U-Flourish is possible through collaborations across Queen's University and beyond. Interested in contributing to our research team? Contact us!
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 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. William Pickett, Ph.D.
Role: Associate Professor, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences (Brock University)
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. Charles Keown-Stoneman, Ph.D.
Role: Scientist, Applied Health Research Centre (Unity Health Toronto)
Why U-Flourish is important to Dr. Keown-Stoneman:
Childhood and student mental health are important areas of research to me personally. I am pleased that I am able to lend my expertise as a biostatistician to the on-going U-Flourish study, and help answer the important questions that are being addressed by this unique and exciting cohort study.
Dr. Kurtis Pankow, Ph.D.
Role: Post-Doctoral Fellow (Queen's)
Why U-Flourish is important to Kurtis:
University presents an exciting opportunity for students to establish their values and grow in ways that will set them up for success throughout their lives. I believe that U-Flourish is an innovative way of supporting students at this key time by ensuring that everyone who needs support can have timely access to the people and resources that they need to be able to flourish. I’m grateful to be part of the U-Flourish team and I can’t wait to see the difference we make!
Role: Student Engagement Team Co-Lead (Queen's)
Why U-Flourish is important to Mimi:
The transition to university can be exhilarating and illuminating, yet nerve-wracking and very overwhelming. As an undergraduate student at Queen’s, I recognize that there are students who struggle silently through mental health illnesses and may be ashamed or afraid to seek help, or who feel that they do not have access to the resources they need. U-Flourish seeks to not only identify factors that negatively impact student wellness, but to also understand factors that influence positive mental health and resiliency. With this information, we will be able to collaborate with campus institutions and faculties to develop programs and help ease the student transition to university life.
I feel that it is my duty to help create a resourceful environment for incoming and existing students, and it is with great pleasure that I am able to work with this team to help accomplish these goals and inform the development of much-needed resources on campus.
Dr. Kate Harkness, Ph.D.
Role: Professor, Department of Psychology (Queen's)
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
Role: Psychiatrist, Student Wellness Services (Queen's)
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.
Simone Cunningham, Ph.D., C. Psych (Supervised Practice)
Role: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences (Queen's)
Why U-Flourish is important to Simone:
I am a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist and I feel very lucky to be part of the U-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, MSc
Role: Research Associate (Queen's, Toronto)
Why U-Flourish is important to Daniel:
I have worked with U-Flourish since 2017 on student engagement, survey design, and the interpretation and translation of our research findings. U-Flourish continues to interest me, especially as it translates research into student-facing interventions to support well-being and mental health. U-Flourish works to inform models of health and well-being for young people and students, setting them up for lifelong health and success.
Role: Student Engagement Co-Lead (Queen's)
Why U-Flourish is important to Jin:
Student well-being and mental health are pinnacles to accomplishing goals and improving the student experience. Understanding unique factors that both negatively and positively impact student experience is the first step to improving it. As an undergraduate student, I am delighted to help the U-Flourish team. By creating accessible resource pathways, acknowledging student well-being, and amplifying student voice, I hope this work provides struggling students with a chance to flourish.
Role: Research Assistant (Queen's)
Why U-Flourish is important to Liam:
As an undergraduate Health Sciences student, I am invested in gaining a better understanding of the risk factors and determinants of university student mental health and well-being. By being a part of U-Flourish, I aim to make a valuable contribution to the research team and better understand the impact that mental health has on our transition to university life. The research and insights we gain as a team will help develop crucial support programs that will ultimately lead to student success and the chance for every student to flourish!
Nathan King, Ph.D.
Role: Postdoctoral Fellow in Public Health Sciences (Queen's)