Promoting Healthy Relationships for Youth - Speakers

Glen Canning

Glen CanningAdvocate for Victims of Sexual Assault, Father of Rehtaeh Parsons
Glen Canning is an advocate for victims of sexual assault. He is the father of Rehtaeh Anne Parsons, a Nova Scotia teenager who was sexually assaulted by four males at a home near Halifax in November 2011. Rehtaeh ended her life April 4th, 2013, following months of cyber-abuse and victim blaming. Glen has spoken about Rehtaeh’s case internationally and across Canada. Along with his daughter’s mother, Leah Parsons, he has helped bring about changes to the Criminal Code of Canada. For his work, Glen and Leah, along with Amanda Todd’s mother Carol, received the Rosalind Prober Award for Advocacy in 2013.

Dr. Ian Manion

Ian ManionDirector, Youth Mental Health Research Unit, Institute of Mental Health Research at the Royal
Dr. Manion is a clinical psychologist and scientist-practitioner working with children, youth and families for over 30 years.  He is an adjunct professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa and Director of Youth Mental Health Research at the Institute of Mental Health Research.  He is actively involved in research on youth depression and suicide with a particular interest in systems research and how services are organized to best meet the mental health needs of youth.  He co-founder of Youth Net/ Réseau Ado, a bilingual community-based mental health promotion program with satellites across Canada.

Dr. Sharon Hoover

Sharon HooverDirector, Center for School Mental Health
Dr. Hoover's expertise is in the area of implementing empirically-supported interventions in school-based settings. She specializes in research and training on evidence-based practices for mental health and primary health care staff in schools. Dr. Hoover is involved in a number of ongoing research projects examining quality assessment and improvement in school mental health, and has a special interest in interventions for trauma-exposed youth. Dr. Hoover has led and collaborated on multiple federally- and state-funded grants, with a commitment to the study and implementation of quality childrens' mental health services and school mental health (SMH).  Clinically, Dr. Hoover has trained extensively in cognitive behavioral therapy for both adults and children. She also serves as a national trainer for the empirically-supported treatment, Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Trauma in Schools (CBI.

Dr. Tracy Vaillancourt

Tracy VaillancourtProfessor and Canada Research Chair, Children's Mental Health and Violence Prevention, Faculty of Education and the School of Psychology, University of Ottawa 
Dr. Tracy Vaillancourt is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Children's Mental Health and Violence Prevention at the University of Ottawa in the Faculty of Education and the School of Psychology. She is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University and a core member of the Offord Centre for Child Studies. Dr. Vaillancourt's research examines the links between aggression and bio-psychosocial functioning and mental health, with particular focus on bully-victim relations. Dr. Vaillancourt is currently leading a Community-University Research Alliance on the prevention and intervention of bullying which is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

Liz Akiwenzie

New Visiting Elder at Indigenous Services at Western
I am both Ojibway and Oneida. My Ojibway name is “Nistangkwe” (understanding woman); and my Oneida name is “Teyeyato Lehte” (she who reason and sees both side). I am mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, I enjoy woman's traditional dancing, hand drum singing and sharing the beautiful teachings of the Original people of this land. I have been working in the helping field for over 30 years. I have a social work background which I have had the honour of working as an Addictions Healing and Wellness Instructor in an Aboriginal Social Services Worker Program, and within Correctional Services Canada, Probation Services, a Sexual Abuse Center, and as a Traditional/Cultural Educator. I am also a Ceremonial Conductor, and a Traditional Helper to the people. I have gained many teachings over the years, along with doing my own healing work of my heart, mind, body and spirit. My passion is to empower people, so they may see, feel and understand their own natural gifts given by the Creator, and assist them in understanding their feelings, thoughts and how to use them to create a happier and healthier life style.

Dan T. Ashbourne

C. Psych., Registered Clinical Psychologist, & Executive Director at the London Family Court Clinic (LFCC)
Dr. Ashbourne is a Registered Clinical Psychologist in the province of Ontario, and currently Executive Director at London Family Court Clinic. This clinic works with children and families involved with legal/clinical systems.  In addition to leadership of the Clinic, Dr. Ashbourne provides assessments and consultations to the Courts for Youth in Conflict with the Law, Child Welfare and/or Custody and Access programs. Consultation to ADR-LINK and the FASD Initiatives at the Clinic are also provided by Dr. Ashbourne who brings more than 25 years of clinical experience to those he serves. 

Monique Auger

Master of Science Candidate, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University
Monique Auger is Métis and is a citizen of the Métis Nation Greater Victoria and Métis Nation BC. She holds a BA in First Nations Studies, with an interdisciplinary focus on health sciences and research is currently a Master of Science student in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. She works with Reciprocal Consulting and is passionate about community-driven and culturally responsive program evaluation and research approaches.

Leena K. Augimeri

Director, SNAP® Scientific and Program Development & Centre for Children Committing Offences, Child Development Institute and Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto
Dr. Leena K. Augimeri is the Director, SNAP® Scientific and Program Development at the Child Development Institute, Co-Founder of the Stop Now And Plan (SNAP®) model and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto. This scientist-practitioner’s work over 30 years has focused on development, research, dissemination and implementation of SNAP, an evidence-based gender specific model, and a comprehensive crime prevention framework for young children with serious disruptive behaviour problems.  She has authored numerous publications, has conducted hundreds of presentations and keynote addresses and received several prestigious awards such as - Prime Minister’s Regional Social Innovation and Elizabeth Manson Award for exemplary contributions to the promotion of children’s mental healthDr. Augimeri is currently leading a $12 million 5-year implementation strategy to bring SNAP to 140 new communities across Canada using an innovative venture philanthropy model to help create massive social change.

Joanne Baker

Executive Director, BC Society of Transition Houses
Dr. Joanne Baker began working in the anti-violence sector 25 years ago in the UK. She has worked in women’s shelters, transition houses, sexual violence crisis services, children’s counselling programs and provincial anti-violence organizations in the UK, Australia and Canada. Joanne has also worked as an academic at universities in Australia; teaching and researching in the areas of women’s studies, social policy and social work. She is currently Executive Director of the BC Society of Transition Houses, a provincial umbrella organization that provides support, advocacy and training to over 250 Transition, Second Stage and Safe Homes, Children Who Witness Abuse and Violence is Preventable programs and other groups responding to women, children and youth who have experienced violence.

Linda Baker

Learning Director, Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children, Faculty of Education, Western University 
Dr. Baker is the Learning Director at the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children at Western University. She leads knowledge mobilization, transfer and exchange initiatives on gender-based violence, with a particular focus on trauma and violence informed health promotion. She is past Director of the Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System (the London Family Court Clinic), a role she held for 10 years. In addition to her clinical work, she has co-authored numerous publications related to children and families, including From “Buzzword” to Best Practice: Applying Intersectionality to children exposed to intimate partner violence; Walk Proud, Dance Proud: Footprints on a Healing JourneyHelping Children Thrive: Supporting Woman Abuse Survivors as MothersLittle Eyes, Little Ears: How Violence against a Mother Shapes Children as They Grow. She has presented workshops across the United States and Canada, as well as in Europe and Asia to various groups including judges, lawyers, mental health professionals and educators. Since 2000, Dr. Baker has been a frequent faculty member for the US National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges' and Futures Without Violence program on “enhancing judicial skills in domestic violence cases”.

Karen Bax

C. Psych., Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Education, Western University, Managing Director of Western’s Mary J. Wright Research and Education Centre at Merrymount
Dr. Karen Bax is an Assistant Professor within the Faculty of Education at Western University.  Registered as a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Bax engages in training future scholars and practitioners through teaching and as the practicum supervisor for students in the Ph.D. in School and Applied Child Psychology program. Dr. Bax is also the Managing Director of Western’s Mary J. Wright Research and Education Centre at Merrymount, a unique university-community collaboration that emphasizes early child development research in real-world settings and knowledge sharing across systems.  Dr. Bax is involved in applied research related to social-emotional learning and self-regulation of children who have experienced adversity.

Helene Berman

PhD, Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Co-director of the Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion (CRHESI)
Dr. Berman, RN, PhD, is Professor, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University. Her program of research has focused on the subtle and explicit forms of violence in the lives of girls and young women. In recent years, she has extended that work to include boys and young men, and currently leads a CIHR Team Grant titled Promoting Health through Collaborative Engagement with Youth: Overcoming, Resisting and Preventing Structural Violence. Dr. Berman is Past President of the Nursing Network on Violence against Women International and Academic Director of the Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion.

Emanuela Bringi

Youth Development Worker
Emanuela Bringi is a Youth Development Worker originally from London, Ontario. Emanuela focuses on youth development, as she believes it is key in advancing youth in all levels of their lives. For over six years she has worked in priority communities and with vulnerable youth both in London and Toronto. She spent six months working as a youth development worker and social worker in a township school based in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Emanuela currently leads an initiative titled Generation of Leaders, which focuses on the empowerment of women and youth in African communities. With this initiative she successfully led and organizing two summits, one being in Ontario and the other in South Africa. Emanuela holds a Diploma in Social Service Work and a B.A. in Multicultural and Indigenous Studies.

Ryan Broll

Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Guelph
Dr. Ryan Broll is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Guelph. His areas of research interest include bullying and cyberbullying, policing, and victimization. Dr. Broll’s recent research has examined the extent to which groups of adults—including parents, educators, and the police—collaboratively prevent and respond to cyberbullying. He is also currently studying the individual, social, and structural variables associated with youths’ cyberbullying involvement, and the framing of laws that criminalize cyberbullying. Dr. Broll’s other work focuses on the extent to which the general public is a security stakeholder in cyberspace, and trauma and resilience among crime victims.

Tara L. Bruno

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology at King’s University College at Western University
Tara Bruno is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at King’s University College at Western University.  She completed her Master of Arts in Sociology and her PhD in the Collaborative Program in Addiction Studies and Sociology at the University of Toronto.  Her early graduate work focussed on substance use and family relations among high-risk street-involved and child welfare involved youth, while her dissertation focussed on comparing patterns of alcohol and cannabis use amongst high school students and street-involved youth.  Her current research interests include vulnerable youth, substance use, suicide and social relationships.  

Eugenia Canas

PhD Cand, Health Information Science, Coordinator, Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion (CRHESI)
Eugenia Canas is a Health Information Science PhD Candidate, where she uses critical, participatory and art-based approaches to understand the impact of youth stakeholder input on the design and delivery of mental health services. She co-coordinates the Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion. Eugenia has clinical experience as an art therapist in child/adolescent oncology, working in hospital and community settings. For five years, she coordinated a community of practice, facilitating the generation and exchange of knowledge among mental health professionals and the youth they served. She holds an M.A. in Linguistics and a B.A. in Visual Arts.

Cassidy Caron

Research Associate, Reciprocal Consulting
Cassidy Caron is Métis and a member of the Métis Nation of British Columbia. She received a Bachelor of Arts in First Nations Studies and History from Vancouver Island University and completed one year in the Aboriginal Youth Internship Program with the BC Public Service. Cassidy has been a research associate with Reciprocal Consulting for one year and is passionate about working with communities and culturally responsive evaluation.

Roseline Carter

RSW, Calgary Sexual Health Centre
Roseline Carter is a registered social worker and is the Director of Programs at Calgary Sexual Health Centre (CSHC). She has been a social worker in Calgary since 2004 and has been with CSHC since 2012. Since that time, she has had the great privilege of being a member of the WiseGuyz Research team. She is passionate about nonprofit and community research and is always excited to talk about WiseGuyz research results. In her spare time, she volunteers for organizations that focus on women and social justice issues and is currently the Board Chair of the Women’s Centre of Calgary.

Deb Chiodo

Research Associate for the Centre for School Mental Health 
Debbie joins the Centre for School Mental Health part-time as a Research Associate seconded from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s (CAMH) Provincial System Support Program. Debbie has a master's degree in psychology and a master's degree in counseling psychology and is part-way through the completion of a PhD in Education. For the past 12 years, Debbie has worked at CAMH where she and her colleagues have developed, implemented, and evaluated violence prevention and healthy relationship programing and initiatives for schools and communities across Canada and the United States. Working closely with schools in London, Ontario for the past 12 years, Debbie has developed collaborative, working relationships with various systems within the education sector, working closely with the Ministry of Education on several provincial initiatives, school districts, individual schools, community and parent groups, locally and provincially. Debbie works closely with the Thames Valley District School Board in various capacities from professional development for staff and parents, research and evaluation, programming support, and helping schools translate evidence into practice. She has co-authored over 35 academic articles and book chapters in the area of violence prevention, school-based programming, child welfare, and Aboriginal programming.

Wendy Craig

PhD., FRSC, O.Ont, Professor and Head of Psychology, Scientific Co-Director of PREVNet, Queen's University 
Dr. Wendy Craig is a leading international scientist and expert on bullying prevention and the promotion of healthy relationships.  As co-founder and co-Scientific Director of PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network), she has transformed understanding of bullying and effectively translated the science into evidence-based practise, intervention, and policy. In recognition of her work, she has won numerous awards such as an Investigator Award from CIHR, the Canadian Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Community Service, the Queen’s Excellence in Research Prize, Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council Impact Partnership Award.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and was recently awarded the Order of Ontario.  She is a professor and Head of the Department of Psychology.

Claire Crooks

Director, Centre for School Mental Health, Faculty of Education, Western University 
Claire Crooks is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, and Director of the Centre for School Mental Health at Western University. She is one of the lead developers and researchers of the Fourth R, the relationship-based program aimed at preventing violence and promoting mental health among adolescents. The Fourth R has been implemented throughout Canada and is identified as a best practice program by numerous registries. She is particularly interested in strengths-based approached that meet the unique needs of Aboriginal youth. Claire is the lead author of Engaging Aboriginal Youth: A toolkit for service providers (2010, Trafford).

Joanne Cummings

Ph.D. C. Psych.  PREVNet Director of Knowledge Mobilization 
Dr. Joanne Cummings is the Knowledge Mobilization Director of PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network) and a child clinical psychologist in private practice.  Dr. Cummings’ received her Ph.D. in clinical developmental psychology from York University and was subsequently a clinician-researcher at the Hospital for Sick Children.  Her research has examined the effects exposure to intimate partner violence on children and parents; an evaluation of a parent-child dyadic therapy for young children with disruptive behaviour disorders, an evaluation of an attachment-focused parenting group intervention, and the process of knowledge mobilization. Dr. Cummings has been involved in bullying prevention activities since 1995, disseminating knowledge to enhance practice and policy in youth-serving organizations. Dr. Cummings has been involved in a myriad of co-creation projects with PREVNet, working with diverse partners including children’s television, social media, education and recreation.

Susan Dale

Program Development & Implementation Coordinator, The Fourth R 
Susan Dale has 19 years of experience in education as a Teacher, Department Head, and Learning Coordinator. She was the Learning Coordinator for Safe Schools in the Thames Valley District School Board in London, Ontario for 10 years. In this role, she provided professional development to superintendents, school administrators, teachers, parents, and students on general information related to bullying and various Safe Schools programs. Susan is also a Master Trainer for the Fourth R Program, as well as a certified TRIBES Trainer for her school board. She has trained teachers to integrate safe schools issues within the curriculum and has helped them to create cultures of caring within their classrooms. Susan is currently seconded to the Centre for School Mental Health as the Fourth R’s Program Development and Implementation Coordinator.

Casey Eagle Speaker

Casey Eagle Speaker is also known by his traditional name “Sorrel Horse” by his people within the Blackfoot Confederation.  He is a member of the Blood Tribe in Southern Alberta. In the Year 2000, Casey was awarded the Chief David Crow Child Award from the City of Calgary for his work in cross-cultural awareness and in addition the Dr. Joseph Crow Shoe Award from the University of Calgary for his work in Aboriginal Education. As well, he has received numerous other awards within society. Casey has been working with Hull Services since 1998, as the Aboriginal Resource Coordinator.

Deinera Exner-Cortens

PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary 
Deinera Exner-Cortens, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary. Deinera holds a doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University, and a Master of Public Health from Boston University. Her research focuses on understanding adolescent dating violence, with a focus on measurement and outcomes, as well as on the implementation, evaluation and scale-up of dating violence prevention and healthy relationships promotion programs in school and community settings.

Bruce Ferguson

Co-Chair of The Ontario Minister of Education's Expert Panel on Safe & Accepting Schools 
Dr. Bruce Ferguson is a Senior Consultant and the founding Director of the Community Health Systems Resource Group at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). Dr. Ferguson’s vision is to promote success in children and youth by considering all factors essential to well-being including health, home life, school, community life and peer relationships. Dr. Ferguson works to build networks and improve systems of care and support for children and families. He is an advocate for children and youth, particularly those marginalized by race, poverty, gender, religion or ethnicity.  He was a member of the Minister’s Advisory Group on Mental Health and Addictions Strategy which led to Open Minds, Healthy Minds, the Ontario initiative in child and youth mental health. Dr. Ferguson was a member of the Ministry of Children Youth Services Expert Panel on System Transformation  Co-Chaired  the Ministry of Education Expert Panel on Accepting Schools, currently co-chairs the Ministry's expert Panel on Well-being, and participates in School Mental Health ASSIST

Heather Gregory

MSW, RSW, PhD (Candidate) 
Heather Gregory is the Clinical Manager and Senior Child and Family Therapist with the Assessment Directed Treatment Program at Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre.  Heather is also currently completing a PhD in Clinical Social Work at Smith College in Massachusetts.  As a therapist, Heather assesses the impact of trauma and provides trauma therapy to children and youth between the ages of 4 and 18 who have experienced relational trauma.  In 2009, Heather graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master of Social Work Degree and specialized in children and families.  Heather also holds a Specialized Honours Degree in Psychology with a concentration in Developmental Psychology, as well as a Diploma in Early Childhood Education.  Heather has worked with children and youth for over 15 years in early childhood education, school, hospital, child protection, research and clinical settings.

Kathleen Hagan

MA (Counselling) 
Employed with Hull Services in Calgary since 1991, in the past 15+ years Kathleen has been responsible for a number of prevention, early intervention and school based programs. She has been instrumental in developing services in partnership with other organizations such as schools, health providers, municipal services, Indigenous Elders, and community groups. She has worked with researchers, program developers and community stakeholders to integrate and adapt models into the Canadian and Calgary context. Most recently, Kathleen’s contribution to developing a program for urban indigenous families to prevent the transmission of intergenerational trauma effects has brought her new understanding of historic trauma and reconciliation.

Chloe Hamza

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto  
Dr. Chloe Hamza is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. Prior to starting at OISE, she completed a CIHR-funding Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Centre for School-based Mental Health at Western University, and was a recipient of the Canada Graduate Scholarship as a doctoral student in Lifespan Development Psychology at Brock University. Dr. Hamza’s research focuses on identifying risk and protective factors that predict stability and change in mental health and well-being among students (from elementary through to post-secondary school). In particular, Dr. Hamza has strong interests in the development of self-injurious behaviors among students, including nonsuicidal self-injury (e.g., self-cutting) and suicidal behavior, and understanding the link between these two forms of self-injury. Her research also focuses on facilitating the early detection of at risk individuals, as well as developing mental health assessments which facilitate a coordinated approach to self-injury assessment and intervention. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Clinical Psychology ReviewJournal of Youth and Adolescence, and Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Dilys Haner

MA, formerly the senior manager of clinical research and development at Kids Help Phone/Jeunesse J’écoute, Resident, Clinical Psychology at NORPIC 
A veteran of telephone and online counselling/psychotherapy, Dilys’ Master’s and PhD research was embedded in emerging social media technologies at KHP/JJ.  Her work contributed to the nascent literature on the effectiveness of Internet counselling with young people.  Dilys wrote the training manual for “Live Chat” counselling at KHP/JJ and trained counselling managers on the supervision tool she designed for this medium.  Currently a clinical psychology resident at the Northern Ontario Psychology Internship Consortium (NOrPIC), Dilys spends her spare time as “Dear Dil,” dispensing advice for the players of LongStory, a wildly popular narrative video game about healthy relationship development.  You can see her column every week on the LongStoryGame Tumblr.

Ray Hughes

National Coordinator FourthR Programs, Faculty of Education, Western University 
Ray Hughes has over 30 years of experience in education as a teacher, Department Head, University Lecturer, and Consultant. He is currently the National Education Coordinator for the Fourth R where he coordinates the implementation of the Fourth R in collaboration with partners and school boards. Previously, Ray was involved in coordinating the implementation of violence prevention programs for 190 schools and 80,000 students in his position as the Learning Coordinator for Violence Prevention with the Thames Valley District School Board in London, Ontario. He was also a member of the Ontario Safe Schools Action Team whose mandate was to draw on best practices from across Ontario and to advise the Minister of Education on all aspects of school safety. Ray continues to provide regular professional development to superintendents, school administrators, teachers, parents, and students on violence prevention and safe schools initiatives. He has developed and implemented school-based programs related to substance abuse, domestic violence, gender equity, dating violence, human sexuality, interpersonal violence, conflict resolution, and bullying prevention. Ray has also developed a safe schools course for teacher candidates in Faculties of Education.

Debb Hurlock

Research, Evaluation and Strategy Consultant, Creative Theory Consulting Inc. 
Dr. Debb Hurlock is a Calgary based Consultant with eighteen years' experience working primarily with non-profit organizations to develop and support their research and evaluation capacities. Debb holds a Doctorate in Educational Research and has a unique blend of community-based and academic experience. Her consulting specializations are in the areas of facilitation and strategic development of theories of change; collective impact evaluation frameworks; community-based research and developmental evaluation. She has worked in a variety of social change areas and is most recently focused in the areas of engaging men and boys for prevention of domestic violence; evaluation of violence prevention initiatives; poverty reduction; and adolescent boys and healthy masculinity.

Lynda Hutchinson

Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at King’s University College at Western.  Project Manager, MindUp project with the Centre for School Mental Health 
Dr. Lynda Hutchinson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at King's University College at Western University. She is also the Project Manager for the MindUp project with the Centre for School Mental Health. MindUp is a research-based program that teaches elementary school children social and emotional learning skills. Dr. Hutchinson completed her Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia. Her major area of specialization was in Human Development, Learning, and Culture (HDLC) and she earned a minor in Measurement Evaluation and Research Methods (MERM). Dr. Hutchinson employs mixed method research designs to understanding aspects of young children's self-regulation for learning and how features of classroom contexts provide opportunities and support for them. Dr. Hutchinson is publishing studies examining links between features of contexts and self-regulation in the elementary years. A current thread of Dr. Hutchinson's work involves understanding how adaptive and effective patterns of self-regulation for learning contribute to children's mental health and well-being over the long-term.

Peter Jaffe

Academic Director, Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children, Faculty of Education, Western University  
Peter Jaffe, PhD., assumed the role of Academic Director of the Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children and Professor in the Faculty of Education at Western University in 2005. He is the Director Emeritus for the Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System (London Family Court Clinic). He also holds an appointment as Professor (Part time) for the Department of Psychiatry.  Peter's research efforts focus on several areas including, enhancing safety planning and risk reduction to prevent domestic homicides, improving the response of the family court system to abuse victims in the context of custody and access disputes, violence prevention programs for teens entering secondary school, and the process for maintaining sustainable changes for safe school initiatives.

Ken Jeffers

Coordinator, Gender-Based Violence Prevention, Toronto District School Board 
Ken Jeffers is a teacher and child and youth worker and has worked at Toronto District School Board for the past 18 years, designing and delivering programs for staff and youth, playing an advocate role for students experiencing discrimination - helping to draft and implement the TDSB’s Equity and Human Right’s polices as early as 1999.  Ken has a unique perspective and background with his long history of community activism in areas of social justice, human rights, equity, homophobia/transphobia and issues relating to bullying prevention, healthy relationships education, gender, sexuality, race and class.  He has contributed to the development of education policies and procedures in all of these areas and served on numerous consultation committees, work groups and writing teams in the Board, municipality and across the province.  Since 2009 Ken has worked as Coordinator of the Board’s Gender-Based Violence Prevention Office, implementing a system-wide prevention strategy for almost 600 schools, 250K students and over 30K employees across the district.  His work has included organizing student camps, conferences and retreats; countless staff presentations and workshops on equity, human rights, anti-oppression education and intersectional violence prevention; advocacy, collaboration and working with a number of community organizations, speaking to media on behalf of the Board, implementing a Board-wide positive spaces campaign, championing GSA leadership awards for students, drafting accommodation guidelines for transgender and non-binary staff and students, policy and legislation implementation, and extensive involvement with system wide initiatives at the TDSB.
 Ken has also has served as his local bargaining unit President; is a former Equity Vice president of the Ontario Federation of Labour and has co-authored training/ classroom resources for Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation (OSSTF), OPHEA and the Ontario Education Services Corporation (OESC) on issues of bullying, cyber-bullying, gender-based harassment, healthy relationships, equity education/ accepting schools and homophobia/transphobia.

Zac Johnstone

Youth Advisor, Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health 
Zac Johnstone is a Youth Advisor at the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health, working with child and youth mental health agencies across Ontario to support meaningful and authentic youth engagement. Zac is a 3rd year Bachelor of Social Work student at Carleton University,  sits on the board of directors of LGBT YouthLine, and never goes anywhere without coffee.  Twitter: @Zac_Johnstone

Katherine Kelly

Executive Director of the Pan-Canadian Joint Consortium for School Health 
Katherine Kelly was appointed Executive Director of the Pan-Canadian Joint Consortium for School Health (JCSH) in 2010. Katherine holds an M. ED in Leadership and Learning from the UPEI, as well as a B.Ed from the University of Regina and a B.A. from the University of Saskatchewan.  She has held variety of senior level positions in the health and education systems including Director of Federal/Provincial/Territorial Relations, Chief Executive Officer of a regional health authority, and Director of Child and Family, Mental Health and Addictions.  She has also been a lecturer in the UPEI Faculty of Education and a classroom teacher.

Amanda Kerry

PhD Candidate in School and Applied Child Psychology, Faculty of Education & Research Assistant for the Centre for School Mental Health 
Amanda is currently a PhD candidate in School and Applied Child Psychology at the Faculty of Education.  She completed an H.BSc in Psychology, Behavioural Neuroscience Specialization at McMaster University and an M.Ed in Counselling Psychology at Western University.  Her graduate thesis, which was supervised by Dr. Alan Leschied, examined non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) among girls in tertiary care. Prior to returning to Western to pursue a PhD, Amanda completed two terms under contract with the Correctional Service of Canada where she was employed as an Offender Counsellor within the Psychology Department at minimum, medium, and maximum security federal institutions.  Amanda also worked as a research consultant with the London Family Court Clinic, where she conducted a comprehensive literature review of the treatment needs of youth offenders, enabling her to identify key areas of need for this population, including; self-harm, substance use, poor school performance, family conflict, exposure to antisocial peers, and traumatic life events.  Her current research interests include prevention and intervention programs designed to promote resiliency and redirect children and youth from a trajectory of unhealthy, antisocial behaviours.

Laurence J. Kirmayer

MD, FRCPC, FCAHS, FRSC, James McGill Professor & Director, Division of Social & Transcultural Psychiatry 
Laurence J. Kirmayer is James McGill Professor and Director, Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University and Director of the McGill Global Mental Health Program. He is Editor-in-Chief of Transcultural Psychiatry, and Director of the Culture & Mental Health Research Unit at the Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, where he conducts research on culturally responsive mental health services, the mental health of Indigenous peoples, and the anthropology of psychiatry. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada.

Alicia Lapointe

PhD Candidate and Instructor, Western University and Research Assistant, Centre for School Mental Health, Western University 
Alicia Lapointe is a PhD Candidate and Instructor at Western University.  She created and instructs the undergraduate course, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Two-Spirit, Queer/Questioning (LGBT2Q) Issues in Education (2014 - present).  She is one of the authors of the Healthy Relationships Program (HRP) for LGBTQ+ Youth (2016), and works as a Research Assistant for the Centre for School Mental Health, Western University. Connect with Alicia via email: or twitter: @alapoint13a

Bonnie Leadbeater

Ph.D., Professor, Department Psychology, University of Victoria 
Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater is a professor in psychology and holds degrees in Nursing and Educational Psychology from the University of Ottawa and in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University, New York.  She has made internationally recognized contributions to research on adolescent parenting, emerging adulthood, adolescent depression, resilience in high-risk youth, and the prevention of peer victimization in elementary school children.  She is the director of the Victoria Healthy Youth Survey research - a 10 year longitudinal study assessing health during transitions to young adulthood. She is also an author and evaluator of the WITS and WITS LEADS elementary school programs for the prevention of peer victimization (  She is highly committed to efforts to translate theory and research into training, policy, and programs – all actions that can improve the lives of children, youth, and their families.

Lianne Lee

Director, Alberta Healthy Youth Relationships Strategy, Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence 
Lianne has led a broad range of community programs and systems-change initiatives that seek to enhance the wellbeing of children and youth from diverse backgrounds. Her research focuses on building university-community partnerships that foster reciprocity and social change.

Joyce Li

Clinical Psychology PhD Student, Department of Psychology, Queen's University 
Joyce Li is a doctoral student in Dr. Wendy Craig's Bully Lab at Queen's University. For her dissertation, she is examining links between peer relationships, gendered harassment, and mental health in adolescence. She is also evaluating the effectiveness of the Toronto District School Board's new "Talking Relationships" resource for middle school classrooms.

Angelina MacLellan

Master of Arts Counselling Psychology Student, Western University 
Under the supervision of Dr. Alan Leschied, her Master’s thesis, funded by a SSHRC Canadian Graduate Scholarship and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship, examined the mental health status in a sample of justice involved youth in the context of poverty. Prior to graduate school, she completed a Bachelor of Arts, Honours in Psychology with a Special Concentration in Forensic Psychology, at St. Francis Xavier University (StFX). Here, she completed two practica placements at Nova Institution for Women, a multi-level security women’s federal prison in Truro, Nova Scotia.

Marika Morris

Adjunct Research Professor, School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies, Carleton University 
Dr. Marika Morris is an Adjunct Research Professor in the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University, and a research consultant who works with Inuit organizations. Her Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship research launched Makilirit: Rise Up, an Inuit youth violence prevention project in partnership with Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada.

Abe Oudshoorn

PhD., Assistant Professor, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing 
Dr. Abe Oudshoorn is an Assistant Professor in the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at Western University, as well as the Department of Psychiatry Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, and Associate Scientist with Lawson Health Research Institute.  Having worked as a nurse with people experiencing homelessness, Abe’s research focuses on health, homelessness, gender, housing policy, and poverty.  Outside of the University, Abe has the privilege of Chairing the London Homeless Coalition, is a board member with the United Way of London & Middlesex, and sat on the Mayor’s Advisory Panel on Poverty. Abe is the recipient of Western’s 2016 Humanitarian Award.

Debra J. Pepler

PhD., C.Psych, Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology, Scientific Co-Director, PREVNet, LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research, York University 

Dr. Debra Pepler is a Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology at York University. Her research focuses on aggression and victimization among children and adolescents. She also conducts research on children in families at risk through Breaking the Cycle – a program for substance using mothers and their young children. Together with Dr. Wendy Craig, Dr. Pepler leads a federally funded national network, PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network) to promote healthy relationships and prevent bullying for children and youth.

Sandra Pribanic

Child and Family Therapist, Assessment Directed Therapy Program, Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre 
Sandra Pribanic is a clinician at Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Center, where she provides assessment and therapy to children, youth, and their families. Her approach is holistic, and integrates early childhood development theories, early relational and collective trauma, body-centered psychotherapy, neuroscience and mindfulness. Sandra is also a Registered Psychotherapist, and has a private practice in Toronto.

Susan Rodger

C. Psych., Psychologist and Associate Professor, Counselling Psychology Program, Faculty of Education, Western University 
Susan Rodger is a Psychologist and Associate Professor in the Graduate Program in Counselling Psychology at the Faculty of Education at Western University and a Research Associate at the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children and the Centre for School-Based Mental Health. She works within the education and child welfare systems to enhance awareness and capacity with respect to both adult and child mental health. Her research interests include barriers to mental health treatment, mental health literacy for teachers, teacher candidates and foster care providers, and the influence of exposure to violence on learning. She is currently working on two national projects developing resources for teacher wellness and supporting child and youth mental health in schools.

Billie Joe Rogers

PhD Candidate, Law and Psychology Program, Simon Fraser University 
Billie Joe is an Ojibwe member of Aamjiwnaang First Nation and is currently a PhD student at Simon Fraser University in the Psychology program. Billie Joe has worked with Reciprocal Consulting since 2010 and is passionate about culturally responsive evaluation. She is committed to giving back to the community, volunteering with Indigenous initiatives within the academic and community settings, and serving as a board member of the Knowledgeable Aboriginal Youth Association.

Victoria Sabo

MA Candidate, Counselling Psychology, Western University 
Victoria has a longstanding interest in social justice advocacy with a primary focus on informing rehabilitative practice and policy implementation. Her current research explores social relationships in young offenders as they relate to peers, poverty, and psychological adjustment, to assist marginalized youth and their families involved in the justice system. Victoria also provides individual and group counselling services at Western’s Psychological Services through the Student Development Centre, while volunteering her time to Big Brothers Big Sisters programs to promote self-esteem development for at-risk youth."

Kayla Sapardanis

MA Candidate, Counselling Psychology, Western University  
Kayla Sapardanis is currently a MA Counselling Psychology student in the Faculty of Education at Western University. Her thesis is investigating adolescents and dating violence, specifically focusing on risk factors in youth dating relationships that may predict cases of domestic homicide. She is involved at the Centre as a Research Assistant on various projects examining risk factors, health impacts, and health indicators of family violence and trauma.

Sandra Savage

MSW, RSW, Mental Health Leader/Social Work Supervisor, LDCSB
Sandra is currently the Mental Health Lead and Supervisor of Professional Support staff at the London District Catholic School Board.  She is a registered social worker who has held clinical, supervisory and managerial/administrative roles in family service agencies in the London/Middlesex and York Region communities for over 25 years.  Sandra has a special interest in the area of child and youth mental health, trauma and the impact of abuse across the lifespan.

Kathy Short

School Mental Health-ASSIST, Ministry of Education 
Kathy Short is a Clinical Child Psychologist with research and practice interests that focus on school mental health promotion, knowledge mobilization, and implementation science.  She is the Director for School Mental Health ASSIST, a provincial team designed to help Ontario school boards to support student mental health and well-being.  Dr. Short was appointed to the Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and is the Chair for the Mental Health Promotion, Prevention, and Early Intervention Work Group for the Council.  She has also recently been invited to serve on the Student Well-Being Advisory Committee for the Ministry of Education. Dr. Short is a member of the national School-Based Mental Health and Substance Abuse Consortium, and led the Knowledge Translation and Exchange Team for this association of Canadian researchers and school mental health practitioners on a national project for the Mental Health Commission of Canada.   Dr. Short chairs the newly formed School Mental Health International Leadership Exchange (SMHILE), a network of global leaders focused on key themes in student mental health promotion.

Alisa Simon

VP, Counselling Services and Programs 
As the Vice-President of Counselling Services and Programs at Kids Help Phone, Alisa Simon heads the organization’s evaluation and Knowledge Mobilization work and is also responsible for its counselling organization-wide, with more than 100 professional counselling staff working under her direction across three counselling centres serving young people across Canada. Alisa’s portfolio also includes the development and management of Kids Help Phone’s many clinical offerings for young people, including technical innovations such as Kids Help Phone’s Live Chat service, the Always There app, four award-winning youth websites, and the organization’s community resource database of 35,000 local programs and services nationwide serving young people. Alisa often speaks on behalf of Kids Help Phone at national and international conferences and represents Kids Help Phone with organizations such as Child Helpline International and the National Alliance for Children and Youth (where she currently serves on the board of directors).

Jacqueline Specht

Professor and Director of the Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education, Western University 
Dr. Jacqueline Specht is a Professor in Education at the University of Western Ontario where she is the director of the Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education. Her research investigates issues related to newly graduated teachers for teaching in diverse classrooms. She has worked with school districts and community agencies in a variety of ways to help support the inclusion of students with disabilities in their neighbourhood schools.

Nicole Sudiacal

Youth Advisor, Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health 
Nicole Sudiacal is a 3rd year Conflict Studies and Human Rights student at the University of Ottawa. She currently acts as a Youth Advisor to the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health. As a Youth Advisor, Nicole provides a consulting and supporting role to both internal processes of youth engagement and external youth engagement practices at mental health agencies across Ontario. In addition, she is also a youth leader of the Ethno-cultural Youth Advisory Committee at the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa, focusing on peer-to-peer support for immigrant, refugee, ethnocultural and racialized youth in the city.

Samantha Tsuruda

MPH, Research Associate, Reciprocal Consulting 
Samantha Tsuruda is from the Spuzzum Nation in the Fraser Valley. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Victoria, and a Master in Public Health from the University of British Columbia. She is extremely grateful to have worked with Reciprocal Consulting for five years, which specializes in community-driven research and program evaluation. Passionate about youth health, Samantha serves on McCreary Centre Society's Board of Directors, and was appointed Chair in 2015.

Renée Turner

Research Coordinator, Reaching Out with Yoga Project, BC Society of Transition Houses 
Renée is the research coordinator on the Reaching out with Yoga project at the BC Society of Transition Houses. She is passionate about creating positive social change through community-based, trauma-informed research. Previous projects that she worked on were with the University of British Columbia and University of Sydney (Australia) in the areas of prison health, HIV prevention, and rural maternal health. In her current role, she is able to merge her research experience with one of her biggest passions: yoga. Renée has been teaching yoga for 9 years, and is excited to bring her two worlds together in this work.

Orla Tyrrell

MA Counselling Psychology Student, Western University 
Orla Tyrrell is currently a MA Counselling Psychology student in the Faculty of Education at Western University. Her role as a research assistant at the London Family Court Clinic focused on providing research to aid in creating evidence-based poverty reduction initiatives, specifically for justice-involved youth. Her thesis identifies the nature and needs of young offenders who experience compromised conditions within the social determinants of health and its influence on accessing services relevant to rehabilitation and reducing recidivism. Orla is currently completing her internship at Humber College, providing counselling services that address the mental health needs and well-being of students.

Kim van der Woerd

Principal, Reciprocal Consulting 
Kim van der Woerd is a member of the Namgis First Nation from Alert Bay, BC. Kim has a PhD in Psychology at Simon Fraser University and over 17 years of experience conducting local, provincial and national program evaluations, and conducting research. Kim has received the Canadian Evaluation Society -- Contributions to Evaluation in Canada Award 2014 and the AEA the Michael Scriven Dissertation Award for Outstanding Contribution to Evaluation Theory, Methodology or Practice.

Jordyn Webb

MA Candidate, Counselling Psychology, Western University 
Jordyn completed her Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Psychology at the University of Guelph. She is currently completing a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology degree at Western University. As a member of a team of researchers from Western University, Jordyn conducted research at the London Family Court Clinic, as part of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, to investigate the experiences and needs of youth involved in the criminal justice system. Specifically, she examined the differential experiences of male and female youth with poverty acting as a barrier to accessing services aimed at rehabilitation of criminally-involved youth. Jordyn went on to write her Master’s thesis on the unique experiences of female youth involved in the criminal justice system and their gender-specific needs, relative to male youth.  She is currently completing an internship in the Focused Family Therapy program at Vanier Children’s Services.

Lana Wells

Associate Professor and Brenda Strafford Chair in the Prevention of Domestic Violence 
Lana is the Brenda Strafford Chair in the Prevention of Domestic Violence at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary where she is leading Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence. The purpose of Shift is to enhance the capacity of policy makers, systems leaders, clinicians, service providers and the community at large, to significantly reduce the rates of domestic violence through primary prevention.

David Wolfe

Research Scholar & Professor, Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children, Faculty of Education, Western University 
Dr. David Wolfe is a psychologist specializing in issues affecting children and youth. He has pioneered new approaches to preventing many societal youth problems such as child abuse, bullying, relationship violence, and substance abuse through universal education programs. His Fourth R program is taught in over 5000 schools in Canada and the US, and has been identified as a promising violence prevention strategy by numerous reviews of evidence-based programs for youth.