Gaya Arasaratnam, Concordia University
Director, Campus Wellness & Support Services
Gaya Arasaratnam is the inaugural director of Concordia University’s Campus Wellness and Support Services where she oversees three units: Health Services, Counselling & Psychological Services and the Access Centre for Students with Disabilities. She holds an MBA in Health Industry Management and is a Certified Health Executive. Follow along in Concordia’s journeys in change management and departmental growth, in “Road to Integration: Empowerment and Wellbeing for All”.
Ann Buller, Centennial College
Ann Buller is a visionary leader who has embedded the principles of global citizenship, equity and social justice into Centennial’s programs and operations. She’s spearheaded award-winning programs that embed mentoring and outreach to help underrepresented individuals succeed in postsecondary education. Ann Buller has received many awards recognizing her leadership and commitment to mentoring young women and girls. Most recently, she received the 2016 World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics Leadership Award, the Top 100 Most Powerful Women Award (2016, 2010) and the 2015 CBIE President’s Award for Distinguished Leadership for International Education. Past awards include the 2014 Chief Executive Leadership Award (Council for Advancement and Support of Education), the Distinguished Service Award (Association of Canadian Community Colleges, 2014) and the Top 25 Women of Influence (Women of Influence Magazine, 2014, 2013).
Verity Turpin, Dalhousie University
Assistant Vice-Provost, Student Affairs
Dr. Glenda MacQueen, University of Calgary
Vice-Dean, Cumming School of Medicine
Dr. MacQueen earned her PhD in Psychology and her medical degree from McMaster University, where she also completed her residency in psychiatry. In 2008 she moved from McMaster to the University of Calgary where she is currently Vice-Dean at the Cumming School of Medicine and a member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education. Her research interests have focused on mood disorders. Dr. MacQueen is an associate editor of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry and the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Palix Foundation and the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre. She was the 2011 recipient of the Douglas Utting Award for studies in depression and is the 2014 recipient of the Heinz Lehmann Award from the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology.
Dr. Branka Agic, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
Manager, Health Equity
Dr. Branka Agic is the Manager of Health Equity at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and an Assistant Professor and Associate Field Director for the MScCH program in Addictions and Mental Health at the University of Toronto. Branka holds a PhD in Health and Behavioral Sciences from the University of Toronto and a Medical Degree from the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Branka has extensive experience in counselling, research and service development with immigrants and refugees. Her primary research interest is in the area of mental health and substance use among immigrants, refugees, ethno-cultural and racialized groups.
Janine Robb, University of Toronto
Executive Director, Health & Wellness | President, Ontario University & College Health Association
Janine Robb joined the University of Toronto as the Executive Director of Health and Wellness in 2009. Health & Wellness is a resource for students that includes primary health care, counselling and psychological services, and health education and promotion, serving a population of more than 55,000 students. As Director, Janine actively pursues a broad health and mental health agenda, leading initiatives that have included campus-wide anti-stigma campaigns and health/mental health education programs for student leaders, staff and faculty. Janine also leads work aimed at increasing access to health and mental health services through building strategic partnerships and collaborative programming across the campus and with other stakeholders. Janine oversaw the establishment of a Mental Health Advisory Committee that developed a mental health strategy for the University. Janine is frequently called upon to support efforts to better understand developments in student mental health on university campuses. She was a President of the Canadian Organization of University College Health (COUCH) and the first Co-Chair of the Student Health Community of Practice, Canadian Association College and University Student Services (CACUSS) and currently the President of the Ontario University and College Health Association (OUCHA). Janine has been involved with the National College Health Assessment survey since 2009, was active in the national uptake in 2013 and saw the University of Toronto centralize their institutions participation in 2016.
Prior to joining U of T, Janine held an administrative directorship roles at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) where she initiated the Early Intervention Program in Mood Disorders, a collaborative project with the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Dr. Catherine M. Sabiston, University of Toronto
Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity & Mental Ability, Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education
Dr. Catherine M. Sabiston is an Associate Professor of exercise and health psychology at the University of Toronto and holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Physical Activity and Mental Health. Dr. Sabiston’s research primarily focuses on strategies to improve physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour among individuals across the lifespan, and how physical activity relates to mental health. Dr. Sabiston has nearly 150 peer reviewed articles, as well as numerous book chapters and has been involved in over 300 conference presentations and community public health talks. She has received numerous career awards for her work in sport, exercise and health psychology, and has held nearly $17 million in funding to conduct her research, which has been the impetus behind television documentaries, radio and newspaper articles and a life-style behaviour show. She is also a Director of the newly developed Mental Health and Physical Activity Research Centre at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Tayyab Rashid, University of Toronto Scarborough
Clinical Psychologist | Co-Chair, Post-Secondary Student Mental Health, Canadian Association of Colleges and Universities Student Services (CACUSS)
Dr. Tayyab Rashid is a licensed clinical psychologist at the Health & Wellness Centre, and an Associate Faculty in the graduate psychological clinical science program at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) and an Adjunct Faculty at the Executive Master’s Program in Positive Leadership at the IE University, Spain. Trained with Dr. Martin Seligman, at the Positive Psychology Centre, University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Rashid‘s expertise includes positive psychology interventions and strengths-based resilience and mental health of young adults in post-secondary settings.
Dr. Rashid is Co-Chair of Canada’s National Campus Mental Health Community and is the Inaugural President of the Clinical Division of the International Positive Psychology Association. Dr. Rashid has worked with individuals surviving severe trauma, including survivors of 9/11 attacks, the Asian Tsunami and refugee families.
Trained in Hatha yoga and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), published in peer-reviewed journals, and an invited keynote speaker, Dr. Rashid’s work has been featured in peer-reviewed papers, the Wall Street Journal, Maclean’s magazine, Canadian Broadcasting Cooperation (CBC) and at TEDx.
Currently, Dr. Rashid leads Flourish – a preventive mental health initiative at the University of Toronto Scarborough. This program has been recognized with two Excellence in Innovation Awards and has also won a large grant to implement the program at multiple sites.
David R. Reetz, PhD, Rochester Institute of Technology August Center
Director of Counseling and Psychological Services
David R Reetz is a licensed psychologist in Illinois and Indiana. He has trained and worked in mental health for twenty years. He has held the dual role of clinician and administrator in higher education for ten years. As a higher education leader in student mental health, he is responsible for the overall development, application, and evaluation of student mental health service policies and operations.
Additionally, he is responsible for all aspects of Counseling and Psychological Service personnel management. He speaks regularly at national conferences and is lead researcher for the largest survey database on college and university mental health service delivery practices, policies, and trends (AUCCCD Annual Directors’ Survey). His professional vision aligns with his University and professional community by fusing strength-based student mental health and wellness to integrated academic, personal, and professional development and success.
Ben Bridgstock, Algonquin College
Manager, Counselling Services, First Generation/Youth, Crown Ward & Spiritual Centre, Student Support Services
Ben Bridgstock has a BA in Counselling, and an MSc in Psychology. He has extensive training in counselling and psychotherapy modalities including; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Person Centered Therapy, Gestalt, Transactional Analysis, Couples Counselling, Family Therapy and Clinical Supervision. Ben is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, he is an internationally certified addictions counsellor and clinical supervisor with the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation. In addition, Ben is a certified Community Reinforcement Therapist, a certified SMART facilitator and Mental Health First Aid facilitator. Ben has extensive training in substance abuse, addiction and mental health.
For over 15 years Ben has worked extensively in the substance use and mental health field, both in England and in Canada. He has worked as a counsellor, clinical supervisor, manager and director within several not-for profit agencies. In his working life Ben has instigated and overseen significant system and process changes, expansions and modernization, and clinical and theoretical changes so that treatment reflects established best practices.
Currently, Ben is the Manager of Counselling Services, First Generation & Crown Ward Services and the Spiritual Centre at Algonquin College, where he is also the Co-Chair of the Colleges Mental Health Steering Committee, Chair of the Tragic Events Response Team and manages the Colleges Harm Reduction and Sexual Violence & Harm Reduction Prevention projects. Ben is the author of three books, and is currently working on his forth, a harm reduction guide for post-secondary institutions. Ben and his wife Lucy have four children and live in Ontario, Canada, having emigrated from England in 2010. When he isn’t busy with his family or working Ben enjoys running, cycling, kayaking, reading and writing.
Nadine Zacks, Hicks Morley LLP
Nadine Zacks is a labour and employment lawyer in Hicks Morley’s Toronto office. She provides advice and representation to public and private sector employers on a wide range of labour and employment issues including grievance arbitrations, wrongful dismissals, employment standards, employment contracts, human rights and accommodation and occupational health and safety.
Nadine regularly appears before tribunals, arbitrators, mediators and courts to advocate for her clients. When not litigating for her clients, Nadine provides proactive, practical solutions for employers, navigating them through the nuances of the laws applicable to their workplaces. Nadine often advises on workplace policies and provides training sessions to clients.
Nadine is an active member of the firm’s Health and Safety Group and regularly assists clients with responding to and defending orders and charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Cherie Robertson, Ontario Human Rights Commission
Senior Policy Analyst – Policy, Education, Monitoring & Outreach
Cherie Robertson is a lawyer who works as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Ontario Human Rights Commission. She develops and drafts public policy on a range of human rights and social justice issues. She delivers public education, undertakes consultations with stakeholder groups and the broader public, and is a regular presenter at seminars and conferences on human rights and equality matters. She has extensive experience in the area of disability accommodation in the education sector. She is the author of numerous OHRC publications, including The Opportunity to Succeed: Achieving Barrier-Free Education for Students with Disabilities (2003) and the Guidelines on Accessible Education (2004). She is also the co-author of the OHRC’s Policy on Preventing Discrimination Based on Mental Health Disabilities and Addictions (2014).