Karen Letofsky is the Executive Director of Distress Centres in Toronto, an agency which delivers a number of suicide prevention, intervention and postvention services. She is also a member of the Faculty of the Centre for Death and Bereavement Education. Karen is president of the Board of Distress Centres Ontario, the provincial helpline networking organization. She is also one of the Ontario representatives for the Canadian Distress Line Network. Karen has a long history of program development, partnership and education in the fields of suicide awareness and response.
Jennifer Ward, BSW, RSW, MSWc
[email protected], @hopetalks
Jennifer is a social worker, crisis intervention specialist and a survivor of suicide loss. In her role as Vice President with the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Jennifer works with and for Canadians advocating for effective and thoughtful Suicide prevention, intervention and postvention initiatives. Jennifer works full time as a Clinical Team Lead for 24.7 Crisis Support Peel, a program of CMHA Peel in partnership with the Peel Regional Police and the Ontario Provincial Police.
Previously Jennifer has worked on the front line in hospital, education and the Children’s Aid Society. In addition, Jennifer is Adjunct Faculty at Seneca College in the School of Community Services. Recently, Jennifer served on 3 deployments to Attawapiskat in the wake of the Youth Suicide Crisis in the spring of 2016 as a member of the psycho-social team of Ontario’s Emergency Medical Assistance Team (EMAT).
Renée Ouimet is the Past President of CASP. Renée is the Director of Capacity Building and Education at Canadian Mental Health Association, Ottawa Branch; she has been an educator and suicide prevention trainer for 24 years. Renée has been involved in supporting a regional suicide prevention coalition and its activities for many years. [email protected]
Renée Ouimet est la Présidente de l’Association canadienne pour la prévention du suicide.Elle est la Directrice de la mobilisation communautaire et l’éducation à l’Association canadienne pour la santé mentale ,Section d’Ottawa. Elle est une éducatrice et une formatrice en prévention du suicide depuis 24 ans. Renée appuie aussi les activités d’une coalition régionale en prévention du suicide depuis plusieurs années. [email protected][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordian_tab title=”Yvonne Bergmans, Secretary”]Bio to follow.[/vc_accordion_tab
With a rich experience in the nonprofit and the business sectors, Jérôme Gaudreault is also a man of causes. He recently joined Quebec’s Association of Suicide Prevention (AQPS) as the Executive Director. Before that, he made his mark as a manager, leader and mobilizer as Executive director of the Chamber of Commerce of Lévis. His track record is littered with diverse professional experiences and multiple commitments in the community especially in areas of health, youth and employability. For him, it is possible to stop suicide. To do this, he is committed to challenging all players in the community so that everyone is committed to the prevention of suicide.
Meg Schellenberg is young woman from northern Ontario, with lived experience of mental illness and a survivor of attempted suicide. She has been in recovery for more than five years, and proud of her accomplishments in both her personal and professional life. Meg is most interested in connecting with other survivors of suicide attempt(s), and strengthening the collective voice of survivors across Canada. Residing in Ottawa, she is currently a Knowledge Broker with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, moving evidence to practice in the field of suicide prevention. She holds an MA in Communication, and a BA in Canadian Studies, with a minor in Aboriginal Studies. She also holds certificates in Technical Writing and Knowledge Management. Meg is an avid runner, dog lover and proud of her Northern heritage. Meg can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]
Bio to follow.
Bio to follow.
Edward A. Connors, Ph.D. is a Psychologist registered in the Province of Ontario. He is of Mohawk and Irish ancestry and is a band member of Kahnawake Mohawk Territory. Ed was a Clinical Director for the Sacred Circle, a Suicide Prevention Program developed to serve First Nations communities in Northwestern Ontario. Today his practice incorporates traditional knowledge about healing while also employing his training as a Psychologist.
Since 1993, he and his wife Donna, have managed Onkwatenro’shon:’A, a health planning firm which provides consultation and psychological services to First Nations individuals, families and communities throughout the Georgian Bay Muskoka region. Dr. Connors has been a board member and vice-president of the Canadian Association for suicide Prevention between 1990-1998 and 2012 to the present. He is currently on the advisory council for the Ontario Suicide Prevention Network. Ed can be reached via email at [email protected]
An American by birth Ken Reddig was sexually abused by a minister as a child and lived with the trauma and psychological pain of that event most of his life. He sought spiritual help by throwing himself into theological studies. He earned an M.Div.–though his specialty is Biblical languages and history. He has great interest in history and upon moving to Canada was an archivist for the Province of Manitoba as well as the two major Mennonite archives in Canada. In addition he has been the Executive Director of Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba and served on many related boards and committees. For five years he has worked as fund-raiser and communications officer for Eden Health Care Services, a mental hospital with community services in South Central Manitoba. Over the past 10 years the unaddressed pain from his childhood sexual abuse led to a number of suicide attempts and several months in a mental hospital. He is an advocate for the recovery movement which together with psychiatric help and medications he credits with saving his life. He sits on a number of different mental health organizations including the Suicide Prevention Committee of the Interlake Eastern Regional Health Authority. He is a frequent speaker and a member of the Sharing Our Stories group which have spoken over 30 times in 2015.
Nancy Moreau Battaglia, MBA, D.TATI, FT, PT. The core of Nancy’s work, as she ‘holds onto hope’, is providing therapeutic support for integrating loss in a healthy way and building self-esteem and resilience. A registered psychotherapist, Nancy is a specialist in grief resulting from sudden traumatic death. She is also a Professional Art Therapist, and a Fellow in Thanatology (The Study of Death, Dying and Bereavement). Nancy is a committee member for the Simcoe County Suicide Awareness Conference, a member of the Credentialing Committee for the Association of Death Education and Counselling where she Chairs the International Diversity Task Force and volunteers at the Toronto Distress Centre . Complimenting her therapeutic background, Nancy has her MBA and over 25 years of experience in training and development, education, and group facilitation.
Sanj Malik is a Partner and Director of LivingWorks Education. A lawyer by profession, Sanj will apply his expertise and background to the areas of suicide prevention and intervention. Sanj lives in Calgary, Alberta and can be reached at [email protected].
Normand D’Aragon travaille comme psychologue depuis 1983. Depuis 20 ans, il est engagé dans une pratique d’intervention et de formation dans différentes communautés et Nations autochtones du Nord du Québec. Il a cofondé en 2001 l’Association Prévention Suicide Premières Nations et Inuit du Québec et du Labrador dont il a été le directeur jusqu’en 2012. Il a coordonné durant 10 ans le colloque annuel Dialogue pour la Vie. À travers les années, les pratiques culturelles et les enseignements des Aînés sont devenus au cœur des activités de prévention et de guérison de ces rassemblements.
Dans sa pratique clinique, il a adapté une approche familiale intergénérationnelle pour la compréhension, l’intervention et le travail de deuil par suicide.
La prise en compte de l’histoire familiale dans son contexte socio-culturel et politique est devenue pour lui, un élément important parmi l’ensemble des facteurs à considérer.
Normand a fait nombre de présentations au sujet de l’approche familiale intergénérationnelle du suicide au Canada et plus récemment en Nouvelle Zélande. Il est aussi membre du CA du First Peoples Wellness Circle. Avec son engagement dans la protection et la célébration de la vie en milieu autochtone, il espère honorer humblement la mémoire et l’héritage des ancêtres des Premières Nations qui font partie de sa généalogie. Normand a été adopté dans la Nation Innu au Québec et chez les Maoris de Aotearoa, Nouvelle Zélande.
Normand works as a psychologist since 1983. He has been involved as a practitioner and trainer in a number of First Nations and Inuit communities of Northern Quebec for the last 20 years. In 2001, he co founded the First Nations and Inuit Suicide Prevention Association of Quebec and Labrador where he acted as director untill 2012. He also coordinated for 10 years the organization of the annual conferenceDialogue for Life. Along the years, cultural practices and teachings by the Elders became the most important part of the learning and healing activities of those gatherings.
In his clinical practice, he has been adapting an intergenerational family approach for the understanding of suicide, the intervention and the grieving process. Taking into account the family history in its social, cultural and political context has become for him, a major aspect to consider, among all the different factors. Normand has made a number of presentations about the use of an intergenerational family approach in Canada and more recently in New Zealand. He is also, a board member of the First Peoples Wellness Circle. Through his committment in life protection and promotion with Indigenous peoples, he hopes to honour, in a humble way, the memory and the legacy of the First Nations ancestors who are part of his genealogy. He is proud to be adopted in the Innu nation in Quebec and in the Maori nation of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Bio to follow.
Bio to follow.