#HearNowON: Toronto In-Person Forum Informed Consent Form
Dear Parent/Guardian,

Your teen would like to attend a forum with other students to share ideas about promoting mental health and wellness in schools.

The forum is part of a research project led by School Mental Health Ontario and Wisdom2Action. We are gathering student perspectives to help School Mental Health Ontario to develop a provincial student mental health engagement and leadership strategy.

We need your consent for your teen to take part. Please review the information below. If you agree to have your teen join the forum, please complete the consent form.
What is the forum?
The forum is a full-day event with secondary school students, researchers and mental health professionals.

Participation is voluntary. Students were invited to take part, but don’t have to. We asked students with parent/guardian permission to register for the forum closest to them.
When and where will it be hosted?
The Toronto forum will be hosted at the Novotel Toronto Centre, 45 The Esplanade, Toronto. The forum will take place on June 8th, 2019. It will begin at 9AM, and end at 4:30PM.
Are expenses covered?
For those travelling from outside of the host city to attend a regional forum, more information regarding travel and eligible expenses will be made available soon.

For those traveling 150km or more (each way) to attend the forum, we will provide accommodations for the night before for the participant and a chaperone.

Should you have questions, please feel free to contact Sherry Sim at sherry@innovative4you.com.
How will the event work?
The forum is designed to gather input from secondary school students in three main areas:
(1) learning about mental health at school,
(2) promoting mental wellness at school, and
(3) creating opportunities for student engagement and leadership in these areas.

We will ask participants to share ideas in different ways. There will be a mix of small group discussions and activities. Participants can opt out of any activity throughout the day.
Keeping everyone safe and comfortable
The focus for the forum is on wellness and learning about mental health at school. Discussions about mental illness and related support services will not be a key focus for conversation, but it is possible some it may come up as part of the conversation if students raise this. Facilitators will try to re-direct discussions towards wellness and solution-orientation, but will also want to allow all voices to be heard.

It’s possible some of the discussion may be a bit difficult for some participants, or a participant may feel emotionally unwell the day of the event. They can approach any staff member at the event and say they want to talk and they will receive help. There will be mental health professionals from local community organizations in the room, just in case. They’re available to provide support through the day.

If a participant decides they want to leave early, the staff will connect with them to make sure they have the support they need. They’ll ask if the student wants to have their contributions to the discussions deleted. If they do, we’ll do our best to make sure we remove what they shared.

If a participant shares something that makes us worry about their safety or the safety of others, mental health staff present at the event will talk with the participant and provide support to get help and make appropriate reports to a parent/guardian if needed.
What happens with the information gathered?
Data gathered through the forums will be de-identified – this means we won’t connect your teen’s name with any information they share. We will encrypt the data and transfer and store it securely.

Researchers from School Mental Health Ontario and Wisdom2Action will analyze the information gathered at the forums and through our online survey. They’ll produce a report summarizing the findings.

The Resilience Research Centre, the Ontario Ministry of Education, Ontario school boards and possibly others involved in public education in Ontario will receive the final report.

School Mental Health Ontario will use the report to help create the provincial student mental health engagement and leadership strategy.
Research Ethics
While this is a quality improvement project, rather than a research study, SMHO-SMSO and W2A did seek and receive approval to gather this information through Dalhousie University Research Ethics Board as a way to ensure overall integrity of the methods used, and to allow for sharing of the findings in a way that might be helpful to others in the future. Findings will only be shared in aggregated form

If you have any ethical concerns about your participation in this research, you may contact
Research Ethics, Dalhousie University at (902) 494-1462, or email ethics@dal.ca (and reference
REB file # 2019-4771).
Support after the event
We will check in with participants by email after the event and share additional support resources.
Next steps
If you agree to your teen’s participation in the forum, please complete the form below.

Once the form is completed, your teen may continue to registration. Once registered, they will receive an email with all of the information they need to attend the event.

If you would like more information before consenting to have your teen participate, please contact Dr. Kathy Short from School Mental Health Ontario or Lisa Lachance from Wisdom2Action at kshort@hwdsb.on.ca or Lisa.Lachance@dal.ca.

Thank you for your consideration of this opportunity.
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