The event you have been waiting for...
The Ontario Association of Social Workers' (OASW) Biennial Provincial Conference is the largest knowledge mobilization event of its kind for social workers and social service workers in Ontario. This year's event will draw over 300 practitioners, policy-makers, researchers, academics and social work students for 1.5 days of interactive discussions on current and innovative best practice in mental health across settings.

The curated conference program will facilitate a multi-directional flow of information amongst and between attendees and leaders in the field, to accelerate access to relevant information, tools, and resources as well as to promote the development of new research to advance practice through:

  • Over 25 interactive workshop sessions
  • Inspiring and insightful keynote addresses from Senator Wanda Bernard Thomas and Carol Hopkins, Executive Director of the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation
  • A conference-wide panel discussion on mental health and equity
  • Peer-reviewed poster presentations by students, practitioners, and academics
  • Opportunities to connect, network and collaborate with colleagues in the field 
  • Plus lots more!

Space is limited, register today for this one-of-a-kind event!


Creativity in Social Work: How to Enact Social Justice in the Mental Health Field

The Honourable Wanda Thomas Bernard, PhD, C.M., O.N.S.
Senator - Nova Scotia (East Preston) 

Senator Bernard uses an intersectional feminist perspective and race equity lens in her role as a social justice advocate in the diverse and dynamic social work and mental health field. In this keynote address, Senator Bernard will share examples of how she applies her theoretical framework to many years of experience working as a frontline social worker, a social work educator at Dalhousie School of Social Work, a researcher in health and well-being, and as a Senator.


Honouring Our Strengths: Mental Wellness Across the Life Span

Carol Hopkins, MSW and a degree in sacred Indigenous Knowledge, equivalent to a PhD in Western-based education.

Using Indigenous knowledge and culture is vital for life promotion and for facilitating mental wellness. This talk is based on a national, CIHR funded research project that studied Indigenous wellness from a whole person perspective, and the cultural practices grounded in sacred Indigenous knowledge that supports the development of a whole and healthy person. This project found that strengths-based, life generating strategies which honour Indigenous ways of knowing and reflect relational, familial, social, and spiritual dimensions of selfhood are more likely to be effective than those which do not. These findings, as well as measurable outcomes for culture-based investments in mental wellness that are easily transferrable to ensure culturally safe social work practice, will be discussed.

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