Support Groups

Our Chapters offer peer to peer support groups across the Province

Using the Evidence

Launching our evidence-informed model of Family Engagement

Family Engagement

Introducing Family Engagement Specialists to support FE across Ontario

Board of Directors

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Michele Sparling - Chair

Michele Sparling is a parent who continues to navigate the maze of mental health services for her family, as well as a Partner at Innovative HR, a Human Resources consulting firm. A strong advocate for mental health, in addition to being a member of the Board of Directors for PCMH, and the the Board of Directors for CMHA-Halton Region; she is a Parent Representative and trainer for the Family Engagement Training Initiative developed between the Ontario Centre for Excellence in Child and Youth Mental Health and PCMH; and is on the Parent and Youth advisory panel for the MCYS’s system transition for child and youth mental health. Michele is also on the mental health leadership committee of the Halton Catholic District School Board and has worked with her children’s schools in addressing and bringing awareness and action to mental health matters.  As well, Michele is the chief initiator and team member for Shine Out! Shout Out! which raises funds and awareness for child and youth mental health, in particular for the development of peer-to-peer mental health support programs for youth  / young adults. In 2014 Michele was awarded the provincial Leading Women, Building Communities award for outstanding work in her community and the province.

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Get To Know Michele

 

 

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Michael Dawthorne - Vice-Chair

Michael has a teenage son with a Dual-Diagnosis – Developmental Disability and multiple Mental Health diagnoses .  He has over a decade of experience with Accessibility Services at the Canadian Hearing Society, and is currently the Business Manager for Interpreting and Captioning Services.  He has been sought out by various levels of Government, educational institutions, corporations and international events to advise on Accessibility.  He currently serves as the Chair of: the City of London’s Accessibility Advisory Committee; his son’s School’s Parent Council; and the Federal Government’s Translation Bureau Industry Representatives Panel.  He volunteers much of his time to various causes including Scouts, Block Parents, and Amnesty International.

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Get To Know Michael

 

 

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Steve Benyo - Board Member

Steve is a trusted advisor in governance, risk management and finance which he has developed working over 20 years working in the financial services industry.
Steve was recently VP Operational Risk Management for BMO Financial Group (BMO).  While at BMO he was also VP and Assistant Chief Auditor, Corporate Areas and held progressively senior finance roles.  He started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he obtained his Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant designation.  Steve has an Honours Commerce degree from McMaster University. Steve has been married for over 25 years to his wife Nancy and they have two children Eric, 21 and Sarah 18.  Steve is excited to be a part of PCMH as it provides him a great opportunity to get involved in an non-profit organization that aligns with what’s very important to him, family and mental health.

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Steve Benyo

 

 

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Sue Britton - Board Member

 Sue is a mother, entrepreneur and business owner, and has spent over 25 years working in a large corporations.  In January 2016, Sue decided to start her own business and founded the Fin+Tech Growth Syndicate, a Canadian Company that accelerates the pace of innovation and partnering through services and products for FinTech companies, Incumbent Financial Institutions and Investors.  Her professional career includes executive roles at D&H, Broadridge Financial, Symcor Service Inc., Xerox Goobal Services, and Four Seasons Hotels.  Sue has a Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson University. On a personal level, Sue has been active in her community serving on the Board of Halton Women’s Place for 2 years, running campaigns for United Way, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and Free the Children. Sue has been married for 25 years and is the mother of 3 boys; Jack 23, Charlie 21 and Joey 15. Support for parents, children and their families who are suffering from a mental illness is an area of passion for Sue, as her family has been learning how to support one another through her son’s illness diagnosed 2 years ago. In the beginning her and her husband were completely at a loss, both for their son and each other, as to how to get the help needed, what the right treatment was, and how to manage through it as a family. Sue is thrilled to be joining the Board. 

 

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Sven Dedic- Treasurer

Sven's financial career began three years ago upon joining PwC LLP upon graduating in Finance from the University of Western Ontario. In his short time at PwC, he has gained experience leading engagement teams and providing financial analysis services to both small and large companies across the Toronto downtown core. Sven has long since had a passion for volunteering both his time and skills to areas in the community where help is needed. He has acquired a passion for volunteering and aiding children through his years serving a soccer coach for children and as a tutor to children with learning disabilities. Those experiences have left Sven wanting to devote not just his time, but his financial expertise acquired through both his educational and professional history to non for profit organisations whose causes he truly believes in.

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Get To Know Sven

 

 

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Danette MacIntyre - Board Member

Danette MacIntyre is a parent of a son who has ADHD. It was formally diagnosed at age 7, and he is now 15. She is well aware of the many misconceptions of the general population around this diagnosis and numerous others of children with mental health issues. These misconceptions sadly extend at times not only to the family but to some in the educational system as well. She is committed to creating a more accepting environment for those who fall outside of the mainstream.  As a nurse practitioner who spent almost her entire career in the north, she has seen first-hand the impact that a lack of integrated services for clients with mental health issues has. She has a wealth of nursing and NP experience and has worked for the past 17 years at the Gizhewaadiziwin Health Access Centre in Fort Frances , providing care to the Aboriginal and Metis people and their families. She is a strong supporter of family centered care, and an advocate for service delivery and support in the area of mental health for all clients who struggle with mental health issues and their families. 

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Get to Know Danette

 

 

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John Lawrence - Board Member

John specializes in bottom-line impact for both business and issues facing society. He believes collaboration between business and the social sector will drive change and benefit both. His work has contributed to social agencies supporting health care, disaster relief, hunger relief, poverty alleviation, education, and the environment. Considering 10-20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder, he hopes to drive change in this area as well. John is vice president, operations for 8th and Walton Canada, a senior advisor at Impakt, a Toronto based B-corp which helps corporations become social purpose leaders, and past director, corporate social responsibility for Walmart Canada. John is also on the board of Safeynet Children and Youth Charities. He holds a bachelor's degree from Louisiana State University and is an external business advisor for Ryerson University's Ted Rogers Leadership Centre.

 

 

 

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Suzi Spelic - Board Member

Suzi is the mother of a son who has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, OCD, and a Learning Disability.   Since then, Suzi has educated herself to help navigate the mental health sector(s) and worked closely with partners in the mental health community.  She has spent the last five years educating herself and working closely with the mental health community. Suzi also has lived experience with depression and so understands the journey not only as a parent but through her own experiences as well.  Suzi brings with her 25+ years of experience in finance as well as program and course development.  Her passion for mental health awareness and support is part of her everyday life. The passion she brings with her is an asset to the board and to PCMH in helping all of us achieve our Mission and Vision for Children’s Mental Health.

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Staff
Sarah Cannon - Executive Director

Sarah joined the Board of Directors of Parents for Children's Mental Health in 2008 before becoming the Executive Director.  Since her daughter, Emily's, diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder when Emily was 5, Sarah has been heavily involved in child and youth mental health advocacy.  Sarah and her daughter Emily have spoken to media raising awareness of child and youth mental health having stories featured on Canada AM, The Agenda with Steve Paikin, The Gill Deacon Show, TVO, as well as recently featured in Today’s Parent, Reader’s Digest and Maclean’s.  In 2009 Sarah was awarded the For Kids Sake Award by Today’s Parent, in 2010 the Kinark President's Award and most recently was awarded the YWCA’s Woman of Distinction Award for her work in children’s  mental health and the efforts that she makes to eradicate the stigma that surrounds children, youth and their families.

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Get to Know Sarah

 

 

Mike

 

Mike Hodges- Web and Social Media Administrator

Mike Hodges joined PCMH in 2016 as the Web and Social Media Administrator. Mike returned to Ontario after spending over a year working in Saskatchewan for The Nipawin Journal. Mike graduated with an advanced diploma in Journalism from Mohawk College in 2010 and since then he has become an accomplished writer, holding experience in print, blogging and radio. With his experience and versatile skill set, Mike creates a stronger online presence for PCMH and its readers.

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Get to Know Mike

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I thank you in so many ways for allowing me to be part of the greatness that is and with growth of PCMH......... and its professional aquiantances; for the awesomeness that is … Member, Niagara,