Professional Development Workshop

Professional Development Workshop


The virtual Professional Development Workshop (PDW) is designed for the World Youth Group by McGill University’s Faculty of Education and aims to build students’ and educators’ mental health resilience, in alignment with the recommendations outlined in the student mental health and well-being standard published by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). This standard is a unique national initiative to set standards to address mental health in post-secondary settings (MHCC, 2020) and emphasizes prevention and the need to integrate mental health instruction in educational settings. The PDW is based on a national emotion regulation and well-being curriculum for post-secondary students and educators, developed by McGill University’s Faculty of Education. While this curriculum was developed, implemented, and evaluated in the Canadian context, the workshop content and framework has been adapted for the global context for the PDW.


The #IAmWithYouCampaign is a Common-Agreed-Program (CAP) developed by the Committee on Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG-3), to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, that shares resources and addresses depression and suicidal ideation among youth.
The #IAmWithYouCampaign campaign was launched by the United Nations Headquarters (UNHQ) on February 24th, 2020 and is sponsored by 13 UN Member States. The Master Plan Group (currently-World Youth Group) foresaw the urgency of addressing youth mental health globally prior to the pandemic, which has further exacerbated the situation. It is thus with the participation and recommendation of the members of the Group that the #IAmWithYouCampaign and its global policy has been developed. One initiative of this global policy is to ensure young people have access to evidence-based stress management and self-care practices to improve mental health. To this end, this initiative will provide professional development to educators on how to integrate some brief and accessible skills-based resilience building strategies into the classroom. Therefore, the following professional development workshop was created.

The PDW titled “Enhancing mental health resilience for students and educators in the classroom” is a one-hour-long virtual session that will provide best-practice and evidence-based recommendations to support mental health resilience in educational settings in a contextually appropriate way. Resources and strategies will be shared to equip educators and students at all levels to build the ability to cope with stressful and difficult circumstances in healthy ways.  Specifically, this workshop will provide (1) background information on stress in the current challenging context, (2) evidence-based strategies for stress-management and well-being that can be used in the classroom, and (3) interactive resource sheets providing additional information on strategies and further resources for educators and students.

The ultimate goal of the PDW is to increase students’ capacity to cope in healthy ways with difficult circumstances. By the end of this professional development workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define stress and how it relates to the current challenging context in educational settings.
  • Identify, describe, and practice various resilience-building strategies to help manage stress for both students and educators.
  • Integrate and practice resilience building strategies within the classroom.
  • Access and share evidence-based practical tools as well as tangible resources (i.e., interactive and static infographics) with students and other educators to enhance student mental health.
  • Nancy Heath will lead the PDW and introduce workshop content and expectations.
  • Evidence-based strategies will be demonstrated and the resource materials for this will be shared with the participants to distribute to others as needed.
  • The virtual PDW will be recorded and therefore can be shared as needed.
  • There will be an interactive Question & Answer period* at the end of the session in which participants can ask questions or ask for clarification about workshop content (*note that this part will not be recorded).
  • Questions can be submitted in advance to facilitate the inclusion of relevant material for participants (preferred).

Dr. Nancy Heath (James McGill Professor, Faculty of Education, McGill University) and her graduate student team will provide a virtual hour-long professional development workshop with a group of secondary or post-secondary educators and/or educational leaders. They are the lead team.

The Committee on SDG 3 will provide a team for administration and implementation proceses.

The respective governments Ministry of Education will be part of the team to provide all assistance to the lead team.