Pre-Conference Workshop: Mental Health and Privilege: Unveiling the Hidden Relationship

Date: Jun 21, 2021
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PT
Format: Online workshop
Hosted By: BCCIE
Cost: $49+GST


With this year’s BCCIE Summer Conference theme focused on addressing privilege, it is important to take a step back and gain insight into the deep layers of privilege. We all experience life differently from one another, and it is important to acknowledge that some of us experience privilege in a wide range of areas, while others may experience privilege in very few, if any, realms of life. It can sometimes be difficult to identify how our lives are shaped by privilege, especially when we may be struggling with various difficulties of our own. Without examining the influence of privilege, we are unable to see the circumstances that create limitations on other people’s lives.

By exploring their privileged identities, this workshop will provide participants the opportunity to enhance their personal development, improve their relations with others, and become better advocates and influencers within their communities. Participants will gain an understanding of how their own and others’ identities have an impact on the individual’s life, their interactions with others, their mental health and wellness, and the well-being of others.

Learning objectives:
• To understand the diverse forms of privilege.
• To explain what privilege is and is not and why it matters.
• To examine and reflect on personal experiences of privilege.
• To understand one’s identities, the community, and their place therein.
• To understand ways in which privilege plays a role in mental health and wellness.
• To learn about and reflect on the ways one can be an ally.
• To recognize the importance of building relationships between oneself, one’s students, families, and members of the community.
• Provide participants with an understanding of how mental health and wellness functions as a form of privilege, particularly as it relates to current debates over accessibility to mental health support.


Uzoaku Ike is a Caseworker Employment and Social Services with the City of Toronto. Before joining the City in March 2020, Uzoaku was an Evaluation Specialist with the Centre for Skills Development. She was responsible for conducting follow-up surveys with current and past clients and employer participants across all Employment Ontario programs. Prior to this time, she lived and worked in the Netherlands as a program and Business Services Manager with Zein International Child Care Organization. She played a key role in the continued development and promotion of the philosophy of the Organization, which is based on providing an internationally oriented nurturing learning environment for children, especially those with a cross-cultural background.
Uzoaku started her career in 1998 when she gained her bachelors degree in law and was subsequently called to the Nigerian Bar. She practiced her legal profession until 2010 when she moved to the Netherlands with her family. While in Netherlands, she earned a Masters degree in Public Administration with a specialization in International Administration. In 2017, she moved to Canada and in the quest to purse a career that is in line with her passion, she got a diploma in the Social Service Worker program from Sheridan College.

Christina Furtado is the Mental Health and Wellness Specialist with guard.meCARES and has spent over 25 years building awareness around mental health and wellness. Prior to becoming a mental health counsellor, Christina devoted 15 years to supporting students’ wellbeing as an educator within the k-12 sector. Christina continues to be a passionate advocate, bringing her expertise to the guard.meCARES platform through the Wellness and Learning Initiatives Program as well as getting involved in various mental health initiatives across Canada.