Welcome to U-Flourish: Student Well-being Research

The U-Flourish Student Well-Being and Academic Success Survey deadline has been EXTENDED to Monday, October 12th! All undergraduate and graduate students have the opportunity to fill in the survey and enter for a chance to win Amazon Gift Cards and iPads! Fill in the 10-minute survey to HAVE YOUR SAY and help develop resources to support student well-being!

The invitation link can be found in your student email, HAVE YOUR SAY! 

This year’s survey incentives are listed below:

  • iPads: (must complete fall AND spring survey)
    • Undergraduate students – chance to win 1 of 10 iPads!
    • Graduate students – chance to win 1 of 5 iPads!
  • Amazon Gift Cards:
    • Undergraduate students – chance to win 1 of 100 Amazon gift cards ($10 each)!
    • Graduate students – chance to win 1 of 50 Amazon gift cards ($10 each)!

Follow us on Facebook & Instagram (@quflourish) and Twitter (@u_flourishQU)


Transition to university is an exciting but also stressful time for students. We would like to understand more about how to best support student well-being and mental health during your time at Queen’s University. Please check out new and ongoing research initiatives led by our group of researchers and studentsat here at Queen’s and our partner site at Oxford University.

About Us

We are a multi-disciplinary group of researchers based at Queen’s and partnering with Queen's Student Wellness to understand how best to support student well-being and mental health research.

  • In September 2018, we began the U-Flourish Student Well-being and Academic Success Study to understand why some first-year students flourish while others do not
  • Since, we have run follow-up surveys in the Fall and Winter terms with 2 original participating cohorts and heard back from thousands of students. We have also launched a supplementary COVID-19 Student Well-being Survey in summer 2020 to understand the effect of the pandemic on university students
  • More recently, the survey study has expanded to include all interested undergraduate and graduate students across programs and years. As well, we have launched new projects relying on digital technology to provide self-guided well-being resources and enhance care for students presenting to Student Health Services with anxiety and depression
  • We have also guided the creation of a new online elective course available to all undergraduates across programs aimed at improving mental health awareness and positive health behaviour

U-Flourish Research Study

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Digital Well-being Resources

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Online Elective Course: Student Well-Being and Realizing Potential

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Digitally Supported Self-Monitoring

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Meet the Team

Dr. Duffy

Dr. Anne Duffy, MD, MSc, FRCPC
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 health concerns. 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. We are also evaluating the student experience with and efficacy of digitally supported well-being resources and self-monitoring for students with common mental health related concerns.  This year, in partnership with the Clinical Development Unit at Queen’s, we will be developing and evaluating an online for credit course in mental health literacy.  Our research involves collaboration across campus and institutions and is student-informed.  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.

Dr. Bowie

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

Why U-Flourish is important to Dr. Bowie

FLOURISH 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.

Dr. William Pickett, Ph.D.
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.

Dr. Kate Harkness, Ph.D.
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.

Dr. Stephen McNevin, MD, FRCPC
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 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.

Melissa Milanovic
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.  

Simone Cunningham
: 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 lucky 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.

Daniel Rivera, BScH
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.

Jin Buyn
Role: Student Engagement Lead

Nathan King
Role: Postdoctoral Fellow in Public Health Sciences.


We receive funding through a variety of sources including Canadian Institute of Health Research grants and donations from private foundations, including the Rossy Family Foundation and Mach-Gaensslen Foundation.

Contact Us

For general inquiries regarding U-Flourish, please feel free to contact the U-Flourish team at flourish@queensu.ca


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