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Wednesday, June 17 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
Mental Health - Wen-Chih Tseng, Genevieve Chandler, Bertha Fountain, Anna Demetrakopoulos, Ashley Frerichs, Srividya Iyer

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Mental Health:

Abstract #28
Lego Serious Play Applications to Enhance the Development of Narrative Identity in Economically Vulnerable College Students
Presenter: Wen-Chih Tseng
Abstract:
The aim of this study was to present a specific applications of the LEGO Serious Play (LSP) methodology that has been designed to enhance the development of narrative identity and build resilience in economically vulnerable college students. LSP was invented at the end of the 1990s and was officially launched in 2002. In this study, I used LSP to design a thorough process that allows students to develop building skills through making simple Lego models, then leaded students into the complex world of metaphor. The design activities focus on seven particular episodes in the story of life; they include (1) Chapters of Life, (2) My Collections of Events, (3) Anticipated Future Scripts, (4) Difficult Challenges in Life, (5) Personal Beliefs and Values, (6) Life’s Central Themes and (7) the Past as Future – Participation Reflection. Students were asked to use LEGO bricks to build models representing their thoughts, reflections and ideas about the above seven activities. Findings showed that LSP as an intervention medium has a positive impact on enhancement in students’ narrative identity, which, in turn, weigh on the decrease in vulnerability including anxiety and depression and on the increase in resilience abilities.

Abstract #40
Resilience Intervention for Young Adults with Adverse Childhood Experiences
Presenter: Genevieve Chandler Co-Presenter: Mary Jane O’Conner
Abstract:
Background: Risk behaviors of alcohol and drug abuse, smoking and disordered eating can lead to addiction, anorexia and obesity. Often the result of adverse childhood experiences, such behaviors can lead to COPD, liver disease, diabetes and depression. Resilience researchers, however, pose the question, is risk resilience? Specific aim: Feasibility study of the Empower Resilience Intervention to interrupt the trajectory of ACE to illness. Method: A pre-test, post-test college students (n=28) repeated measure of ACE, symptoms, health behaviors and resilience. (RM-ANOVA) was performed to test the effect of the intervention, a strength based course using resilience and social learning theory with mindfulness, education, writing, mentoring and social support. Results: A statistically significant cohort by time interaction for physical activity with the intervention group and narrative themes: building strengths, reframing resilience and creating connections. No change evident in risk or resilience. Conclusion: These provocative trends are theoretically consistent with a strength-based approach. Fine tuning the intervention and using ecological resilience measure may increase health behaviors and decrease symptoms. Implications: With the ERI study and a course with individuals who dropped out of high school we witnessed mindfulness, authentic writing and safe relationships transform the past to a vision of a preferred future.

Abstract #42
Homeless Youth in College
Presenter: Bertha Fountain
Abstract:
Limited research exists to date on the capacity of homeless youth in college to successfully tolerate and manage their experiences of being homeless.  The purpose of this research project is to deepen our understanding of academic resilience among homeless young adults (ages 18-30) who attend college. The primary research question guiding this study is:  How do homeless youth in college define and describe their academic resilience? Secondary questions include:  What are the barriers and supports they experience as part of their academic journey and how do they negotiate them?  What do homeless youth describe as influencing their ability to pursue post-secondary education?
This study draws on constructivist grounded theory to examine resilience among homeless youth in college.  This includes the identification of the factors that are promotive and protective as well as those that present challenges and risk.   The study will further explore the presence of survival strategies and coping techniques that can protect and present risk to students who experience housing instability. Data collection will include individual, in-depth interviews and focus groups with self-identified homeless young adults who attend City University of New York colleges.   How to examine resilience in this context is the purpose of the facilitated discussion.

Abstract #1
Resiliency Map: A tool for individual and community dialogue about complex loss, change and transition
Presenter: Anna Demetrakopoulous Co-Presenter: Yvette Perreault
Abstract:
The Resiliency Map is a 5m by 5m floor cloth which uses a visual structure to represent aspects of individual and shared experience.  It depicts concentric circles:  Self, Relational, Organizational and Social and Political Context, which are intersected by two primary meridians, Motivation and Commitment and Shared Values.  People are invited to walk on the Map to support the telling of their complex stories.  The Map has been used in multiple contexts, including debriefing after significant losses and traumatic events, personal and organizational transitions, and to support organizational assessment, planning and evaluation. Through the inter-connected layers, people can sort through their own narrative structures and the make visible the tensions within their own experience and the multiple roles they may have in a situation.

Abstract #6
Communities Fostering Resilience - A Lived Experience
Presenter: Ashley Frerichs
Abstract:
Throughout my life I have experienced many struggles that have allowed for the development of high resilience which is something I consider to be a leading factor that has supported me to become the strong young adult I am today.  As part of the facilitated panel discussion in the area of community interventions, I will use my lived experiences to support the work of other panellist and incorporate first hand knowledge of different pathways to resilience, emphasising the imperative role my community played in helping me navigate tough times as well as in building my resilience. In particular, I found a great sense of belonging, many long-term supportive relationships and maybe most importantly an internal resilience that is unwavering. My community was my activists, my thing to lean on and my beacon of hope in a way that social service organizations were able replicate, however only in a short-term structured way; when I look at what got me (and is still getting me) to where I am and where I am going, it was and still is my community where I found my strength.

Abstract #23
How a Multi-Stakeholder Network is Seeking to Transform Canadian Youth Mental healthcarePresenter: Srividya Iyer
Abstract:
This presentation describes how a multi-stakeholder network is seeking to transform Canadian youth mental healthcare. Established with a five-year grant under CIHR’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research, the ACCESS Network serves youths aged 11 to 25 at 12 sites in six provinces and one territory that include Indigenous, immigrant and other at-risk populations. Creating ACCESS entailed engaging all key stakeholder groups (youth, family/carers, community organizations, service providers, researchers, policy/decision makers and Indigenous groups); achieving consensus on collectively defined core values and objectives; and understanding site-specific services and barriers. Major challenges were posed by stakeholders’ and sites’ divergent expectations, affiliations, geographies and realities. The common concerns of youths and families helped us negotiate these tensions and coalesce into a robust transformational base. The ACCESS approach stresses resilience through early detection; community engagement; youth and family participation in service design and provision; the facilitation of social reintegration; the provision of services in youth-friendly, stigma-reducing settings; and 72-hour response time targets. This approach is a product of our foundational engagement with stakeholders and the change we instituted in how we communicate and collaborate. 

Presenters
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Ashley Frerichs

Resiliency is something the Ashley has become all too familiar with as she navigated family and personal mental health, youth homelessness, foster care and many other trials and tribulations. Fortunately, through great community involvement and resilience Ashley has become an advocate for the voices and engagement of young people. In addition, Ashley was the 2012 youth leadership award recipient from the Representative for Children and Youth as... Read More →
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Bertha Fountain

Field Instructor for PROVE (Project for Opportunity in Veterans Education), Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College
Ms. Fountain is a seasoned Social Worker who has had extensive experience in managing programs and providing direct services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. This includes specialized homeless populations (children and youth, those with HIV/AIDS and veterans). Through her doctoral studies at the City University of New York, Ms. Fountain has transitioned to research studies in higher education. Her research and professional... Read More →
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Genevieve Chandler

As a psychiatric-mental health nursing expert and nurse scientist, a consistent theme of my work has been empowerment beginning with my research on the nursing work environments to my studies on decreasing inpatient coercive practices of seclusion and restraint to resilience with low-income adolescents with adverse childhood experiences. Testing an intervention for young adults with ACE brings my work from tertiary care to a secondary... Read More →
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Wen-Chih Tseng

Wen-Chih Tseng is currently a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling at National Hsinchu University of Education, Taiwan. His research interests are in positive psychology, resilience and serious play.

Co-Presenters
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Mary Jane O'Conner

Wellness Educator at Holyoke Community College | I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) with over 25 years experience working with studentsfrom pre-K through adults who have had trauma histories. As a community college educator, my focus with my students is on strength based skill building.
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Yvette Perreault

AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario


Wednesday June 17, 2015 11:00am - 12:30pm
Shatford Room A&A 2nd Floor, King's College

Attendees (9)