Seneca to host inaugural RBC Mental Health Symposium

May 3 symposium to focus on holistic approaches to mental health and wellness

KING CITY, ON, May 2, 2016 /CNW/ - Seneca and Royal Bank of Canada have partnered to bring together community and social agencies, mental health practitioners, researchers, scholars and students at the inaugural RBC Mental Health Symposium at Seneca's King Campus on May 3.

This all-day event, hosted during Mental Health Week, is the first of its kind in York Region and will provide a forum for the mental health community to discuss best practices and research on emerging trends in mental health care and the emotional well-being of children and adults.

The theme of this year's symposium, starting at 8 a.m., is "trauma and practice across the life span." The agenda will include keynote addresses from:

  • The Honourable Michael H. Wilson, Chair, Mental Health Commission of Canada
  • Cathy Crowe, Street Nurse, author, filmmaker and professor.

The symposium will also offer panel discussions, art displays and networking opportunities that focus on the issues of trauma resistance and resilience, trauma informed practices and compassion fatigue.

In addition, the symposium will celebrate the achievements of mental health advocates in the classroom and in the community, with the presentation of the RBC Community Partners Award.

"Our students and faculty are delighted to be given this opportunity to lead the community in advancing important conversations about mental health and well-being," said Biljana Bruce, Chair of Seneca's School of Community Services. "We are grateful to RBC for supporting us in hosting an educational event about mental health that brings together such a diverse group of scholars, community leaders and advocates."

This bi-annual symposium is the result of a $150,000 commitment from RBC over the next five years. RBC has also donated an additional $150,000 for mental health community outreach, including a capstone research project for students in Seneca's new Mental Health Intervention graduate certificate program.

"As many as two million Canadian youth struggle with mental health issues or addiction, but only one in five receive specialized treatment," said Rina Pillitteri, Regional Vice-President, Vaughan and King Township, RBC. "We are proud to support Seneca College and the crucial work they do to support mental health and with this donation we hope to do our part in our communities and enable conversations to help break down any barriers between needing help and getting help."

The RBC Mental Health Symposium at Seneca will offer students the opportunity to build relations with future employers, faculty a chance to share best practices with industry experts and a forum for all to strategize about holistic approaches to promoting and facilitating mental health initiatives. It will also provide an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of mental health advocates in the classroom and in the community.


With campuses in Toronto, York Region and Peterborough, Seneca offers degrees, diplomas, certificates and graduate programs renowned for their quality and respected by employers. It is one of the largest comprehensive colleges in Canada, offering nearly 300 full-time, part-time and online programs. Combining the highest academic standards with work-integrated and applied learning, expert teaching faculty and the latest technology ensure Seneca graduates are career-ready.

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Royal Bank of Canada is Canada's largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We have over 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 37 other countries. For more information, please visit‎

RBC helps communities prosper, supporting a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2015, we contributed more than $121 million to causes around the world.

SOURCE Seneca College

For further information: and event details, please contact: Lisa Pires, Media Relations and Public Affairs Specialist, Seneca College, 416.491.5050 ext. 77018,; Ciaran Dickson, RBC Royal Bank, 416.313.7947,


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