Past Event! Note: this event has already taken place.

Hub Showcase Launch Event

December 10, 2020 at 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM

Location:Online via Zoom
Cost:Free - Registration required: please scroll down to complete the registration form

Registration is now closed. Thank you to all who registered!

To those who couldn’t attend, you can watch the video recording below:

Thursday, December 10, 2020, 2:30pm-4:00pm

Hub Showcase – Launch Event

Translating mental health and well-being research: Being well amid COVID-19

Join us for a series of presentations on wellness research. Hub members will present their work and discuss how it can be applied to your daily life to stay well amid COVID-19. 


2:25 –  Welcome from Host – Dr. Joanna Pozzulo, Chair, Psychology

2:30 –  Welcome and opening remarks – Dr. Pauline Rankin, Dean, FASS

2:35 – The importance of making research accessible – Dr. Benoit-Antoine Bacon, President

2:40 – Working from home during COVID-19 – The Myths versus the Reality – Dr. Linda Duxbury, Sprott School of Business

The COVID-19 pandemic is an on-going health crisis that is dramatically impacting Canadians and their families. Many organizations have responded to the pandemic by requiring “non-essential” employees to work-from-home. Some organizations have, in fact, gone so far as to sell their buildings, anticipating that work-from-home is a change that will stick.  But what is the reality?  How are employees coping with the multiple, complex, and evolving challenges posed by trying to balance changes in their employment situation (e.g., working from home) and caring conditions (e.g., home schooling children, physical distancing from elderly family members, losing social supports) during the pandemic?  This talk provides a reality check of sorts and focuses on the ways in which current work-at-home arrangements (what I refer to as emergency work at home) are likely to make it harder, rather than easier for employees to balance work and family demands.  If time permits I will also offer suggestions for employees on how best to balance work and family when performing emergency work-from home.

2:50 – Maintaining Relationships During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Dr. Cheryl Harasymchuk, Psychology

‘Happy relationships = happy & healthy lives’ is an idea that has gained increasing empirical support. Maintaining satisfying romantic relationships is challenging at the best of times; the COVID-19 pandemic and its related stressors test those bounds. This talk will discuss a recent study where we recruited ~200 people in romantic relationships from the community in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and tracked them over a 6-week period. Insights will be provided about what makes some couples more resilient in the face of increased stressors.

3:00 – Solitude in the Time of COVID: What are the implications of Spending Too Much – or Not Enough Time Alone? – Dr. Rob Coplan, Psychology

Over the last year, many of us have been thrust into experiencing unwanted solitude, or confined to home environments where, for various reasons, it is almost impossible to find a moment alone. Never has it been more important to consider the causes and consequences of solitude for well-being and mental health. This talk will explore solitude from a psychological perspective, with a particular focus on the implications of spending too much – or not enough time alone.

3:10 – Closing Time: Substitution behaviours among casino gamblers during COVID-19 precipitated casino closures – Dr. Michael Wohl, Psychology

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered the closure of licensed casinos throughout North America. Across two study (one longitudinal), we examined how gambles responded to the COVID-19 lockdown, including migration to online gambling, and changes in substance use. In Study 1, we conducted an online cross-sectional study of 424 Americans who have gambled in the last three months. Results showed that online gambling decreased following the onset of COVID-19 casino closures, while alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use increased among gamblers. Among gamblers who reported no online gambling involvement prior to COVID-19, 15% reported migrating to online gambling. These migrators had higher levels of problem gambling and lower income than gamblers who had never gambled online. In Study 2, we replicated and extended these results with a longitudinal assessment of gamblers in Ontario. Specifically, we observed an increase in substitution behaviours. Additionally, we found the greatest negative impact was observed among people who gambled to cope with negative life events (such as COVID-related isolation). Taken together, gamblers’ response to COVID-19 is heterogeneous: the majority reported reducing their online gambling but increased their substance use. A minority of vulnerable gamblers substituted casino gambling with online gambling. Because these individuals are characterized by problem gambling symptoms, lower income, and use of gambling as a coping mechanism, they should be considered a vulnerable group in need of public health attention.

3:20 – Substance Use and COVID-19 – Dr. Matthew Young, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

COVID-19-related social changes have impacted substance use among Canadians in the general population as well as those with substance use disorders.  This talk will review some of the pandemic-related changes in the consumption of, and harms associated with, legal and illegal substances. It will also provide information regarding what can be done at the individual and policy level to reduce harms associated with substance use.

3:30 – Possible benefits of urban greenness on depression and sleep quality: Findings from the Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging – Dr. Paul Villeneuve, Health Sciences

Over the past decade several studies have found a number of possible health benefits associated with living near parks, and green spaces. We are currently investigating many of these possible benefits within the Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging.  Preliminary analyses among approximately 30,000 of these participants suggest that neighbourhood measures of greenness and walkability play an important role for Canadians’ well-being by improving mental health, and sleep quality.

3:40 – Are we using nature to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic? – Jessica Desrochers, The Happiness Lab, Psychology

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our economy, our social lives, and our mental-health. As cases rise and we move back into shutdowns, it is important to understand how people may be coping. Google data (October 18, 2020) shows an increased trend of 44% more visits to parks then a pre-COVID baseline. Previous research has linked spending time in nature with increased well-being and mental health. Could people be using nature to help cope with the stresses of COVID-19?