Did You Know?

A recent report in the U.S. estimated that the lifetime economic cost of childhood mental health disorders was enormous — $2.1 trillion, which with our smaller population would roughly translate to $200 billion in Canada (S2)

OPA Board and Staff

Dr. Diana Velikonja

Dr. Diana Velikonja

OPA President

Dr. Diana Velikonja is a licensed Clinical Neuropsychologist, Clinical Psychologists and Clinical Rehabilitation Psychologist in Ontario. She provide psychological and neuropsychological consultative and treatment services for a variety of pediatric, adult and geriatric populations. She is also the chair of research in the HHS Acquired Brain Injury Program having been awarded research grants and published research articles. Dr. Velikonja is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences in the medical school at McMaster University. She is also a member of the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) Committee for Acquired Brain Injury providing consultation for funding ABI research and has been a member on a number of their expert panels regarding mild traumatic brain injury and concussion and an author on journal articles regarding guidelines. She also serves as a reviewer for a number of scientific journals.  Dr. Velikonja is also on the Board of the Hamilton Brain Injury Association.  Dr. Velikonja is a founding partner of Storrie, Velikonja & Associates (SVA), a full-service psychology clinic located in Burlington, Ontario, and Co-Director of the SVA Concussion Clinic and Healthy Aging Clinic.

Dr. Sylvain Roy

Dr. Sylvain Roy

OPA Past President

Dr. Sylvain Roy is a bilingual rehabilitation neuropsychologist holding positions at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) & Inner City Family Health Team in Toronto and Adjunct Professor at York University. He received his Ph.D. in neuropsychology from the Université de Montréal and also holds degrees from York and McGill University. At Inner Family Health Team, Dr. Roy works exclusively with homeless men. Roles include the assessment of patient's neuropsychological functioning, providing treatment recommendations, the supervision of graduate and postgraduate students. At CAMH, Dr. Roy is the lead clinician in a service that provides neuropsychological, psychological, and functional (OT) assessments and cognitive rehabilitation services to patients with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Our service also provides advance clinical training to neuropsychology interns and postdoctoral fellows wishing to develop an expertise in the assessment and treatment of persons with severe mental illness.

Dr. Jason Ramsay

Dr. Jason Ramsay

President Elect

Dr. Jason Ramsay was raised in the Niagara Region, obtained a doctorate from UT-OISE, and completed postdoctoral fellowships at St. Michael's Hospital. He is a founding co-partner of Niagara Psychological Wellness, with offices in St. Catharines and Hamilton; as well as an Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor, actively teaching in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, Niagara Campus. 

Dr. Marie-Josée Gendron

Dr. Marie-Josée Gendron

Treasurer

For the last three years, Dr. Gendron has been working as a Clinical and School Psychologist for the Toronto Catholic District School Board. In addition to serving the elementary and high school population, she also specializes in supporting students with autism. Prior to this role, Dr. Gendron worked as the Mental Health Leader for the French Catholic School Board in Toronto. In this role, she worked with various ministries to develop and implement an overall mental health strategy for the entire school board, focusing on positive mental health for all students. She has also worked extensively with other school boards, including the Toronto District School Board as well as the Conseil Scolaire Viamonde and in private practice. Prior to this clinical experience, Dr. Gendron worked as the Research Director of Pearson Canada for 7 years, developing various psychometric tools such as the WPPSI-III, the WISC-IV, the WIAT-II , the WIAT-III and the WAIS-IV in English and French for psychologists and other professionals all over Canada. Previously, she worked as an Assessment Consultant with the Ministry of Education in Manitoba, developing their yearly standards tests in both English and French. 

Dr Christopher Bowie

Dr Christopher Bowie

Dr. Bowie is a Professor and the Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology, and a member of the Psychiatry Department and Centre for Neuroscience Studies, at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He is the Head Consulting Psychologist at the Early Psychosis Intervention Program in Kingston and a Clinician Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. His research interests focus on determining the causes and correlates, and developing treatments for, cognitive deficits in mental disorders such as schizophrenia and mood disorders. He completed his Ph.D. at Hofstra University in New York, training with Drs. Mark Serper and Philip Harvey. For his PhD work, was awarded the Association for Psychological Science’s award for Top Ranked Thesis of the year. After his doctoral internship at the Clinical Neuroscience Center of Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, he did post-doctoral training with Dr. Barbara Cornblatt, earning a Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD). Dr. Bowie then took an academic appointment at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and continued to study the functional consequences of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia before moving to Queen’s in 2008. He has received two additional NARSAD Awards to study cognitive remediation in schizophrenia and in 2011 received the Top-Ranked Young Investigator Fellow at the annual Winter Brain Conference. He is the author of over 125 peer reviewed scientific publications and several books and book chapters on cognition in mental illness, including a co-editor of: Cognitive Remediation to Improve Functional Outcomes. Currently he is leading multiple trials of cognitive remediation for severe mental disorders and studying early intervention for mental illness.

Dr. Lara Hiseler

Dr. Lara Hiseler

Dr. Lara Hiseler is a registered clinical and forensic psychologist working with adults and co-founding partner of Hiseler, Kelly & Associates, a private practice in Peterborough, Ontario.  She holds a special faculty appointment at Trent University in the Department of Psychology where she supervises student research.  She completed a pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral training at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences working with adults found Not Criminally Responsible due to Mental Disorder and has worked for the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services providing crisis intervention and risk assessments for the Ontario Parole Board.  Dr. Hiseler also serves on the Board of Directors for the John Howards Society in Peterborough and on the Canadian Psychological Association’s Section Executive Committee for Traumatic Stress.  Dr. Hiseler has expertise in assessment and treatment in a wide variety of clinical issues, with particular training and expertise with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with first responders, military, correctional officers, as well conducts risk and diagnostic assessment and treatment for specialized issues involving individuals in conflict with the law. 
 

Dr. Catherine Horvath

Dr. Catherine Horvath

Dr. Horvath obtained her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Ottawa. Dr. Horvath is a registered psychologist in both Ontario and Quebec with competency in clinical and forensic psychology. Dr. Catherine Horvath works in a Family Health Team and private practice providing psychological assessments and interventions to children, adolescents, and families. Dr. Horvath specializes in working with those struggling with complex developmental trauma, attachment difficulties, adoption related issues, disruptive behaviour problems, FASD, and those involved in the criminal justice and/or child welfare systems. 

Dr. Adrienne Matheson

Dr. Adrienne Matheson

Dr. Adrienne Matheson is a Clinical Psychologist and Registered Play Therapist practicing in Ottawa, ON. In her private practice work, Dr. Matheson specializes working with children, teens, parents and families that are struggling with a wide range of challenges including anxiety, aggression, bullying, trauma, separation/divorce, ADHD, self-harm, OCD, sleep, feeding and sensory regulation challenges. Dr. Adrienne Matheson completed a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Carleton University (2009) and a Masters in Counselling from the University of Ottawa (2004).

Dr. Matheson also provides support to families that are going through divorce and separation by providing information, support and consultation. Further, Dr. Matheson conducts Custody and Access Assessments for the courts.

Dr. Christopher Mushquash

Dr. Christopher Mushquash

Dr. Christopher Mushquash, C.Psych., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Lakehead University and the Human Sciences Division of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. He is a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Mental Health and Addiction and a clinical psychologist at Dilico Anishinabek Family Care. Dr. Mushquash’s clinical and research work focuses on culturally- and contextually-appropriate mental health and addiction assessment and intervention for First Nations children, adolescents, and adults. He does this through relationships and partnerships with First Nations communities and organizations. He is a Member of the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Dr. Mushquash is Ojibway, and a member of Pays Plat First Nation. 

Thanara Rajakulendran

Thanara Rajakulendran

Ms. Thanara Rajakulendran is a graduate student in Clinical and Counselling Psychology.  She previously completed her MSc at the University of Toronto and brings a unique biopsychosocial approach to her research and clinical training. She has completed clinical practica in school psychology with the Peel District School Board, clinical psychology at Sunnybrook’s Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre and is currently completing her final practica with the Adult Division at Surrey Place. Her experience includes working with children, adolescents, and adults across populations of MDD, GAD, OCD, Schizophrenia, Bipolar, PTSD and developmental disabilities. Additionally, Ms. Rajakulendran works at CAMH as a Research Coordinator to conduct implementation evaluations of public health interventions for people with mental illness and complex needs. She uses outcome evaluation of health-equity as a tool to initiate change in access to health services. She is interested in individual and program level evaluation as a means to inform intervention and identify mechanisms to translate into individualized health and social support. Ms. Rajakulendran is serving the board as Director of Student of Affairs. 

Ms. Christal Sotirov

Ms. Christal Sotirov

Ms. Christal Sotirov is a Master of Psychology student. She has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. In her current position at Dufferin-Peel Catholic District school board, she conducts psychoeducational assessments with children and adolescents under the supervision of a School Psychologist. She is also currently working with children, adolescents, and adults at the Read Clinic conducting assessments and providing intervention under the supervision of a Rehab Psychologist. Ms. Sotirov additionally provides intensive behavioural intervention under applied behavioural analysis principles to children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Ms. Sotirov is serving the board as a Director of Student Affairs.

Dr. Liliana Tarba

Dr. Liliana Tarba

Dr. Liliana R. Tarba is a Clinical Psychologist licensed to practice in Ontario. She received psychology degrees from both Romanian and Canadian universities, earning a Ph.D. from York University, Toronto. Her main interests are direct clinical work with clients (psychotherapy and psychological assessment) and public advocacy. She is driven by a (com)passion for people, social justice, and her keen interests in literature, the arts, and experiential, existential, and psychodynamic theories/approaches.  She has extensive experience working in hospitals, university settings, and the private sector. Dr. Tarba is the founder of Introspect Psychology, currently providing services to adults afflicted by attachment failures, adverse childhood experiences or other traumatic events. Her work keys into (re)processing trauma, existential unrest, and enduring patterns of intrapersonal and relational difficulties that often translate into identity problems, self-defeating or symptomatic behaviors, or diagnosable entities (mood, anxiety, dissociative, personality disorders).  She also has expertise in psychodiagnostic and psyhoeducational assessments for adults.  She is the co-author of “Supervision Essentials for Emotion-Focused Therapy,” and the recipient of the Scholars Award from the Div. 39 (Psychoanalysis) of the American Psychological Association.

Administrative Staff

Director of Communications and Special Projects: Ms. Fleur Leslie
Director of Finance and Administrative Affairs: Ms. Cathy Hamilton
Administrative Assistant: Ms. Jamie Murray
 

 

Over the last few years, a focus was placed on downsizing the Board and assigning a role to each Board member, effectively becoming a “Working Board”. This model of governance is usually seen in small not-for-profits and start-up operations that cannot afford to hire and support a strong administrative team. This model places heavy responsibilities on Board members to undertake work that is usually performed by staff in established organizations.

Board Standing Committees

2017-18 Board of Directors

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