Time to Talk – Media, Youth and Mental Health


Joseph Howe Symposium 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014
9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

6350 Coburg Road
Alumni Hall, New Academic Building

Organized in association with Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma (CJFVT)

Sponsored by Bell Aliant & Bell Let’s Talk 

“My public life is before you; and I know you will believe me when I say, that when I sit down in solitude to the labours of my profession, the only questions I ask myself are, What is right? What is just? What is for the public good?”  
– Nova Scotia journalist & politician Joseph Howe, 1835

The “Time to Talk – Media, Youth and Mental Health” symposium will gather journalists, students, health care providers, educators and the public, including persons with lived experience, to talk about the stigma surrounding mental illness and the role of media in influencing public opinion and public policies involving mental health. Come and join the conversation.

Includes free distribution of CJFVT’s acclaimed media guide Mindset: Reporting on Mental Health , produced in association with CBC News and the Mental Health Commission of Canada


8:30 am Doors open Coffee, tea, juice & muffins in Alumni Hall foyer. Sponsored by Bell Aliant & Bell Let’s Talk.

9:00 Welcome and brief opening remarks by Kim Kierans, University Vice-President and Cliff Lonsdale, President of the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma.

Introduction of the Rapporteurs, Stephen Kimber, Professor of Journalism and award winning author, and Dr. David Goldbloom, Board Chair, Mental Health Commission of Canada, Senior Medical Advisor with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Elizabeth Fountain, Chair of the Board of Laing House will introduce Andre Picard and Lezlie Lowe.

9:15 – 10:30 Keynote Lezlie Lowe, King’s journalism instructor and freelance writer in conversation with André Picard, Health Columnist, The Globe & Mail

10:30 – 10:45 Coffee break in Alumni Hall foyer sponsored by Bell Aliant & Bell Let’s Talk

10:45 – 12:30 pm Session 1: The Death of Innocence

Suicide is the second biggest killer of adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19 in Canada. While the issue has the public’s attention, are awareness campaigns the right ones and are they enough?  What can the media do to focus or refocus the discussion? 

Moderator: David Swick, assistant journalism professor at King’s
Panel: Amy Rizzuto, member of Laing House Association Youth Speak
  Glen Canning, father of Rehtaeh Parsons who died by suicide 
  Frances Willick and Selena Ross, reporters with The Chronicle Herald 
Winners of Canadian Association of Journalists Open Media category for coverage of the Rehtaeh Parsons story
  Dr Stan Kutcher, the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Dalhousie University

12:30 – 1:15 Lunch break (off campus or in Prince Hall at King’s)

1:15 – 2:30 Session 2:  Youth Mental Health

We know that most mental illness problems first show themselves in adolescence and early adulthood.  We know that early diagnosis and treatment improves outcomes and reduces costs. Why isn’t youth mental health a medical priority? And what can journalists do in the way they tell the story? 

Moderator: Dr. Stephen J. A. Ward, media ethicist, educator, consultant, and award-winning author 
Panel: Aaron Goodwin, coordinator of the Youth Speak program at Laing House   
  Andre Picard, Globe and Mail 
  Lezlie Lowe, King’s instructor and freelance journalist
  Dr. David Pilon, Program Leader, Specialty Mental Health Services, Capital District Health Authority (CDHA), and the Stay Connected Mental Health Project in Halifax

2:30 – 2:45 Coffee break sponsored by Bell Aliant & Bell Let’s Talk 

2:45 – 4:15 Session 3: It’s Not How It Looks: Violence & Mental Illness

Violence by people with mental illness is rare – but rarity makes news. The media guide, Mindset: Reporting on Mental Health urges journalists to include relevant context in their stories about these prominent cases, and it urges journalists to focus their investigative skills on the underlying reasons why these cases keep occurring. 

Moderator: Kelly Toughill, Director, King’s School of Journalism
Panel: Laura Burke, an artist, playwright and the Mental Health Peer Support Coordinator at Dalhousie lives with schizophrenia
  Michael MacDonald, a reporter with Halifax Bureau of The Canadian Press
  Esther Enkin, CBC Ombudsman and editor of the media guide, Mindset: Reporting on Mental Health
  Doug Race, Vice President of the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta

4:15 – 4:30 Rapporteurs Stephen Kimber and Dr. David Goldbloom share personal reflections on the day

4:30 Kelly Toughill, director of the School of Journalism closes symposium.

Download a copy of the schedule here (PDF).

Joseph Howe Symposium 2014 organizers and sponsors