In the summer of 2009, as part of the initial grant for KM pilot projects at York University and University of Victoria, the two institutions developed a competitive, adjudicated process for Faculty Incentive Grants for teams of researchers and their partners to address research issues with relevant public policy and/or professional practice implications. Here is a summary of one of these projects:
Drs. Megan Davies (York) and Anne Marshall (UVic) were Principal Investigators on a project to provide tools and processes to help young people address the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health concerns and treatment. Building a new partnership with the Greater Victoria School District #61, the research team engaged in consultations to help conceptualize the project deliverables and support curriculum lesson plan development.
The project team also have chosen to integrate their deliverables into a new web site (www.caringminds.ca) to support broader access to the curriculum modules that were developed.
The outcomes of this project are:
• Four cross curricular teaching units with activities and resources aimed at Grades 7 to 12
• Development of www.caringminds.ca
• New and strengthened relationships between the research team and amongst educators and mental health treatment and consumer groups
In identifying lessons learned, there were the clear challenges of working across geography and disciplines and with several partners… However, there was one additional outcome the project team articulated,
“An unanticipated, but positive outcome was the inclusion of the original artwork created by a sixteen year-old secondary school student. William Willis’ drawings do much to make this site visually appealing, and seem entirely appropriate for a youth-centred project such as this”.
The project team continues its development, as they are engaged in dissemination of research finding, pursuing additional funding to further resource development and expand the program internationally. They are also pursuing the integration of these materials into other provincial curricula and international web sites.