The Inquiring Mind Post-Secondary

The Inquiring Mind Post-Secondary (TIM PS) is an evidence-based program designed to address and promote mental health and reduce the stigma of mental illness in an educational / student setting.

TIM PS was adapted from existing evidence-based program The Working Mind from the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

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The program pilot was formally launched at the University of Calgary in January 2016 and in January 2017 at Mount Royal University. In late 2017, the pilot program expanded to include the University of Lethbridge, MacEwan University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Dalhousie University, the Nova Scotia Community College and Dalhousie Medical School.

Goals 

The goals of the 3 hour training are to: 

  • reduce stigma and negative attitudes towards those struggling with poor mental health
  • help participants maintain mental health and improve resilience and coping strategies
  • teach participants about the Mental Health Continuum Model
  • foster a supportive campus community 
  • support others

Objectives

The course's objective is to give university students the practical knowledge of mental health and mental illness so they can: 

  • Use the mental health continuum to recognize changes in their mental health and that of others
  • Be prepared to use skills to improve their coping and resiliency
  • Reduce both public and self-stigma
  • Be willing to be a part of a supportive campus environment

Central Components

The Inquiring Mind Post-Secondary was created with the input of students as well as faculty and staff, from the University of Calgary, with mental health-related expertise. It is delivered in a 3-hour workshop format and covers three main components: stigma reduction, resiliency skills, and the Mental Health Continuum Model.

The Mental Health Continuum Model reconceptualizes how one thinks and talks about mental health by categorizing signs and indicators of good to poor mental health under a four-colour continuum: green (healthy), yellow (reacting), orange (injured), and red (ill).

Continuum headers

Beyond these main components, the program also teaches about creating a supportive campus and how to support others who may be experiencing poor mental health. The program is designed to be interactive with activities and group discussions, as well as a set of scenarios for participants to work through. TIM PS takes these very good basic skills and contextualizes them in a way that is relevant to students. The curriculum includes custom videos featuring students, providing examples to which they can relate (e.g. mid-term stress, relationship challenges, being away from home/family supports).

There is also a train-the-trainer (TTT) course for TIM PS, which equips people with the tools and skills to present this course in their organization. The train-the-trainer course includes:

  • Background information on mental health
  • Extensive information on the key concepts relating to the student environment
  • Structured presentation practice time
  • Evaluation of presentation skills by master trainers

Fall 2017 Pilot

The research project relating to the pilot launch of TIM PS (Fall 2017) evaluated the effectiveness and impact of the program including measuring mental illness stigma, resiliency skills and comfort in supporting others with mental illnesses.

There are plans to develop versions of TIM PS for graduate and international students. The development of an adaptation for youth began in 2018.

Contact

To learn more about The Inquiring Mind Post-Secondary, please email: theinquiringmind@mentalhealthcommission.ca

Research

The Inquiring Mind Pilot Evaluation Report

Opening Minds in the Workplace: Interim Results of a Mental Health Promotion and Anti-stigma Intervention - The Working Mind

Workplace Antistigma Programs at the Mental Health Commission of Canada: Part 2. Lessons Learned