Call for Submissions: AT-CURA Youth Strengths Conference, July 23-25, 2014

Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Metro Vancouver, BC, hosts SSHRC funded CURA project conference on July 23-25, 2014.

AT-CURA Youth Strengths Conference posterSubmissions due: February 28, 2014

What topics would be considered?

Here are some examples of topics that would be appropriate for the conference:

  • Youth resilience
  • Community engagement for violence prevention
  • Using youth strengths to help at-risk youth
  • Gang-prevention programs and initiatives
  • Youth character strengths and well-being
  • Youth violence reduction
  • Youth delinquency prevention
  • Programs for building youth strengths
  • Relevant pedagogy / education / curriculum
  • Relevant popular media research and implications

What other criteria are important?

In keeping with the conference goals, special consideration will be given to submissions that do any of the following:

  • illustrate collaboration between academics and community with a goal of promoting youth strengths to prevent violence and criminal activities such as gang involvement,
  • illustrate how evidence-based research may be used to develop programs and influence policy-making to promote youth strengths to prevent violence and criminal activities including gang involvement, or
  • report on evidence-based research about the relationship between youth strengths and gang/violence prevention.

Who should submit?

We encourage submissions from researchers, policy makers, service providers, police agencies, graduate students, youth, parents, and teachers.

What types of submissions will you accept?

Most accepted submissions will take place in 50 minute sessions or in a special poster session.  The following types of submissions are encouraged:

  1. Interactive workshop: Interactive workshops will involve extensive audience interaction and training in particular skills.
  2. Themed collaboration (symposium): A themed collaboration will involve a number of presenters who will be recruited and coordinated by you. Your session should allow some time for Q & A or other interaction with conference participants.
  3. Panel session: A panel session will involve a moderator and number of experts (panelists) who will be recruited and coordinated by you. The moderator will ask panelists to respond to questions on a particular theme. Conference participants should be encouraged to pose questions as well and to engage in dialogue with the panelists.
  4. Facilitated conversation: A facilitated conversation is similar to a panel session, but will involve less focus on the experts and a stronger role for the moderator in facilitating two way interaction between the panelists and conference participants.
  5. Individual talk: Individual talks will be 10-15 minutes long. They will be grouped with other talks on similar themes.
  6. Poster: Posters will be featured in a special conference session during which authors will be present to discuss their posters with conference participants. Posters should be designed to fit into a 4’ x 4’ space.

What is the deadline?

The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2014.  We will notify successful applicants by March 15, 2014.

How do I submit my proposal?

Your submission should include:

  • A title
  • A biography (100 words) of yourself and biographies of other presenters/authors, if any
  • An abstract (description of 150-300 words) of your session. You may also include abstracts for other presenters/authors in your session.

Use our online submission form to submit your proposal.

Questions?

If you have any questions about the submission process, please email atcura2014@kpu.ca or call  Catherine Parlee at 1+ (604) 599-3163.

Visit the AT-CURA Youth Strengths Conference website for more details about this event.

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Using Your WITS: KMb in Action at UVic / Le programme « WITS » : la Mobilisation des connaissances (MdC) en action à l’Université de Victoria

The Public Health Agency of Canada recently announced a $2.6 million grant supporting children’s mental health through a program designed by University of Victoria psychologist Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater, which teaches children conflict resolution strategies.

L’Agence de la santé publique du Canada a récemment annoncé une subvention de 2,6 millions de dollars pour la santé mentale des enfants par le biais d’un programme (WITS) développé par une psychologue de l’Université de Victoria : Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater. Elle enseigne aux enfants les stratégies de résolution de conflits.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has announced a $2.6 million grant supporting children’s mental health through research about and improved online access to the WITS program. WITS teaches children four simple conflict resolution strategies—Walk away – Ignore – Talk it out – Seek help—and was developed by UVic psychologist Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater.

The four-year grant will support online resources, lesson plans, training modules and resource guides for teachers across Canada. The funds will also go to further research in determining the effectiveness of the prevention program. Since 1998, the WITS programs have taught schools, families and communities four simple strategies that children can use to respond to peer victimization.

“We are very pleased to receive this funding,” says Leadbeater. “We want to ensure that schools and communities across Canada can access the WITS program to help prevent peer victimization, which also improves children’s mental health.”

The funding, announced by Federal Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq, is part of a funding package for innovative, community-based projects to improve the mental health of Canadian children and families, with a focus on vulnerable populations.

For more information on WITS, please visit: www.witsprogram.ca

Mobilizing Minds Community Partnership Forum

What happens when community groups learn about young adult engagement and about research and knowledge mobilization? Mobilizing Minds: pathways to young adult mental health engaged community partners to bring community agencies and advocates into the Mobilizing Minds project and inform them about engaging youth in their own organizations. Young adults need a voice in mental health agencies. Community partners need a voice in research.


Mobilizing Minds is a $1.5M CIHR/MHCC funded knowledge mobilization grant that pairs young adults with adult researchers and seeks to develop knowledge tools and products that are derived from academic research but presented in the right format, at the right time, to the right people to inform decisions about mental health. Tara Syed (young adult leader) and Jenn McPhee (project coordinator) along with their community partner Mind Your Mind hosted 21 people from 16 community agencies in a conversation about youth engagement and getting involved in KMb for mental health. The half day event was held at York University on October 27, 2010.

You can see a mash up of all the Mobilizing Minds Community partner logos and photos from the event are posted here.

Before you do anything check out the overview video produced by a few of Mobilizing Minds young adult leaders…and make sure you stick around to see Mark Leonhart’s bloopers (after his expert use of the word “mobilize”). The video provides a great overview of the project from the perspective of young adults.

After Jenn and Tara described the project and the community members got a brief overview of KMb by David Phipps. The group also heard a keynote by David Kelly, Executive Director, Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs and Member of the Minister’s Advisory Group for Mental Health and Addictions. The group then got down to work. They discussed how the goals of the project intersect with a number of other projects and initiatives underway.

The group got a lot of information and were charged with staying in touch on Mobilizing Minds O3 site about two things:

  1. how each organization might be able to be involved as channels for dissemination of the knowledge products to be developed by Mobilizing Minds and
  2. how each organization can include young adults in their programming and planning.

Tara Syed (Young Adult Leader, Mobilizing Minds) echoed these goals. “I am glad we’re getting our project out there and that we’re one step closer to disseminating our resources in the right way to the right people. I am excited to meet the young adults who will join our team from the community partners and engaging more youth!”

York University’s KMb Unit and ResearchImpact were pleased to be there at the beginning. Mobilizing Minds can trace it’s history back to the very first KM in AM in November 2006 when Henny Westra (York University, Department of Psychology) met Mary Lynne Porto (Canadian Mental Health Association, York Region). It was through those discussions that the desire to find a pathway to young adults mental health was formed. We have blogged about Mobilizing Minds previously on February 5 and 24, 2010 and June 8, 2009 and we are pleased to see Mobilizing Minds grow into a project that is now engaging community organizations to get information to young adults.

Madalyn Marcus (PhD student, Clinical Psychology, York University) said, “This community partnership forum is directly related to my research. It is vital in moving forward with dissemination of these findings to get feedback from those in attendance today”.

Commmunity partners have tons of knowledge and experience; their value to university research and KMb projects is huge. Christine Garinger (Mind Your Mind) summed up this contribution and the energy of the group. “What wisdom we bring! What energy we bring! We don’t want to duplicate or waste time. We want to move forward in action. Awesome!


Congratualtions to Jenn, Tara and Mind Your Mind for a great partnership event.

Youth Engagement Using the Arts- KM in the PM

The YorkU KMb Unit will be hosting a KM of the PM event on Wednesday, December 8. The topic of the afternoon will focus on youth engagement using the arts, with brief presentations by researchers and community leaders, followed by ample time for questions, discussion, and networking.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Sarah Flicker, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University
  • Jane Wedlock, Executive Director, York Region Alliance to End Homelessness
  • Katherine Boydell, Senior Scientist, Hospital for Sick Children

Date: Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Time: 1:30 to 4:00

Location: York University, Keele Campus, York Lanes Room 280N (#24 on the York Campus Map)

Space is limited. Kindly RSVP kejensen@yorku.ca to confirm your attendance.

Relevant projects are welcome to contact the KMb Unit for exhibitor space opportunities.  Space is limited

Youth Diabetes Sports Camp – Mobilizing Knowledge for Exercise and Diabetes

The fourth annual York University Youth Diabetes Sports Camp has come to an end. Yet there remains plenty to celebrate. York’s KMb Unit was proud to witness the successful conclusion to a unique knowledge mobilization initiative. Being there every step of the way during the two weeks of the Diabetes Sports Camp, we experienced a valuable partnership in action that was unique in its composition. This partnership was between the youth participants at the camp who were engaged in their sport of interest (tennis, basketball, soccer or track and field) and the research team that was focused on learning more about glucose regulation during exercise and the prevention of hypoglycemia. This partnership flourished and provided everyone involved with plenty of fun, learning experiences, and invaluable data for research on type 1 diabetes metabolism.

During last year’s camp, Dr. Michael Riddell conducted a study that examined the relationship between blood glucose levels and sports performance for youth ages 6-17. These youth had their blood glucose levels monitored in real time using new technology supplied by Medtronic Canada for the week as they engaged in soccer, basketball, or tennis, and even as they slept. The goal was to see how sports performance is affected by oscillations in blood sugar levels. The study, which was published this year in the International Journal of Pediatrics, found that optimal athletic performance was observed when blood glucose levels were in the normal range. A slight deterioration in performance was observed when blood sugar levels were a little bit above the normal range. However, the study found that there was considerable deterioration in performance when blood glucose levels were lower than the normal range (4-7 mmol); this is a condition called hypoglycemia.

This year Dr. Riddell and his team are advancing this area of research by collecting data using real time glucose monitoring on a newly developed carbohydrate intake algorithm that prevents hypoglycemia during exercise. With this research, they hope to optimize nutritional strategies for the prevention of low blood sugar in young active individuals with type 1 diabetes.

This research is the first of its kind to be tested outside of the laboratory in a field setting. However, what may be equally important is the process of knowledge exchange that the Diabetes Sports Camp has facilitated. Besides the fun and excitement that the young campers got throughout the duration of the camp, they were also taught various strategies to help manage their diabetes and encouraged to share their experiences with other campers who have diabetes. In return, Dr. Riddell received important data for his research that he plans to share in an upcoming symposium at the International Society for         Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD), taking place from October 27 – 30, 2010 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is classic KMb, bi-directional flow of knowledge that can help inform health policy, foster emerging research questions, as well as inform individual practices in safe blood sugar regulation in young patients with type 1 diabetes. This is KMb that is practical and benefits all parties involved.

Stay tuned for the KMb in Action story on the Youth Diabetes Camp which can be found on the ResearchImpact website.

Week 2 of the Youth Diabetes Camp – Overall Youth Experience

By the end of the second week of the Youth Diabetes Sports Camp, the kids have made new friendships and greatly improved their skills in sports. York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit interviewed kids with diabetes about some of their impressions and experiences at camp.

The children with Type 1 greatly appreciate the opportunities that they are given at this camp. Overwhelmingly, the kids admire the unique nature of the camp, the first sports camp of its kind that brings together kids and adolescents with diabetes with diabetes councilors and varsity level coaches. Most importantly, they get to meet other kids with diabetes and share their challenges as well as their experience managing their condition. Many of the kids said that prior to attending this camp they had not met very many young people with their condition who are so interested in sports. At this camp, there were approximately 30 kids and adolescents with diabetes, there were counselors who have diabetes, as well as guest speakers who excel despite their disease.

Among the guest speakers at the diabetes camp was Chris Jarvis, a prominent Olympic rower and Pan Am gold medalist with type 1. Chris talked about the “highs” and “lows” while being on the Canadian National rowing team and competing in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Prior to joining the kids to play their respective sports, Mr. Jarvis spoke to the young campers about living with diabetes and overcoming numerous challenges including challenges with his glucose control and facing losses in competition. Chris spoke about the importance of “team” support in helping to facilitate his success both on and off the boat. Overall, the kids found their camp experience to be inspiring. The goal was to show that having diabetes should not hinder anyone from pursuing a career in competitive sports. And that is something that the kids certainly understood and appreciated by the end of camp.

Of course, there is also the fun factor. The kids were happy to share excitement and laughter while becoming more proficient in their favorite sport. The children were very fond of the camp counselors. They were happy to get excellent instruction from some of York’s finest varsity athletes. However, counselors were more than just the kids’ coaches. They made sure to befriend them as well and did a great job connecting on the kids’ level, making their camp experience that much more enjoyable.

The most amazing thing about this camp is the fact that, while the youth with diabetes had an overwhelmingly positive experience, they also contributed to valuable research on how sports and exercise affect glucose control and how exercise can help manage diabetes and improve quality of life. This is a prime example of knowledge mobilization and a bi-directional flow of knowledge. The kids learned new strategies on managing their diabetes while Dr. Riddell gets valuable data for his research on exercise and diabetes.

Week One of Youth Diabetes Camp – Interview with Dr. Michael Riddell

The first week of the Youth Type 1 Diabetes Sports Camp, York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit interviewed Prof. Michael Riddell, asking him about some of his reasons and motivations for starting this camp. We also began to learn more about what the camp is all about.

Dr. Riddell was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 14 and continued to be a very active adolescent engaging in various sports, including basketball, tennis and mountain biking throughout the time of his diagnosis. Although at the time of the diagnosis, there was limited research on the effects of sports on diabetes. Dr. Riddell eventually went on to get his PhD, specializing in energy metabolism during exercise in children and adolescents. In the ensuing years he decided to focus his research on how exercise affects blood glucose levels in persons with type 1 diabetes. 3 years ago Dr Riddell noticed that although adults with diabetes had the opportunity to go to a newly established sports camp in the U.S., none were in place for children. This set in motion the start of the Diabetes Sports Camp at York University, a unique camp in that it is the first of its kind.

Now children aged 8-16 with diabetes have the opportunity to engage in a sport of their choosing where they will receive excellent coaching from varsity athletes as well as guidance on how to best manage their condition. This camp is now run in conjunction with the York University Sports and Recreation summer camps offered to all youth between the ages of 8-16 years. Not only are children with diabetes able to develop their athletic skills in a monitored environment, but they are able to share stories and strategies with other children who have diabetes.

Dr. Riddell has been running this camp for 3 years with the aim to further his research in the field of sports, active living and their effects on diabetes. Last year’s camp was the basis for a study that has been published in the International Journal of Pediatrics last week. This research examined the relationship between blood glucose levels and sports performance in youth with Type 1. This year’s camp also has a research component focusing on the development of new strategies to prevent low blood sugar levels. Kids are mobilizing knowledge by having fun and by contributing to the study. This is what KMb is all about!