FACE Mental Illness

2009 Champions of Mental Health

The Hon. Peter MacKay, P.C., M.P.
Minister of National Defence
Champion - Public Sector
The department of National Defence has brought forward significant funding and support of mental health initiatives within the Canadian Forces (CF). Minister MacKay has made several personal comments concerning mental health and mental illness issues among Canadian Forces members, many of which are on the public record. Minister MacKay’s commitments have led to the hiring of additional mental health practitioners for the military, the creation of several support centres across the country as well as the launch of the CF Mental Health Awareness Campaign “Be the Difference”.

Gen. Walter Natynczyk
Canadian Chief of Defence Staff
Champion - Public Sector

Gen. Natynczyk’s has played a leadership role in the launching the CF Mental Health Awareness Campaign “Be the Difference”. His commitments have helped reduce the stigma associated with mental illness in the military and encouraged soldiers with mental health issues, specifically operational stress injuries, to come forward and seek help.

LCol. Stéphane Grenier
Director of Casualty Support Management at National Defence
Champion - Public Sector

LCol. Grenier is recognized because of his and his department’s work on the Operational Stress Injury Social Support Program (OSISS). This program is designed to reduce pervasive stigma and improve social support for CF members, veterans and their families affected by operational stress injuries. LCol. Grenier’s commitment to this program has helped increased awareness of mental health services available to soldiers.

The Hon. Dr. Maggie Hodgson
Champion – First Nations, Inuits, and Métis

Dr. Hodgson is extensively involved in Aboriginal health initiatives in Canada. As the Founder and Executive Director of the Nechi Institute on Alcohol and Drug Education, Dr. Hodgson has been the driving force behind many Aboriginal health initiatives including mental health and addictions, family violence, sexual abuse, and residential schools. She is one of the main supporters of mental illness, addiction and support programs in the Aboriginal community.

Margaret Trudeau
Ms. Trudeau made the courageous decision to share her experiences of living with bipolar disorder. Ms. Trudeau’s actions and advocacy have deepened the awareness of mental illness across the country, and have inspired others living with mental illness to speak out and to seek help when they need it.

Dr. Donald A. Wasylenki
Champion – Research

Dr. Wasylenki is extensively involved in mental health research in Canada. He has provided exceptional leadership to the Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital through supporting the development of innovative programs and treatments for the organization and delivery of mental health services.

Mary Ann Baynton
Program Director, Great West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace
Champion – Private Sector

Ms. Bayton is commitment to increasing education and understanding of mental illnesses in the workplace through the Great West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace. Her advocacy has mobilized employers to take action on mental health issues, and her outstanding leadership has promoted awareness of the prevalence of mental illness across the country.

Laurie Hall
Executive Director, A-WAY Express
Champion – Community

Ms. Hall is extensively involved in the mental health community through A-WAY Express, a not-for-profit courier service that provides jobs for people who live with mental health issues. Ms. Hall has provided a supportive environment and exceptional leadership in consumer-survivor initiatives and is a driving force behind the reducing the stigma of mental illness.