSS 2007 is Mental Health Promotion and will be the focus of opening and closing plenary sessions, core sessions and toolbox presentations. Below is a description of the theme as described by the World Health Organization (WHO):


Mental health is described by the World Health Organization (WHO) as:

. . . a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community (WHO 2001, p 21).

This core and positive concept of mental health is consistent across many cultures and indicates how important mental health is to individual and population health and well-being. Both mental health and mental illnesses are influenced by socioenvironmental and individual risk factors, protective factors and the determinants of health. Examples of risk factors are poverty, displacement, unemployment, and low self-esteem; examples of protective factors are income support programs, healthy workplaces, community attachment, and optimism; and examples of determinants of health are gender, education, income security, access to health services, and access to culturally appropriate food.

Research has shown that mental health can be affected by non-health policies and practices, for example policies related to housing, education and child care. Consequently, building healthy public policy is an important strategy in mental health promotion.

As stated in the WHO document on Promoting Mental Health, “a climate that respects and protects basic civil rights, political, economic, social and cultural rights is fundamental to the promotion of mental health.(p.11)” With this in mind, an important aspect of promoting mental health is to eliminate discrimination and stigma and promote respect for all kinds of diversity.

Mental health promotion can occur in many different settings – parenting classes, schools, workplaces, communities and health care institutions. Health promotion strategies such as creating supportive environments, strengthening community action, building healthy policies, developing personal skills, and reorienting health services are all key to promoting mental health in any setting. Intersectoral linkages, partnerships, collective action and behaviour change are all part of effective public health actions to promote mental health.

The Summer School will explore the concepts of mental health promotion and focus on the development of specific skills in building public policy, eliminating stigma, and planning for programs by using a healthy settings approach.

Sunday June 24

Preschool sessions provide an overview of health promotion concepts and principles.
There are two sessions for newcomers or for those whom require a refresher. There is one afternoon session that is for those experienced in the field.

Note: Preschool sessions are offered in English only.

Three courses are available to choose from:

Preschool A: Health Promotion 101 (10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)
This workshop is designed for newcomers to the field and those who require a refresher, providing an introduction to general concepts in health promotion.

Fee: $50 per participant (course materials and snacks included)
Instructor: Suzanne Jackson

Preschool B: Evaluation 101 (1:30 to 5:00 p.m.)
This workshop is designed for newcomers to the field and those who require a refresher, providing an introduction to general concepts in evaluation in health promotion.

Fee: $100 per participant (course materials, lunch and snacks included)
Instructor: Josie d’Avernas

Preschool C: Research and Ethics in Health Promotion (1:30 to 5:00 p.m.)
This workshop will provide an orientation to ethical issues in research for those with experience in the field of health promotion. Participants will be introduced to the formulation of research questions, some aspects of participatory research design, ethics and how to do research in diverse settings.

Fee: $100 per participant, course materials, lunch and snacks included)
Instructor: Suzanne Jackson

REGISTRATION MANDATORY: Please indicate your choices on the registration form.

Click here for more in-depth information about Preschool workshops.

HPSS CURRICULUM - June 25, 26 and 27


An inspirational keynote presentation will be offered at the closing of the Summer School - Wednesday June 27, 1:30-3:00 p.m. - to help bring participants from all curriculum areas together for learning and reflection. This Closing Session will be bilingual, and reflect the needs and experiences of diverse communities of Ontario, including First Peoples and Francophone. 

At this year's Closing Plenary Session we have the pleasure of presenting ex-Judge Andrée Ruffo, renowned French-Canadian children's rights advocate.

Andree Ruffo will speak about what it takes to be who we are. When we don't have clarity about who we are, we need love, communication, and interaction with others, food, housing and other determinants of life as well as a sense of spirituality and a way to contribute to society. She will then talk about what happens when we are in positions of responsibility and authority to make decisions that affect others and the importance of being clear about who we are to do that job well. She brings a wealth of experience and examples from her work in Quebec as a judge and child advocate.

Andrée Ruffo's curriculum vitae (in French)
More about Andrée Ruffo (in French)


The Opening and Closing Ceremony is done in a traditional Anishnawbek manner. It is ceremony. At both ceremonies the four sacred medicines will be burned: tobacco, cedar, sage and sweet grass.

This particular ceremony is as old as time. All original Nations have their own ways to do this. It is not acceptable to consider one ‘way’ better than another. Instead, all ceremonies are highly regarded and respected for their sacred nature.

Anishnawbek Way brings a holistic approach that integrates spiritual, physical, mental and emotional aspects of ourselves and the world around us. Through the process of opening and closing, we literally explore what surrounds us and what is inside us. We want to ensure that we are gathering everything we need to carry out the tasks ahead. It is to help bring the body, mind and spirit of each of us together. Ceremony also reminds of us how we are to behave in a balanced manner for the benefit of ourselves and generations that will follow.

We welcome everyone to join in ceremony as we open and close the Health Promotion Summer School.

Participants are asked to select one of three Series offered (when registering). The participant will attend five (5) Core Sessions within their Series, offered throughout the week.  

The following choice of series is offered: 

An integrated set of workshops and lectures will be offered within each series. Participants are advised NOT to consider attending workshops within different series.

Two Small Group sessions are part of Series 1 and 3, designed to deepen learning and practical application. (see Small Group Sessions description below)

Small Group sessions will be available in both English and in French. These sessions offer a greater in-depth and more interactive exploration of material presented in the larger group series.

Participants will attend Small Group sessions associated with the Series that they have chosen.

Each Small Group will stay together and meet two (2) times (except those participating in Series 2 (French-language sessions), who will meet once only, on Monday at 11:00 a.m.).

A range of 90-minute Toolbox sessions (practical hands-on workshops) will be open to all participants.  Participants must choose two (2) different Toolbox sessions when they register.

Click here for summaries of these sessions and presenters' biographies.

Personal development workshops are a time-out session for participants at the Summer School. Focused on offering ways of handling stress and improving self-care, a variety of hands-on workshops will be offered on Tuesday evening from 7:30-9:00 p.m.

These sessions are optional but pre-registration is necessary.. 

here for summaries of these sessions and presenters' biographies.

The Ontario Health Promotion Summer School is an excellent venue for professional networking. Participants bring a wide variety of backgrounds, expertise and cultural experience. 

We provide many opportunities for exchange and dialogue, in an informal setting and in classes and presentations. 

Provisions are made throughout the week to facilitate informal networking opportunities for participants and information about this will be posted at the Summer School.


Feel free to bring information about your agency/institution or health promotion materials, as there will be tables to display your resources throughout the week.

Those who wish to send their materials directly to the facility can do so within one week prior to commencement of Summer School. Send to:

ATTENTION: Lisa Weintraub
Health Promotion Summer School
Crowne Plaza Toronto Don Valley
1250 Eglinton Avenue East
Toronto. Ontario M3C 1J3  

Those who would like to distribute educational materials must be at HPSS to organize these, and take the remaining copies with them at the end of the event. 

If you have a large display, please notify the HPSS Coordinator to confirm. 

Please let us know on your registration form if you would like your name and coordinates to be added.


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