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About Us

Mission Statement

Believing that every person has the right to be supported in living a healthy, positive life, our mission is to reduce suicidal behaviour and its impact on individuals, family and communities.

Who We Are

Executive Director

Program Coordinator

Waterloo Suicide Prevention Council Members

Panel of Advisors

History

Annual Reports

2016 Priorities

Sponsors and Community Partners

 

Executive Director

Tana Nash

Tana Nash – Executive Director, WRSPC

Tana spends her full time days dedicated to reducing the impact of suicidal behaviour in Waterloo Region as the Executive Director of the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council and dedicated to youth suicide prevention through a partnership with Lutherwood and Ministry of Child and Youth Services. After the suicides of her grandmother in 1987 her only sister and sibling in December 2006, Tana is now combining her professional skills in sales, marketing and communications from twenty years as an advertising sales representative with her passion for advocacy around suicide prevention.  Education, awareness, advocacy for increased and better services, connecting to the community and breaking down the stigma surrounding suicide are key focuses.  Tana and the Council were instrumental in having Bill C-300, a federal framework for suicide prevention, tabled in the House of Commons.  This Bill became law in December of 2012.

 

Program Coordinator

bioElisa Brewer-Singh – Program Coordinator, WRSPC

Since July of 2016 Elisa Brewer-Singh has been the program coordinator for the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council and brings to the role her passion for suicide prevention and a Master’s degree in Spiritual Care and Counselling from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Her work includes a focus on providing hope, help and healing for those who have been touched by suicide as well as the community. Prior to becoming program coordinator, Elisa volunteered with the Council facilitating both the open and closed suicide bereavement support groups as well as helping to organize an annual My Life Matters Day that focuses on resiliency and stress management strategies for high-risk youth.

Elisa’s desire is to see a reduction of suicidal behavior within our community and beyond through increased awareness and supports available.

 

 

Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council Members

Executive

Kim Hewitt – Chair, Canadian Mental Health Association, WWD

Mark Beadle – Vice Chair

Sandra Ayerst – Secretary, Waterloo Catholic District School Board

Bianca Prince – Treasurer, Lutherwood

Council Members

Sarina Wheeler – Wilfrid Laurier University

Barb Ward – Waterloo Region District School Board

Bev Voisin – Salvation Army

Catrina Clark- Grand River Hospital

Colleen Pacey – Self Help Alliance

Debbie Emery – Community Representative

Laura McShane – Suicide Action for Wilmot Wellesley

Linda Flemming – Community Support Connections

Rob Martin- Thresholds Home and Supports

Ryan Schubert – Waterloo Fire Rescue

Susan Markides – Cambridge Memorial Hospital

 

Panel of Advisors

The role of the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council’s Panel of Advisors is to provide expert guidance and make recommendations on issues and services that affect the Council, its administration and the community.  The experts are independently called upon if there is a question or concern.

 

Dr. Jennifer BraschDr. Jennifer Brasch – Medical Director, Psychiatric Emergency Service St Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences McMaster University,

Dr. Brasch is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. She graduated from medical school at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in 1991 and trained to be a psychiatrist in the residency program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Before joining the faculty of McMaster University in 1997, Dr. Brasch completed a fellowship in Emergency Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Since 1997, Dr. Brasch has worked in the Psychiatric Emergency Service at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, Ontario, becoming the Service’s Medical Director in 2000. Dr. Brasch is very interested in medical education and speaks frequently on suicide risk assessment, motivational interviewing, emergency psychiatry and other topics, is on the Board for the Suicide Prevention Community Council of Hamilton and also developed the website The Reasons to Go on Living. www.thereasons.ca

 

Bill WilkersonBill Wilkerson – Co-Founder of the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health.

Bill Wilkerson is a former chief and senior business executive, sworn civilian employee of the RCMP and specialist in corporate crisis management and has received several national awards for his work in the mental health field.  Bill co-founded the Roundtable of Mental Health and Addictions in 1998 and in 2008 completed a 10 year campaign for mental health in the workplace releasing a final report the end of 2011.  In 2008, Bill was sworn-in a civilian member of the RCMP and appointed to help guide a health work strategy for Canada’s national police force working directly with the Commissioner of the RCMP and his senior officers.  Bill continues to be a sought out speaker across North America.

 

Alicia RamiundoAlicia Ramiundo – Youth Ambassador and Advocate for Young People’s Mental Health

Aliçia is a mental health superhero who is working to reduce the stigma and open up the conversation on mental health since she dealt with suicidal ideation at the age of 13. Her personal journey has taken her from classrooms, improv classes and performing in the circus, to the TEDxWaterloo stage and speaking at conferences all over Ontario. In 2011 she was one of the six Canadians chosen as one of the faces for Mental Health and the Bell Let’s Talk Campaign.  Aliçia Raimundo is always looking for new and changing ways to help prevent many of the stresses that can cause mental health issues. You can reach out to her on Twitter @Asraimun or on Facebook, she would love to hear from you!

 

Wayne BrabazonWayne Brabazon – Panel of Advisors

I lost my 17 year old daughter to suicide in 2005: Jaclyn Amy Brabazon was just a few weeks into Grade 12 when she decided to end her life on a railway line. Currently I am involved in still being there for Jaclyn’s older brother who is doing very well career wise and for my two young children from my second marriage, just five and eight years old. I also step-parent my wife’s two grown daughters. The message to other parents as to how to help teen boys and girls is so important as they can end their lives, and all that the future holds, based on limited life experiences. Teens tend to have a somewhat flawed view of what is truly important and unfortunately may not grasp the concept that good days always follow bad days in our lives.

I am currently employed by the Region of Waterloo as a technologist in the Water Department, working on water efficiency projects. My education includes a Diploma in the Laboratory Sciences, an Economics degree from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University. We currently reside on the west side of Kitchener and are very involved in supporting our young children in many sports and organized activities. When time allows, I volunteer and support the WRSPC in the hope that my time can help reduce the occurrence of suicide, and in particular teen suicide.

Tom Connelly – Panel of Advisors

Tom Connolly worked for the Waterloo Region District School Board for 35 years in various roles. During this time Tom was the Coordinator for Trauma and Threat Assessment Teams, where he led the team of psychologists and social workers in response to severe trauma cases including suicide deaths and conducted over two hundred threat assessments. He was the main lead in introducing the Threat Assessment Model to Waterloo Region and today is a National Trainer for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response.  Tom has lectured for several years at the University of Western Ontario in Human Relations Training and at the University of Toronto for the Satellite Program — Provincial Guidance. Tom is a regular keynote speaker, guest speaker, motivational speaker, and topical speaker on a variety of issues. Target audiences have been conferences, professional development activities, community groups, post-secondary institutions, school boards and more. Previously Tom was on the Board of Directors for the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council, as well as a member of the Board of Directors for the Junior Achievement of Waterloo Region.  He has been formally recognized for his contributions by the Waterloo Region Police, Mayor of Waterloo, the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council, and in 1996 was awarded the ‘Educator of the Year award in Waterloo County. Tom was also awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award in the field of Violence Threat Risk Assessment at the 2015 National Conference in Banff.  The award was presented for outstanding leadership in the development, implementation, and ongoing support of Community Violence Threat Risk Assessment and Intervention Protocols.

 

History

June 1995, a group of over 80 concerned community members and agencies held a meeting to focus on suicide prevention and mental health issues.  Committees were developed and in 1997 the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council was established.

The Council continues to grow, and is now recognized locally and provincially for suicide prevention activities.

Who Are We

The WRSPC is a non profit, voluntary council comprised of 20 representatives from Waterloo Region. The WRSPC strives to maintain equal representations from professionals/organizations dealing directly with suicidal behavior, associated professionals (faith community, teachers) and the community (family, friends and individuals affected by suicide).

The Council promotes a community wide strategy to reduce the incidence of suicidal behavior through public awareness, education, skill development, and public health advocacy. The Council strives to reduce the impact of suicidal behavior through the improvement of services, collection of local statistical data and through community consultation, co-ordination, and collaboration.

 

Annual Reports

2016 Annual Report

2015 Annual Report

2014 Annual Report

2013 Annual Report

2012 Annual Report

2011 Annual Report

2010 Annual Report

 

2016 Priorities

2016 Priorities

 

Supporters and Community Partners

Without the generous, community-minded spirit of our sponsors, partners and friends past and present, the WRSPC would not be where it is today.

Supporters

WRSPC Supporters

Daniel Tudisco Memorial Golf Tournament

Mariah’s Mission

May Court Club Kitchener-Waterloo

Schindler Abroyd Communications

Scotiabank – Saginaw Parkway, Cambridge

Erb & Good Family Funeral Home

G Melo Excavating

Mega Health at Work Inc.

Silver Star Society

Preston Chapter IODE

Rotary Club of Cambridge Sunrise

Rotary Club of Kitchener Grand River

Cambridge Insurance

Financial Horizons

Unique Boutique

Mitchell Snider Golf Tournament

Karim the Dream

Evergreen Digital Marketing Inc.

Numerous personal donations

 

Community Partners

Addictions and Mental Health Network

Cambridge Memorial Hospital

Canadian Mental Health Association, Grand River Branch

Centre for Addictions & Mental Health

Community Care Access Centre of Waterloo Region

Conestoga College

Crime Prevention Council

Grand River Hospital

Hospice Waterloo and Wellington

Lovecakes

Lutherwood

Mental Health and Wellness Network

Ontario Funeral Service Association

People Needing People, Erb & Good Family funeral Home

Regional Municipality of Waterloo (including Region of Waterloo Public Health)

Rotary Club of Cambridge Sunrise

Self Help Alliance

Spiritual Care Grand River Hospital

St Mary’s General Hospital

Suicide Awareness for Wilmot-Wellesley

Suicide Resource Group of Wellington Dufferin

Trellis

University of Waterloo

Victim Services

Waterloo District Catholic School Board

Waterloo Fire Rescue

Waterloo Region District School Board

Waterloo Regional Homes for Mental Health

Waterloo Regional Police

Wilfrid Laurier University

 

Media Partners

Cambridge Times

CORD WLU

570 News

KOOL FM

Province Wide, CTV

Rogers

SNAP

The Record

Waterloo Chronicle