2018 NCSMH Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health


  • Supporting Transition Resilience of Newcomer Groups (STRONG): An Evidence Informed Intervention to Support Refugee and Immigrant Students
    • Kathy Short, PhD C. Psych
    • Claire Crooks, PhD
    • Sharon Hoover, PhD
    • Patricia Marra-Stapleton, MSc C. Psych Assoc.
    • Maureen MacKay MSW RSW

    • Supporting Transition Resilience in Newcomer Groups (STRONG) is an evidence-informed, school-based intervention for newcomer youth (K-12th grades) experiencing psychological distress. STRONG is intended for delivery by school mental health clinicians and is comprised of 10 group sessions, one individual student session, and teacher and parent education sessions. Core components of STRONG include Resilience Building Skills, Understanding and Normalizing Distress, Cognitive Behavioral Intervention Skills (relaxation, cognitive coping, exposure, goal setting and problem solving), and a Journey Narrative. STRONG was codeveloped and reviewed by several experts in the fields of education and mental health, with specific expertise in school mental health, adversity and trauma, refugee mental health, and resilience. This presentation will describe the pilot implementation of both Elementary (K-5th grade) and Secondary (6th-12th grade) STRONG by school mental health clinicians in several schools in Toronto, Ontario. Feasibility and usability of the intervention were assessed, with clinicians endorsing strong interest in continuing implementation of STRONG, and perceived positive impact on students’ school connectedness and self-efficacy. Presenters will discuss implementation strategies to improve STRONG uptake and ease of use.

  • Development and Three Year Pilot of an Evidence-Informed Mental Health Promotion Program for LGBT2Q+ Youth 
    • Claire Crooks, PhD, C. Psych
    • Alicia Lapointe, PhD

    • LGBT2Q+ youth experience inequitable rates of depression and stress compared to their peers, in large part because of minority stress and discrimination. This presentation describes the development and implementation of the Healthy Relationships Program for LGBT2Q+ youth, which was adapted from an evidence-informed mental health promotion program for youth. We will describe the process for engaging youth and educators in the development process and highlight our evaluation findings from a three year pilot.