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Tootoo to headline BU mental health forum

The Brandon Sun - 1/31/2020

Former Brandon Wheat King Jordin Tootoo will headline a multi-day mental health forum at Brandon University this spring.

From April 29 through May 1, BU will host more than 65 speakers at the Mental Health on the Prairies Conference and Community Gathering.

Tootoo, who has been a vocal advocate on mental health issues since retiring from hockey, will deliver a keynote on the first evening about creating a culture of inclusivity to promote mental health. Tickets for the keynote are now available at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium.

Other speakers will be researchers, service providers and individuals sharing their own history and lived experience with mental health issues.

Michael Ungar, a Canada research chair at Dalhousie University, will deliver a talk about nurturing resilience through strong communities on the first day. On the second day, Caroline Tait of the University of Saskatchewan and First Nations advocate Devon Napope will combine research and spoken word poetry to create a unique call to action. 

“We are combining traditional research presentations with fun experiential activities and a community forum in an innovative way that will be interesting and engaging for people of every background,” Centre for Critical Studies of Rural Mental Health director Rachel Herron said in a release.

Other activities include a poverty simulation, a forced displacement exercise, a blanket exercise and a virtual dementia tour.