The past decade has witnessed a global mental health movement with primary goals related to increasing awareness, improving identification and intervention, and reducing stigma. With these ends in mind, mental health is now recognized as a health concern and as a responsibility shared by not only mental health practitioners, healthcare providers and researchers, but by governments, institutions, workplaces, schools, post-secondary institutions, families and individuals. Interventions have been targeted at all of these levels and marked changes in understanding and intervention have ensued. We have a much better understanding of the pillars supporting positive mental health. Current evidence suggests that career development is another key determinant and important pillar of positive mental health. More >>

Research Phases

The overall research and development agenda for exploring the impact of career development and mental health in school settings has 5 phases. The first two phases have been completed, and we are now ready to seek partnerships and funding to pursue Phase 3 of the program through a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant. We also see pursuing SSHRC Insight Grants to further the work of Phase 3, and to serve as the launch pad for Phases 4 and 5 (which are briefly described later). More >>

Research Methodology

Our research partners include school districts in British Columbia, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan. Students within each of the participating provinces take career planning courses. However, there is no formal preparation in career development for the teachers of the career planning courses. Our general research design involves providing a professional development workshop (Connecting Career Development and Mental Health) to educators, collecting data on the perceptions of the impact of the training on the educators’ practice, and then measuring the impact of the training on the mental health of their students. More >>

The Workplace is Dynamic

The workplace is dynamic and is in constant motion and change. Knowledge is always changing and shifting. Material that students learn in their first year of university may have changed significantly by the third year of their program. Similarly, many of the top in demand jobs today did not exist 10 years ago. Students are being prepared for jobs that do not exist yet, using technologies that are still being invented to solve problems we do not know yet. Instead of focusing on acquiring a job that may or may not exist by the time youth enter the workforce, focusing on supporting youth to navigate the challenges may be more sustaining. More >>

Community of Practice

Connect a community of educators who are implementing career development in schools and deepen the understanding of the complex relationships between effective career development practices and the determinants of youth mental health. Join >>