Knowledge Transfer Series

Understanding  Youth Mental Health

Overcoming the Stigma: Understanding how we can help youth dealing with mental illness.

Date: Monday June 6th, 2016

6:30pm-7:30pm Cocktail Reception 

7:30pm-9:00pm Panel Discussion

Location: Offices of McCarthy Tetrault, 66 Wellington Street West

Toronto Dominion Bank Tower – 53rd Floor

Tickets: $30 (Student Tickets are free)


Sarah Bromley, Occupational Therapist/Case Manager, with the First Episode Psychosis Clinic (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health).

She provides care and services for youth who are experiencing their first episode of psychosis, providing psychosocial interventions.  Sarah also co-facilitates groups pertaining to concurrent disorders, cognitive skills, cognitive behavioural therapy, and cognitive behavioural social skills training.  She is a member of the Early Psychosis Intervention of Ontario Network (EPION), and is the chairperson of EPION's Community of Interest (CoI) which has developed partnerships with the education sector, and is developing strategies to partner with primary care, to promote early detection and facilitate access to treatment for youth who are experiencing psychosis or at a risk of developing psychosis. Sarah is currently a lecturer at UofT in the Dept of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy.

Jill Bennett, Education Officer at the Ottawa Regional Office of the Ministry of Education.

 Her work in the Eastern Ontario region includes supporting 9 English school boards in the areas of Mental Health, Healthy, Safe and Caring Schools, Parent Engagement, Leadership, specialized programs for youth at risk, and she is also a Private School inspector.  Before coming to the Ottawa Regional office, Jill worked for the Ottawa Carleton District School Board as the Superintendent of Learning Support Services. During her 31-year teaching career Jill worked for the Upper Canada District School Board, Ministry of Education and the Ottawa Carleton District School Board in roles including teacher, consultant, vice principal, principal, education officer, and superintendent of schools. She has a Master's degree in Education from the University of Ottawa. Last year Jill was invited to Turkey to consult with Ministry and University officials on the development of Special Education policies and procedures in Instanbul.

Lindsay Thompson, Advocate

Diagnosed at 17, Lindsay has battled schizophrenia for 18 years.  On and off medications, in and out of hospitals, Lindsay was left without a chance to be independent until she began speaking about her experience with schizophrenia.  She first shared her story in 2009. Her family cycled from Vancouver to St. John’s raising awareness about mental illness.  There were many awareness events as they moved across Canada.  At each location she addresses up to 300 people and explained what it was like to have schizophrenia.  She continues to speak at events and workshops sponsored by the Canadian Mental Health Association, Toronto Branch.  As well, she was the keynote speaker at 416 Women’s Drop-in annual gala, and at Markham Stouffville Hospital’s annual awareness event.  Annually she speaks to a post-grad class from Brock University describing her transition from living in the throws of psychosis back to reality and to being present and productive.   Twice she has been featured on Roger’s cable tv programs.  Lindsay also spends much of her time volunteering at a charity thrift store called Treasures.  It is a social enterprise that gives people with mental illness a chance to feel productive while learning skills to help them find paid employment.  When Lindsay first started at Treasures she was able to stay for less than 10 minutes.  Now she is an assistant manager, working five shifts a week.  Going forward,   Lindsay’s goals include continuing to help others and to advocate on behalf of others who live with a mental illness. 


Cecile Peterkin, Junior League Past President