Mental Health and the Canadian Military: Supporting our Armed Forces and Veterans7:30am-9:00am | Shaw Centre (Room 213/215) - 55 Colonel By Drive , Ottawa
Join the Economic Club for an exclusive breakfast panel discussion aimed at raising awareness and the need for mental health support for Canadian Armed Forces Personnel, veterans and their families. Panelists include: The Honourable Kent J. Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Government of Canada; Veteran, Andrew Garsch (Capt Retired, P.Eng. PMP); Louise Bradley, President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada; Chris G. Anderson, President, Medaca Health Group; Trudi Walsh, Ph.D., C.Psych., Calian Contractor (Psychologist, Acting Program Manager OTSSC), CF H Svcs C(O), Department of National Defence /Government of Canada; Moderated by Karen R. Cohen, Ph.D., C.Psych., Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Psychological Association (CPA).
Individual seat: $89 +HST
Table (seats 10): $800 +HST
Individual seat: $110 +HST
Table (seats 10): $990 +HST
Andrew Garsch (Capt Retired, P.Eng. PMP)
Andrew Garsch (Capt Retired, P.Eng. PMP) joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 2001, attending the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC). He graduated from RMC in 2005 with a B. Eng (Mech) and was posted to 1 Combat Engineer Regiment. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 as an Engineer Troop Commander. Upon his return he was posted to the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineers as an Instructor and became the Second in Command of the Field Engineer Training Squadron. In 2011 he was posted to 4 Engineer Support Regiment as the Second in Command of the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Squadron. His military career was then cut short when he was medically released from the CAF due an injury sustained in Afghanistan.
Andrew Garsch has since become a consultant working for various companies. He has a passion for helping those in need. Having faced a difficult transition himself; he has an intimate understanding of the hardships felt by serving military members and veterans that are experiencing issues with the transition to civilian life. For over a year he has been working with Shaping Purpose Inc to provide releasing military members and veterans an opportunity to rediscover themselves following life in the military.
In the last year he has begun pursuing lost passions such as basketball, rowing, and has taken up surfing and triathlons.
Chris G. Anderson
Medaca Health Group
Chris Anderson is co-founder and president of Medaca Health Group, Canada’s leading psychiatry-based early intervention service for mental health. Medaca’s treatment-focused approach helps employees in the early stages of absence to return to health and work in a timely and productive fashion. Medaca has been cited as a top innovator in addressing Canada’s workplace mental health challenge, which costs employers more than $20 billion annually.
Chris is an opinion and thought leader on workplace mental health and, over the past decade, has spoken at health care and public policy events in Canada and the United States. In addition to his role at Medaca, Chris was senior advisor to the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health from 2004 to 2009 and chairman of the Canada/U.K. Task Force on the Mental Health of Children from 2006 to 2009. The task force comprised mental health care professionals from England and Canada who discussed improvements to the mental health care system in Canada as it relates to children. It was used to inform Senator Michael Kirby’s 2006 Senate Committee report on mental health in Canada.
Prior to forming Medaca, he was with two major Canadian banks where he held a wide range of senior management and executive positions. He is a recognized expert on how to drive and communicate large-scale change in large organizations.
Chris has a BA in journalism from Ryerson University and a master’s in international management from McGill University. He has studied leadership and management at business schools in England, Canada, Japan, India and France.
Karen R. Cohen Ph.D., C. Psych.
Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)
Dr. Karen Cohen is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), a position she has held since 2008. Dr. Cohen’s current activities on behalf of CPA span a range of management and professional responsibilities and revolve around the association’s mandates to promote the science, practice and education of psychology across Canada and internationally.
Dr. Cohen has prepared and presented briefs to standing committees of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada on matters pertaining to health and mental health as well held a ministerial appointment to a national advisory group on disability. She has written and been invited to present widely across Canada and internationally on the science, practice and education of psychology and related topics. She holds and has held leadership roles on many health and science related alliances. Dr. Cohen currently serves as Co-Chair of the Health Action Lobby, member of the Management Committee of the Canadian Alliance of Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH), and has been Co-Chair of the Mental Health Table and past Chair of the Canadian Consortium of Research. She maintains her registration as a psychologist in the province of Ontario.
The Honourable Kent J. Hehr
Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
Government of Canada
Kent J. Hehr was born and raised in Calgary. Kent’s mom worked as a school principal and his father as the president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association, making education and public service part of the fabric of everyday life. Kent took an early interest in sports, especially hockey, with an eye to a career as a phys-ed teacher. In 1989-90 he played with the Calgary Canucks and helped win the Alberta Junior Hockey League Championship. The following year he attended Mount Royal College and played with the Cougars, his stick-handling getting better and better.
Then, Kent’s life changed forever. In October 1991, while riding in a friend’s car, Kent was hit by a drive-by shooter. The injury left him paralyzed. He would never walk again.
Like thousands of Canadians with life-altering spinal cord injuries, Kent’s path changed, but his pace didn’t. In fact, if anything, it quickened. While still re-learning to use his fingers, Kent studied at the University of Calgary, and received a Bachelor of Canadian Studies followed by a Bachelor of Law in 2001. In recognition of his abilities, commitment and early impact on the community, the university named Kent its Graduate of the Decade, and one of the 40 top graduates over the last 40 years.
Kent practiced law at the prestigious national firm, Fraser Milner Casgrain (now Dentons), and became an active community leader, working with the United Way and heading the Alberta branch of the Canadian Paraplegic Association. In 2006, he was named Top 40 Under 40 by Calgary Inc. Magazine, and in 2008 Kent was named one of the Calgary Herald’s 20 Most Compelling Calgarians to Watch. Later that year he won the race to represent Calgary-Buffalo in the Alberta Legislature, a seat he successfully defended in 2012. In 2015 he was successful in a run to become the Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre. He now proudly serves as the Minister for Veterans Affairs and as the Associate Minister of National Defence.
Kent earned a reputation as one of Alberta’s hardest working MLAs. As shadow minister of justice, finance, education and other portfolios, Kent not only held the government to account but also took an active role in creating legislation for Calgary and Alberta’s future. Among many other things, Kent fought for better management of the province’s budget and natural resources, sufficient funding for public education, and equal rights for members of the LGBTQ community. He has become one of the most recognizable faces in Calgary. When not on the campaign trail or spending time with his nephews and partner, Deanna, Kent can often be found at local restaurants and pubs, sharing food and a drink with his beloved constituents.
Trudi Walsh, Ph.D., C.Psych.
Calian Contractor (Psychologist, Acting Program Manager OTSSC), CF H Svcs C(O)
Department of National Defence / Government of Canada
Graduated from Dalhousie University with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2004. Currently employed as a clinical psychologist and Acting Program Manager at the Operational Trauma and Stress Support Centre (OTSSC) at CF Health Services Ottawa. The OTSSC is a specialized interdisciplinary outpatient program within CAF Mental Health Services that ensures comprehensive and consistent assessment and treatment of active military members with operational stress injuries (e.g., PTSD, Depression, and Anxiety), using evidence-based best practices. Other appointments held at CF Health Services include Interim Clinical Leader (June to Nov 2014) and Psychology Practice Leader (June to Nov 2014). Previously employed as a clinical psychologist at the Operational Stress Injury Clinic in Winnipeg (Oct 2009 to Aug 2013), which is a specialized interdisciplinary outpatient program that serves veterans of the Canadian Forces, current Forces members, and members of the RCMP with an operational stress injuries; and as a child psychologist at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax (Sept 2004 to Sept 2009). Most recent research projects have focused on the impact of military parents’ PTSD on child emotional and behavioural functioning.