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Experts Guide

Our experts can speak about our programs, specialized and general mental health and substance use treatment, mental health and addiction care systems and research, the opioid crisis and more. Contact the communications team to arrange an interview.

Trevor Aarbo

Trevor is the senior director of patient care services at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital.

Credentials:  

  • Bachelor's degrees in physical education and nursing
  • Registered nurse 
  • Master's degree in nursing (in progress)

Areas of expertise:

Location: Lower Mainland

Languages: English

Read more about Trevor:

New leader at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital points patients and staff to hope


Dr. Jehannine Austin

Jehannine is the executive director of BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services' Research Institute.

Credentials:

  • Doctoral degree in neuropsychiatric genetics from the University of Wales' College of Medicine
  • Master's degree in genetic counselling from the University of British Columbia
  • Undergraduate degree from the University of Bath

Areas of expertise:

Location: Vancouver

Languages: English

Affiliations: Jehannine is also a professor of psychiatry and medical genetics at the University of British Columbia, where she holds the Canada Research Chair in Translational Psychiatric Genomics. 

Read more about Jehannine:

Dr. Jehannine Austin to strengthen mental health and substance use research

Research director receives prestigious award for genetic counselling work

Research leader helping transform mental health and substance use care across B.C.

Vancouver Is Awesome: B.C. research suggests no mental health benefits to eating your placenta


Dr. Connie Coniglio

Connie is the chief operating officer responsible for inpatient services at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction and the Heartwood Centre for Women.

Credentials:

  • Registered psychologist
  • Doctoral degree in counselling psychology from the University of Toronto
  • Master's degree in counselling

Areas of expertise:

Location: Vancouver

Languages: English

Read more about Connie:

Hear from the experts on therapeutic and relational security

 

Kevin Kirkland

Kevin is a music therapist at the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction.

Credentials:

  • PhD in the use of the creative arts for people who have experienced childhood sexual abuse

Areas of expertise:

Location: Lower Mainland

Languages: English

Read more about Kevin:

"Rap and Recovery" helps substance use clients envision a future

Rap and recovery: A music therapy process-oriented intervention for adults with concurrent disorders

The Therapeutic Value of Recording in Music Therapy for Adult Clients in a Concurrent Disorders Inpatient Treatment Facility

 

Andrew McFarlane

Andrew is the provincial executive director of Correctional Health Services and the Forensic Psychiatric Clinics at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services.

Credentials:

  • Master's degree in social work from the University of Calgary

Areas of expertise:

  • Outpatient forensic mental health and substance use care service delivery
  • Correctional health service delivery
  • Care for formerly incarcerated persons post-release
  • The community transition teams project
  • Concurrent disorders
  • Opioid crisis response in correctional settings
  • Assertive community treatment and intensive case management models of intervention
  • Recovery-oriented care systems
  • Peer involvement in care delivery

Location: Vancouver

Languages: English

Read more about Andrew:

Andrew MacFarlane is bridging gaps for vulnerable clients

Introducing PHSA Correctional Health Services - Supporting transitions, maintaining connections

Community transition teams aim to prevent overdose deaths among people recently released from a correctional facility


Peter Parnell

Peter is the director of access, transitions and forensic clinical risk at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital.

Credentials:

  • Master's degree in advanced practice in forensic mental disorders from Stirling University

Areas of expertise:

  • Forensic clinical risk assessment
  • Community outings for forensic patients
  • Therapeutic and relational security
  • B.C. Review Board
  • Forensic hospital policy and procedure
  • Forensic Psychiatric Hospital admission and discharge procedures
  • Forensic social work

Location: Vancouver

Languages: English


Dr. Christian Schütz

Christian is the research and education manager at the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction and a practicing psychiatrist, psychotherapist and addiction physician. He is also a primary investigator at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services' Research Institute.

Credentials:

  • Medical doctor
  • Degree in public health from Johns-Hopkins–University
  • Completed a fellowship at the National Institute of Health (USA) focused on behavioural pharmacology
  • Completed a fellowship at Yale University focused on clinical neuroscience

Areas of expertise:

Location: Vancouver

Languages: English, German

Affiliation: Christian is an associate professor in the addictions psychiatry program at the University of British Columbia.


Dr. Vijay Seethapathy

Vijay is the medical director for adult mental health and substance use services at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services.

Credentials:

  • Medical doctor
  • Executive master's degree in business administration from Keele University in the UK
  • Diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine
  • Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada

Areas of expertise:

Location: Vancouver, B.C.

Languages: English

Read more about Vijay:

Psychiatrist passionate about helping the most vulnerable and marginalized

Squamish Chief: Beyond the crisis

Black Press: B.C. centre at forefront of treating mental health and addiction together

 

Rodger Travale

Rodger is a health services manager in Correctional Health Services based in Prince George, B.C.

Credentials:

  • Bachelor's degree in nursing
  • Registered psychiatric nurse

Areas of expertise:

  • Correctional health care services
  • Correctional nursing
  • Transitioning from correctional centres to the community
  • The Dude's Club, an Indigenous men's wellness group

Location: Prince George, B.C.

Languages: English

Read more about Rodger:

Transition group begins for Indigenous men incarcerated in Prince George

 

Dr. Nader Sharifi

Dr. Nader Sharifi is the medical director for Correctional Health Services and the addictions lead at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services.

Credentials:

  • Medical doctor
  • Doctor of medicine from Dalhousie University 
  • Certified in addictions medicine and correctional health

Areas of expertise:

Location: Vancouver

Languages: English

Read more about Nader:

CBC: B.C. ministry moves to stem high rate of overdose deaths amongst recent inmates

Physician dedicated to helping those with addiction and mental-health issues in B.C. correctional facilities

Dr. Nader Sharifi shares his own experience with trauma and how it changed the course of his career

 

Lynn Pelletier

Lynn Pelletier is the vice president of BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services. 

Credentials:

  • Master's degree in health administration from the University of Toronto

Areas of expertise:

  • B.C.'s mental health and substance use care system
  • Mental health and substance use care delivery

Location: Vancouver

Languages: English

Read more about Lynn:

PHSA leaders speak about improving care for incarcerated clients

Vancouver Is Awesome: B.C. research suggests no mental health benefits to eating your placenta

 

Terri-Lee Seeley

Terr-Lee Seeley is a director of inter-professional practice, concurrent disorders and addiction, at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services

Credentials:

  • Master's degree in social welfare policy from McMaster University
  • Registered clinical social worker

Areas of expertise:

Location: Vancouver

Languages: English

Read more about Terri-Lee:

Squamish Chief: Beyond the crisis

 

Dr. George Wiehahn

Dr. George Wiehahn is the medical director for BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services' Forensic Psychiatric Services.

Credentials:

  • Medical doctor
  • Master's degrees in family medicine and psychiatry from the University of Pretoria
  • Registered licentiate at the Medical Council of Canada
  • Registered with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in psychiatry with a designation in forensic psychiatry

Areas of expertise:

Location: Vancouver

Languages: English, Afrikaans

Read more about George:

Forensic psychiatrist dedicated to inspiring hope in patients

What does it mean to be 'not criminally responsible' for a crime?

Tri-City News: Day pass not a free pass for psych patients

 

Deborah Ross

Deborah Ross is the provincial director of strategic initiatives at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services.

Credentials:

  • Master's degree in clinical psychology

Areas of expertise:

  • Forensic psychology
  • System-level best practices in mental health and substance use
  • Mental health and substance use policy and planning
  • Research
  • Knowledge exchange

Location: Vancouver

Languages: English, French

 

Dr. Tonia Nicholls

Dr. Tonia Nicholls is a distinguished scientist at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services.

Credentials:

  • Post-doctoral fellow, forensic psychology, University of British Columbia
  • Doctorate degree, forensic psychology, Simon Fraser University
  • Master's degree, forensic psychology, Simon Fraser University

Areas of expertise:

  • Forensic psychology
  • Research
  • Intersections of law and mental health, including the finding of not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder (NCRMD) or unfit to stand trial (UST)
  • Forensic risk assessments
  • Abuse and re-victimization
  • Policies and programs for mentally ill and marginalized populations
  • Mental health screening in correctional settings

Location: Vancouver

Languages: English

Affiliations: Dr. Tonia Nicholls is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia.

Read more about Tonia:

What does it mean to be 'not criminally responsible' for a crime?

 

Justine Dodds

Justine is the senior director of inter-professional practice at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services.

Credentials:

  • Master's degree in clinical practice leadership (nursing)

Areas of expertise:

  • Mental health and substance use care
  • Interdisciplinary team-based approaches to mental health and substance use care
  • Trauma-informed practice
  • Psychiatric nursing
  • Clinical leadership and education

Location: Vancouver

Languages: English


SOURCE: Experts Guide ( )
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