Speakers – Mental Health and Wellness Seminar

Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson – Keynote

Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson are the first Two-Spirit team to compete on The Amazing Race Canada and received national attention for their participation on the show, while bringing new awareness to gender, sexuality and First Nation issues. Dr. James Makokis is one of Canada’s leading experts for Canadians and First Nation communities. He currently heads one of Canada’s leading LGBTQ2 and Transgender focused medical practices and commits himself to saving lives through his progressive empathetic approach to medicine. Anthony Johnson graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in 2008, and has dedicated his career and his time to various non-profit organizations, social movements, and councils. He offers practical solutions for individuals to better understand their responsibility to treat others inclusively, with respect and with a strong focus on the importance of prioritizing equality at work and in society.

Mark Henick – The Mentally Healthy Workplace

Mark Henick is a speaker, author and the CEO of a boutique consulting firm that helps individuals, companies and governments to move strategically from awareness to action in improving mental health and wellness. Prior to that, he served as served as a frontline mental health counsellor, the youngest president of a provincial CMHA division in history and the youngest ever member of the board of directors for Canada’s Mental Health Commission. He holds a Master of Science in child development, a Bachelor of Arts with interdisciplinary honours in psychology and philosophy and has certificates in trauma counselling, suicide intervention, non-violent crisis intervention, mental health first aid, and knowledge exchange.

Dr. Marie-Helene Pelletier – Cultivating strategic resilience and mental agility

Dr. Marie-Helene Pelletier is a bilingual practicing psychologist with over 20 years of experience in clinical, counselling, and advisory workplace psychology and holds a Ph.D. in counselling psychology from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from the UBC Sauder School of Business. Marie-Helene is a Member of the Global Clinical Practice Network of the World Health Organization, and past Director on the boards of the Canadian Psychological Association and the International Association of Applied Psychology. Drawing on her extensive background in corporate, insurance, governance and public sectors, she brings national and international perspectives and expertise on mental health and resilience as a key pillar of overall health.

Jean-François Claude

A 22-year veteran of the federal public service, Jean-François Claude has spent a significant portion of his government career in liaison and advisory roles in support of Ministers’ Offices and senior departmental officials, as well as in supervisory and management positions. He is the Co-Founder of the Federal Speakers’ Bureau on Mental Health, a virtual team of federal public servants who openly share their experiences with mental health struggles and recovery, to help address the stigma of mental illness in the workplace. Jean-François is a certified Psychological Health and Safety Advisor (Canadian Mental Health Association), with additional certifications in Workplace Mental Health Leadership™ (Queen’s University) and Mental Health First Aid.

Breanna Pizzuto

Breanna has degrees from the University of Ottawa in Health Sciences and Psychology, and professional experience in the healthcare and social services fields, including addictions, supportive housing and crisis intervention. With a strong passion for helping others and an interest in breaking down stigma surrounding mental health and suicide, Breanna founded her organization, Talk Tools, in 2018. Breanna is a Bronze Level LivingWorks Applied Suicide Intervention Skills (ASIST)trainer as well as an instructor of St. John Ambulance’s “Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace” course.

Adrian Harewood

Adrian is co-host of CBC News Ottawa. Harewood attended elementary and high school at Ashbury College, and was involved in community radio at CKCU (Carleton University) and CHUO (University of Ottawa). He has been a guest host on national CBC programs such as As it Happens, Sounds Like Canada and The Current. Before coming to television, Harewood was the host of All In A Day on CBC Radio One in Ottawa.

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