Clara Hughes - Six-Time Olympic Medalist | Mental Health Advocate
“Being a champion is not just about winning,” says six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes. Believing that actions off the track define us as much as those on it, Hughes inspires people toward success in all areas of their lives. Her candid, personal talks range from how she believes sports can change lives to her struggle with depression—fully embodying the idea that each of us can overcome challenges to become the champions we’re meant to be. Hughes is the only Canadian to have won medals in both the Summer and the Winter Olympics: in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, she received two bronze medals in cycling; and over the course of three Winter Olympic Games, she received four medals—one gold, one silver, and two bronze—in speed skating. In addition, she served as the Canadian flag bearer for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games’ opening ceremony, and represented Canada with distinction at the London Summer Olympic Games in 2012, before retiring as an Olympian. In 2014, Hughes yet again figured prominently in the eyes of Canadians as the national spokesperson for Bell Let’s Talk, a campaign designed to end the stigma of mental health issues. Undertaking “Clara’s Big Ride,” Hughes completed a 110-day national bicycle tour through every province and territory in Canada. As part of the ride, she covered more than 11,000km and visited 105 communities along the way. Hughes is also the author of the bestselling and acclaimed memoir, Open Heart, Open Mind. Over the course of her distinguished career, Hughes has won countless awards and accolades. She was named Female Athlete of the Year by Speed Skating Canada; she received the International Olympic Committee’s Sport and Community Trophy; she was honoured with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame; she was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame; and she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Hughes sits on the International Board of Directors for Right To Play, a global organization that uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity. She holds honorary doctorates from the University of Manitoba, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Alberta.
Dr. Roderick McCormick
Dr. McCormick (Kanienkehaka) is a senior Professor and BC Government endowed Research Chair in Aboriginal Child and Maternal Health in the Faculty of Human, Social, and Educational Development at Thompson Rivers University. Before moving back to his partner’s home on the T’Kemlups Indian Reserve, Rod was a psychologist and counseling psychology professor at the University of British Columbia for 18 years. Rod has also been a therapist and clinical consultant/supervisor for the last 27 years. As a researcher, Rod been a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on 30 million dollars worth of federal or internationally funded research studies in Aboriginal health. Rod has published over 50 book chapters, journal articles, and numerous government research reports on Aboriginal health and mental health. One of his publications-Guiding Circles has sold over 75,000 copies worldwide. Rod has also been a keynote presenter or conference presenter at over 100 national and international conferences and is frequently called upon by the media to comment on Aboriginal mental health issues. Rod serves on numerous National committees/boards such as the Advisory Council of the Mental Health Commission of Canada and on the board of the CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples Health.
Dr. Kathleen Pajer
Dr. Pajer is the Chief of Psychiatry at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Dr. Pajer received her medical degree from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and did her residency in Psychiatry at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and at Yale University School of Medicine. She was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Yale and also received her Master’s of Public Health from the Yale School of Public Health. Dr. Pajer has been on medical faculties of the University of Pittsburgh, The Ohio State University, and Dalhousie University before joining the University of Ottawa as Professor of Psychiatry. Her administrative interest is in care system transformation and her research focuses on the psychoneuroendocrinologic aspects of antisocial behaviors in girls and on developing a gene expression biomarker for early onset depression. Her work has been funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and a number of foundations.
Dr. Nick Kates
MD FRCPC MCFP (Hon.) Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, MacMaster University.
He also has an associate membership in the Department of Family Medicine of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.
His major academic activities are in the area of community and social psychiatry, global mental health, the relationship between mental health and primary care, quality improvement and redesigning systems of care, chronic disease management and innovative approaches to education.
He is a quality improvement advisor to the Hamilton Family Health Team. For five years he was the Ontario lead for the Quality Improvement and Innovation Partnership, which assisted primary care practices to build capacity and capability for quality improvement. For 12 years he was director of the Hamilton HSO (now FHT) Mental Health and Nutrition Program, which won a significant achievement award from the American Psychiatric Association in 1998. Since 1997 he has been the co-chair of the Canadian Psychiatric Association / College of Family Physicians of Canada collaborative working group on shared mental health care in Canada, and has played many other national and provincial roles in promoting collaboration between mental health and primary care services including chairing the Canadian Collaborative Mental Health Initiative funded through the National Primary Health Care Transition Fund from 2003 to 2007.
Dr. Kates is a Distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Psychiatry Association and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and he has been awarded honorary membership in the College of Family Physicians of Canada. He has received several awards for his leadership and he has participated in provincial and national planning committees and initiatives for both mental health services and primary care. Dr. Kates has consulted to more than 100 Canadian and international governments, organizations and programs and he has published over 70 articles and authored two books.
Dr. Matthew Burkey
MD, PhD, is a child and youth psychiatrist and public health researcher. He completed his training at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and conducted research as a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry. His primary research interest is in improving access to effective, culturally compelling mental health services in underserved communities globally and in North America. He recently moved to Williams Lake, BC where he practices psychiatry at the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre. He is also involved in the BC Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative, a multi-disciplinary local and provincial effort aimed at improving access to family-centered child mental health services.