Mental Health Panel

Panel: Mental Health Panel: Changing the Conversation about Mental Health

Chris Cobb

journalist, Ottawa Citizen

Chris Cobb is an author and award winning writer with the Ottawa Citizen, Canada's capital newspaper, a member of the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery and a teacher of journalism.

Three years ago Chris wrote the groundbreaking story of Perth teenager Jesse Graham who hanged himself in the basement of his family home. Jesse's story was an inspiration to parents of other teens who have committed suicide, most notably the celebrity parents of Daron Richardson who transformed an unimaginable family tragedy into a courageous, highly publicized campaign for a more progressive and proactive approach to teen mental health.

During the past year, Chris has written a great deal about mental illness among Canada's Afghanistan war veterans and has interviewed many of them. He was recently awarded a Canadian Institutes of Health Research fellowship to pursue that topic. His work will appear in the Ottawa Citizen and other PostMedia newspapers later this year.

Louise Bradley, MS, RN, CHE

President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada

A proud Newfoundlander, Louise started her career as a registered nurse in St. John's, NL, where she discovered an immediate passion for mental health. Louise's work has taken her across the country, where she has held a range of positions across the health sector. From front-line nursing, to forensic and corrections care, to research, teaching, and large-scale hospital administration, Louise has seen mental health issues on the ground and at the highest administrative level.

Louise became President and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada in 2010, after serving as Senior Operating Officer for the University of Alberta Hospital, one of Canada's leading clinical, research and teaching hospitals.

She holds degrees from Dalhousie University and Northeastern University in Boston, where she received a Master of Science with a specialization in mental health. In her years of work, Louise has heard from hundreds of Canadians living with mental illness and mental health problems. Their stories are her inspiration to spark leading and lasting change for mental health care in Canada.

Mary Deacon

Chair, Bell Mental Health Initiative

Mary Deacon is Chair of the Bell Mental Health Initiative. The Bell Mental Health Initiative is a $50 million commitment that encourages Canadians to be part of the conversation about mental health, while supporting practical projects in the community and workplace leadership. It is the largest corporate commitment to mental health in Canadian history.

Mary holds a BA and is Certified Fund Raising Executive of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Foundation.

Alex Munter

President and Chief Executive Officer, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)

Alex Munter is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, bringing to the role more than 20 years of leadership in health and social services and an incredible commitment to helping families.

Prior to joining CHEO Alex was Chief Executive Officer of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) — the provincial government agency responsible for planning, integrating and funding health services in the region.

Alex also worked as Executive Director of the Youth Services Bureau (YSB), one of Ontario's largest accredited children's mental health agencies. Alex was a City and Regional Councillor in Ottawa from 1991 to 2003. Alex has won numerous awards from a wide range of organizations for his contributions to the community. Alex was awarded the Ontario Volunteer Service Award in the 1990s, and was awarded the Ontario Francophonie Award and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

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