Student Wellness Services

Student Wellness Services

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Meet the team

Principal Investigators

Who: Dr. Anne Duffy, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Role: Principal Investigator

Why U-Flourish is important to Dr. Duffy:

Universities have an obligation to provide a healthy environment that fosters student well-being and scholarship, while ensuring appropriate resources are in place to support students with existing or emerging mental illness. Almost 50% of high school graduates now attend university, hence the university population increasingly resembles the wider emerging adult population. The transition to university life comes at a critical time of accelerated brain, intellectual and psychosocial development coupled with exposure to a number of academic, social and financial stressors. Moreover, adolescence and early adulthood represents the peak risk period for onset of mental illness. Over 40% of university students report feeling stressed and over 25% identify as having an existing mental health or learning challenge. Yet there is limited research to inform universities about how to address the spectrum of need for an increasingly diverse student population – from developing resiliency and academic support resources to crisis intervention to providing timely and effective programs for students with evolving mental illness.

The U-Flourish study examines why some first-year Queen's students flourish in term so their academic success and emotional well-being, while others do not.  The research is funded by a partnership grant from the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the Rossy Family Foundation.  The study will be also conducted at the University of Oxford to assess differences and similarities in outcomes across universities and countries.  We expect that findings will inform the development of resources to support students in the transition to university life.  However, to be successful, we need to hear from you - the students.  Please consider taking part in this important student focused research.


Who: Dr. Christopher Bowie, Ph.D., C.Psych 

Role: Principal Investigator 

Why U-Flourish is important to Dr. BowieFLOURISH will be one of the largest surveys student mental health at a critical time. There has been an enormous growth increase in awareness of the importance of mental health during this critical stage of life. In spite of this growing attention, we are essentially ‘flying in the dark’, when it comes to preparing for students’ mental health and making decisions about how to provide helpful resources. The challenges stem from the very limited evidence we have from systematic studies of how mental health and academic success evolve over a student’s time at university. FLOURISH is the first in a series of studies that we will carry out to provide much needed clarity about the realities of student mental health and will change the landscape of how universities support students.




Research Team


Who: Dr. William Pickett, Ph.D.

Role: Professor, Public Health Sciences 

Why U-Flourish is important to Dr. Pickett: He is particularly interested in understanding the factors that allow young people to thrive in terms of their mental, social and spiritual health. In his day to day work as a researcher and educator, he sees the many challenges that young people face vocationally at Queen’s, and is excited to support efforts to gather new evidence that will ultimately assist in creating conditions on campus that are positive and caring.



Who: Dr. Kate Harkness, Ph.D.

Role: Professor, Department of Psychology

Why U-Flourish is important to Dr. Harkness : For many, University is a stressful, yet exciting transition full of opportunities for growth and challenge. However, for others this stress can be overwhelming. What I find so exciting about the U-Flourish project is that it will allow us to better understand the factors that contribute to positive mental health and resiliency in our students. And, it will allow us to identify factors that place some students at risk for mental health challenges during this time. Ultimately, we will be able to use this knowledge to work collaboratively with students, staff, and faculty at Queen’s to develop programs that help all students to flourish.


Who: Dr. Stephen McNevin, MD, FRCPC

Role: Psychiatrist, Student Wellness Services

Why U-Flourish is important to Dr. McNevin: U-Flourish  Represents the first step in building an international network of researchers, clinicians, administrators and most importantly students- all focused on the goal of helping students flourish in their university years.  Guided by the Principal's Commission on Student Mental Health the Queens University Department of Psychiatry  has created a Division of Student Mental Health- one of the the first, if not the first, such units at an academic centre.  U-Flourish is central to our mission of serving students with evidenced based initiatives.

Who: Melissa Milanovic

Role: Clinical Psychology PhD Candidate

Why U-Flourish is important to Melissa: A necessary first step in discovering how to best support students is to understand what factors are clearly involved in student success, across mental health, academic, and wellness outcomes. The U-Flourish study provides a unique opportunity to identify some of these important factors and in turn inform the development of evidence-based programs to foster the flourishing of Queen’s students.  







Who: Simone Cunningham

Role: Research Coordinator, Clinical Psychology PhD Candidate

Why U-Flourish is important to Simone: I am a PhD student in Clinical Psychology, and I feel very luck to be part of the Flourish team. I hope that this project will help us learn how mental health impacts functioning at school, and that we can use what we learn to help students succeed and reach their full potential.









Who: Daniel Rivera, BSc

Role: Student Engagement/Research Lead

Why U-Flourish is important to Daniel: I have worked on the U-Flourish project since September 2017, creating a plan to engage students with the project –a critical aspect of it. Looking at mental health, academic outcomes, and other aspects of students’ health and wellness, U-Flourish has the potential to mold Queen’s into a place even more conducive to creating positive outcomes for all students who attend or will attend our university.                                      








Who: Anjalika Khanna Roy

Role: Student Engagement Team Member


Why U-Flourish is important to Anjalika: University is a time of great change and a wonderful opportunity for personal growth. I think it is really important for all students to have the chance to thrive and to make the most of their university experience. As someone who has been actively engaged in student wellbeing, I am thrilled to be part of the U-Flourish team on the student engagement committee! I believe that understanding what helps students to do well physically, mentally and academically, as well as identifying the barriers to flourishing, are crucial for future student success and the development of resources to support them.