University of Waterloo Virtual Conference on Student Mental Health Research

Sharing knowledge, connecting researchers, and promoting mental wellness

The University of Waterloo hosted the inaugural Virtual Conference on Student Mental Health Research on Thursday, November 5, 2020 as part of Thrive Week, showcasing new and in-progress research being conducted by our faculty, staff and student colleagues. The aim of the conference was to bring together members of the UWaterloo community to share knowledge, connect researchers, and promote mental wellness through presentations, posters, and interactive Q&A sessions. Topics broadly pertaining to student mental health were explored with an emphasis on the following key themes:

  • Prevention of mental health issues and promotion of mental health-care strategies
  • Suicide prevention
  • Equity and wellness
  • Harm reduction approaches to substance use
  • Mental health impact of COVID-19

If you missed a session or you weren't able to join us for the live event, you can watch the event recordings below. Keep scrolling to see the full conference agenda! You can also see recordings of conference poster presentations here


Morning session

Time Agenda Item
9:00am Opening remarks
9:15 am

"Cannabis and mental health: prevalence of use, product types, perceived impact, and adverse outcomes by past 12-month mental health experience in Canada and the US."

Presented by: Jennifer Rup 


"Characteristics of Youth in Mental Health Settings Who Use Substances in Ontario"

Presented by: Oluwakemi Aderibigbe


Panel: Accessing data sources on student mental health at UWaterloo

Panelists: Martin Cooke, Agnes Zientarska-Kayko, Sandra Gibson, John Hirdes

10:30am Guided stretch break 

“Principles and processes for suicide risk screening in student populations” 

Presented by: Christopher Perlman


"Suicide prevention on campus"

Presented by: Cheri Bilitz 

11:15am Poster session Q&A

Afternoon session


"When social isolation is nothing new: A longitudinal study on psychological distress during COVID-19 among university students with and without preexisting mental health concerns"

Presented by: Chloe A. Hamza 


"Mindfully Navigating COVID-19: Supporting Student Mental Health During The Pandemic"

Presented by: Kira Cooper


"Student Well-Being amid the COVID-19 Pandemic"

Presented by: Sarena Daljeet 


“Graduate Student Association (GSA-UW) Initiatives to Address Student Wellness and Equity at UWaterloo”

Presented by: Cindy Yeung




"Supporting wellness efforts through a new National Standard on Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students"

Presented by: Sandra Koppert, Amy Fogarty


"Clinical characteristics of emerging adults in emergency department, hospital, and community mental health settings."

Presented by: Jerrica Little


"Investigating how exercise prevents mood disorders: links to motivation, emotion regulation and negativity bias."

Presented by: Robert Hicks


"Assessing Waterloo’s First Undergraduate Course on Mental Health Literacy: Did Students’ Attitudes Change Over Time?"

Presented by: Christine Zaza, Ryan Yeung


"Social anxiety in university: Communication preferences and pedagogical strategies for educators"

Presented by: Kristen Archbell

3:40pm Poster prize announcement 
3:45pm Closing remarks

Please contact if you have any questions.