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Speaker’s Corner

Our Speakers

Charlene from Black Mental Health Canada
Speaker

Charlene Fagan England

Charlene is a Jamaican Canadian who lives in Ontario Canada since 2002. Her primary role above all others is to be the best...

Educator, Transformation Agent, Health Coach with a focus on holistic wellness, Inspirational Facilitator/Speaker and Seminar Leader.

Charlene is a Jamaican Canadian who lives in Ontario Canada since 2002. Her primary role above all others is to be the best and most positive influence to her two sons. Second to that is her passion for people by sharing her stories of triumph over adversities.

Her career spans a wide scope of activities, which in its early stages includes serving as a college counsellor and facilitator to first generation students at Florida Memorial University – One of the United States Historical Black Colleges (HBCU). There is where she spent an inordinate amount of time working alongside First Generation African American students as a counsellor and facilitator in a federally funded programme. This was primarily designed to assist them in assimilating into college life. Additionally, she spearheaded a peer-mentoring programme for senior students to guide and mentor freshmen and sophomores by providing them with academic support.

After emigrating to Canada in 2002, Charlene was faced with the challenges of transitioning from familiar to unknown territory. Many of those challenges came with moments of disillusionment and at times regrets. Through it all she persevered. In 2008, she garnered a position of college professor at Sheridan College in Ontario. There she delivered courses to a diverse student population in the areas of Human Relations, Living and Working in a Diverse Society, and Sociology.

Her current roles include Empowerment and Keynote Speaker, Workshop Facilitator, Adjunct College Professor, and Health and Wellness Coach. By working in the field of health and wellness, she works to support and enable her clients to successfully advance through the process of personal transformation, using a holistic approach to mental health and wellness.

Her contribution to the black community in Ontario has enabled her to develop and expand her repertoire. As a speaker and workshop facilitator, Charlene has delivered seminars and workshops on a variety of platforms and in several subject matter, primarily in the field of mental wellness, personal development. As a facilitator, her mission is to provide education and encouragement which she does by sharing her personal stories of humility and hope. Charlene states that, although she has faced many barriers as a woman of colour in Canada, by persevering and self belief, she was able to overcome some treacherous times.

Added to her repertoire is the title of Author, of 2 publications:
“25 Of Life’s Simple Pleasures – that make life worth living.” (2012)
A Sista’s Journal of Gratefulness - 2020

black mental health resources Black Mental Health Canada
Speaker

Judy V. Gabriel

Judy is a Registered Social Worker with over 25 years of experience working with vulnerable youth and adults. Judy has ...

Judy is a Registered Social Worker with over 25 years of experience working with vulnerable youth and adults. Judy has started her career as a Family Service Worker with the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto. She then moved on to focus her work with individuals experiencing mental health and addiction challenges providing one on one support and counselling. Judy has worked with the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) , North York’s Women’s Center, Toronto Community Housing, Scarborough Centre for Healthy Families, The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and Fred Victor to deliver mental health workshops and trainings to both front line workers and service users. Her work also includes participation in research studies that have helped to shed light on the racial inadequacies of service delivery within the mental health justice system, usage of the mental health recovery model and the use of the CBT model endorsed by CAMH. Judy is a certified Cognitive Behavioural Therapist (CBT). She has co-created and facilitated many groups one of which was the CBT group for those who hear voices. Judy has also spent many years working with the criminal justice system where she managed and supported various programs in the Toronto mental health court diversion programs. Judy is passionate about working with people in a trauma focussed way while upholding an anti-oppressive and anti-racist perspectives. Judy now runs wellness retreats, giving individuals an opportunity for reflection, refinement, and relaxation.
Speaker

Shani Ellis-Alman

My name is Shani Ellis-Alman and I am a 1st generation Canadian, a displaced African of Caribbean descent with roots ...

My name is Shani Ellis-Alman and I am a 1st generation Canadian, a displaced African of Caribbean descent with roots in Barbados, Trinidad and St. Lucia.

I have a Bachelors degree in psychology and a Masters degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Social work. I have been practicing as a registered social worker for 13 years, with my career thus far focusing in mental health and wellness, addiction and maladaptive coping, and concurrent disorders. I have worked in DEI, academia, healthcare, crisis and community mental health capacities, developed and facilitated mental health and addiction groups, as well as gender specific groups focusing on gendered experiences.

While my life currently consists of work and parenting, I also enjoy taking part in community events and festivals, vegetable gardening, running outdoors and trying out new recipes.

Speaker

Noreen Sibanda

Noreen Sibanda was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in Canada, where she has spent the last two decades working in the ...

Noreen Sibanda was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in Canada, where she has spent the last two decades working in the community supporting refugee and immigrant families. Some of her notable work includes working on youth participatory research projects with the University of Alberta- Community-University partnership, coordinating summer youth programs for newcomers, and more recently focusing on bringing awareness to mental health to marginalized individuals. Her passion to destigmatize and increase access to mental health services has led her to work within schools and with community-based organizations offering counselling services at a sliding scale to eliminate barriers. After years of working within the system, she recognized the need to have allies and a network of black therapists, this led to the creation of the Alberta Black Therapists Network (ABTN). The ABTN are a group of licensed and regulated professionals working in the field of mental health and addictions that aim to normalize experiences, destigmatize accessing therapy within the black community and reduce barriers and inequalities experienced by people of color. Noreen currently serves as the Executive Director of ABTN. She is an experienced speaker having facilitated multiple psycho-educational presentations, presented at conferences both locally and intentionally and an anti-racism and mental health curriculum reviewer and developer. She also seasoned guest appearances on podcast, tv and radio engagement.

She is a University of Alberta Alumni, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Women and Gender studies. She also holds a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology and is a practicing Registered Provisional Psychologist in Edmonton.

Speaker

Athem Houssein

Athem holds a Master's degree in social work, a degree in Public Administration and a degree in Counseling Psychology. With more than..

Athem holds a Master's degree in social work, a degree in Public Administration and a degree in Counseling Psychology. With more than ten years of experience in public service and advocacy for social justice, Athem applies his extensive knowledge of the multi/interdisciplinary intervention model of social work to offer consulting services in corporate sponsorship, non-profit engagement, stewardship, and grant writing. In addition, Athem is well-versed in quantitative and qualitative research, data collection, analysis, and interpretation, and has a deep understanding of current programs and policies in community development. Currently, Athem is a part-time lecturer at La Cité Collegiale, a consultant for Vectors Group, and serves as a housing administrator for the city of Ottawa.
black mental health resources Black Mental Health Canada
Speaker

Duane Wiafe

Hello!! my name is Duane Wiafe. I have been practicing as a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of ...

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist
BSW, MSW, RSW

Special interest: Criminal justice involvement (PAR and MARC programs), personality disorders, anxiety and depression, navigating the legal system and addictions support.

Hello!! my name is Duane Wiafe. I have been practicing as a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers for 15 years. I have been working primarily as a forensic Social Worker in the Canadian correctional system for much of my practice. I am excited to be joining the Journey Well Health & Wellness team.
My recent work while completing my MSW schooling has included the integration of Africentric Theory and Adinkra Symbols into practice. I work from an anti-oppressive decolonizing lens. I have experience using the following modalities. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Rational emotive behavioural therapy (REBT). I use various approaches, all which center around listening carefully, supporting you in personal awareness, management of self, awareness of other, and effective communication. I am also a canFit Pro certified fitness instructor and I make efforts to incorporate physical fitness as a strategy to assist with managing stress and mental health symptoms.
I am passionate about supporting people who may going through a difficult time. If you are coping with depression and or anxiety, family or financial stress I am here to help you begin to find some balance and relief from the potential stressors.

I have experience providing individual and group support in the following areas:
- The partner Assault Support Program (PAR)
- Anger Management
- Stress Management
- Caring Dads
- Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Skills

When I’m not working, I can be found teaching fitness classes and engaging with the community through sports. I am a firm believer that movement and mind body connection through exercise is an essential part of overall wellness.

Black Mental Health Canada black community resources
Speaker

Kay Thellot

With a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology (intervention and psychological support) from Yorkville University ...

With a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology (intervention and psychological support) from Yorkville University in New Brunswick in Canada, intervention in helping relationships is a privileged space where I have the opportunity to accompany a person or a group of people to improve their quality of life in terms of their mental health.

With the decolonial, afrocentric and ethnospiritual approach that I offer with Prensip Minokan, the fact of offering ethnotherapeutic accompaniment gives me more latitude to integrate the psychosocial and psychotherapeutic tools of Vodou and ancestral approaches, to conceptualize the evil- to be not as a pathology, but rather as an opportunity for self-integration - hence the inspiration of the vèvè Minokan which integrates all the energies of the universe, all having their place. Ancestrality, that is, the wisdom that can be discovered in traumas and generational resilience, opens up a "new" perspective on what well-being, healing is and how to do it. appropriating while navigating spaces of oppression that echo the oppression faced by our Zansèt (Ancestors in Kreyòl Ayisyen).

By honoring and respecting the expertise that our Zansèt have developed in living in systems of
oppression, we reclaim the act of self-determining how we relate to ourselves, our lineages, others, what we live and in the spaces we occupy.

mental health in the black community Black Mental Health Canada
Speaker

Shanique V. Edwards

Shanique Victoria is a Toronto-based psychotherapist. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University ...

Shanique Victoria is a Toronto-based psychotherapist. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto in Neuroscience and Psychology and holds a graduate degree from Tyndale University in Clinical Counselling. She is passionate and dedicated to her work with diverse clients who struggle with various mental health and substance abuse disorders.

Shanique also works for the Cundill Centre for Child and Youth Depression at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in various knowledge translation roles in support of the research activities of the Centre. In addition, she currently serves as Lead Researcher for Black Mental Health Canada (BMHC) and is a member of BMHC’s Circle of Leaders.

Shanique is an advocate for the diverse and unique mental health needs of BIPOC individuals. Her areas of research focus on racial trauma and race-based traumatic stress injuries, factors associated with post-traumatic growth and resilience in BIPOC individuals, as well as therapeutically addressing the impact of systemic racism and oppression in order to foster institutional change and racial equity for all BIPOC individuals and communities.

Shanique has conducted mental health workshops for non-profit and professional organizations, college and university student organizations, and corporate businesses. She has developed and facilitated workshops, as well as written broadly on the topic of racial trauma and mental health resilience.

Black Mental Health Canada speaker's corner
Speaker

Vidoll Regisford

The psychology of optimal experiences is what drives Vidoll to serve as Principal of a private consulting and clinical counseling ...

The psychology of optimal experiences is what drives Vidoll to serve as Principal of a private consulting and clinical counseling practice. His work is to alert the self in each of us to that higher-purpose thought of one’s existence, igniting the value, meaning, and worth of our divinity, in human form, knowing if we are one then we are the same. The body of his work straddles both the public-non-profit and private sector, intersecting his career as an executive leader and his complimentary knowledge of people with skills as coach, psychotherapist and Counsellor.

Vidoll has held positions as Vice President, Human Resources & Mission Services for Goodwill Toronto, National Director for Diversity & Inclusion for Purolator Canada and Clinical Director for Across Boundaries. In these organizations Vidoll has developed corporate policies, strategies and initiatives in the area of diversity and inclusion, anti-oppression, community development and mental wellness.

Vidoll holds credentials in Social Service Work, Community Development and, post-graduate degrees with a Masters in Education along with a Doctorate Degrees in Counselling, and Counselling-Psychology.

Speaker

Jackson Ainé

Jackson est psychothérapeute en concentration individuelle et membre de l'Ordre des psychothérapeutes autorisés ...

TÉLÉPHONE: 613-697-2563

Formation
o Maitrise en Counseling, Psychothérapie et Spiritualité, Université Saint-Paul/Université d’Ottawa.
o Sommaire de carrière

Jackson est psychothérapeute en concentration individuelle et membre de l'Ordre des psychothérapeutes autorisés de l’Ontario (OPAO)
Son expérience clinique s’est développée dans les milieux communautaires, de même qu’en cabinet privé. Son travail clinique s’articule principalement autour de l’évaluation diagnostique et du suivi auprès d’une clientèle diversifiée (ados, jeunes, adultes)
Depuis maintenant un an, il accompagne des gens issus de l’immigration dans un organisme ethnoculturel francophone de l’Ontario. Généralement, son rôle de conseillé dans cet organisme-là est de présenter des conférences pour les immigrants sur la santé mentale, offrir des séances de counselling individuel sur l’anxiété. Le traumatisme, la dépression et le stress.

Miriam of Black Mental Health Canada
Speaker

Miriam N. Sekandi

Dr. Miriam Sekandi is a leading consultant, keynote speaker, facilitator and author of the international bestselling ...

Dr. Miriam Sekandi is a leading consultant, keynote speaker, facilitator and author of the international bestselling book “It takes a Village to Wreck a Child.” She is also the CEO and Founder of Break Free Zone a personal development space for individuals desiring to break free from socio-cultural conditioning that causes family and racial trauma. Her professional experience over the last 30 years includes education, training and consulting for secondary and post-secondary institutions, facilitating workshops and consulting for non-profits and post-secondary educations in Canada.

Dr Sekandi is a lecturer at the University of Alberta in the Secondary Education Teacher Education Program, Board Chair of the Alberta Black Therapists’ Network, and a Facilitator with Black Mental Health Canada. She also leads the implementation and integration of the Children and Residential Experiences (CARE) and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) Models for at risk youth transitioning to independence within Boyle Street Community Services - Group Living Program.
Dr. Sekandi holds a PhD in Secondary Education and an M.A in Textiles and Clothing both from the University of Alberta and a B.Ed and Dip. Ed from Uganda. She is passionate about and available to speak or consult on the following topics: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Racial Trauma, Intercultural Parenting for BIPOC, Self-Empowerment and Personal Development for Immigrants and Newcomers.

Please connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok @breakfreezone4 or Miriam Sekandi Or on our website www.breakfreezone.com

Speaker

Shayla Sima Dube

Shayla Sima Dube (she/we) is a mother 1st before all the fancy professional titles and accolades. When she is not ...

Shayla Sima Dube (she/we) is a mother 1st before all the fancy professional titles and accolades. When she is not mothering and co-parenting with her partner, she is often found holding space and bearing witness to the sacred healing journeys of people of diverse cultures, identities, and abilities.

She is an Africentric Cultural Safety Consultant who is well versed in issues of anti- Black racism, racial trauma and identity based trauma healing, Cultural and Intergenerational Trauma, Institutional Trauma and vicarious trauma and grief. Shayla is also an Alberta board approved social work clinical supervisor, who co- learns with social workers and psychotherapists and supports them in Canada. She is an interprovincially licensed clinical social worker who has been practicing in the field of mental health for almost 11 years and currently serves communities and organizations in Alberta, Ontario, BC, Nova Scotia, and NWT.

Shayla ‘s passion for decolonizing mental health, decentering Eurocentrism hegemony, rehumanizing and re-centering the mental wellness needs and well- being of people with minoritized and marginalized identities using Ubuntu, anti- oppressive lenses led her into extensively learning and relearning beyond mainstream methodologies. Her culturally responsive trainings include: Advanced Tree of life, Advanced COURRAGE, Narratives in the Suitcase, Indigenous Anti- racism & Cultural Safety, Indigenous Narrative Therapy, Integrative Cultural Somatics, EMDR in color, Kniffley Racial Trauma Therapy and Queer Narrative Therapy.

Shayla takes pride in being part of the SANKOFA village that prioritizes cultural safety, conscious togetherness, and equitable co- existence, which ultimately leads to collective healing and community wellness because we are always better together, and we only heal where we can show up as our authentic selves without code- switching.

Speaker

Zuraida Dada

Zuraida is South African by birth. She was born into and lived under apartheid for most of her life. Zuraida was ...

Zuraida is South African by birth. She was born into and lived under apartheid for most of her life. Zuraida was an anti-apartheid activist and was part of the first wave of Black "intelligencia" in post-apartheid South Africa. This effort was one of the forces that helped to transition the country to democracy under Nelson Mandela's leadership as President. Zuraida shares the same Alma Maters as Nelson Mandela, Bishop Desmond Tutu and Winnie Mandela (the latter with whom she shared University classes). Zuraida considers herself as an Apartheid survivor and thriver.

Zuraida immigrated to Canada in 2006. Zuraida is a licenced psychologist in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia and South Africa. Zuraida also provides services to clients in Quebec and New Brunswick. Zuraida is the founder and President of Invictus Psychology & Consulting (www.invictuspsychology.com), a psychology private practice which she established in 2003. Zuraida is a seasoned psychologist with 20 years of experience in South Africa and 16 years of experience in Canada. Zuraida specialises in Counselling Psychology & Industrial Organisational Psychology. Zuraida is also a certified HR professional with 30 years of experience in various roles and in 4 different countries (Canada, USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe). Zuraida is also a seasoned speaker, trainer and facilitator and has designed and facilitated numerous training offerings in the areas of Mental health and Human Resources Management. Zuraida has been the key-note speaker at various events. Zuraida has also been a guest on various podcasts including the Canadian Psychological Association’s Mindfull podcast. Zuraida has also written several articles on mental health topics. Zuraida will be speaking at the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association’s conference in Toronto in October 2023.

Zuraida is currently on the Council of the College of Alberta Psychologists. Zuraida is an avid volunteer with her professional College and Associations and has received awards for her volunteer work. Zuraida is the recipient of the CPA’s 2021 John C. Service award and the PAA’s 2020 Contributor of the Year award. Zuraida is currently completing her PhD in psychology with a focus on post-traumatic growth, resiliency and thriving.

Zuraida is a passionate social justice advocate and has been active throughout her life and professional career in promoting change, including lobbying for changes to both Canadian and South African legislation.

Zuraida resides in Calgary, AB and is a single mom to two adult children. Zuraida lives an active life and loves the outdoors. She is a runner and has completed one full marathon and several half marathons. She is a keen snow shoer, hiker and gardener. She also enjoys Latin and ballroom dancing.

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