Elisa Brewer-Singh is the Executive Director for the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council. She brings to the role her passion for suicide prevention and a Master’s degree in Spiritual Care and Counselling from Wilfrid Laurier University which she uses to open the dialogue around suicide, advocate for better access to services and break down the stigma surrounding suicide.
Her work includes a Regional, Provincial and National focus on providing hope, help and healing for those who have been touched by suicide as well as their communities. Elisa’s desire is to see a reduction of suicidal behavior within our community and beyond through increased awareness and supports available.
Amanda began as the Program Coordinator for the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council in March of 2018. Her Master’s degree in Community Psychology, her passion for suicide prevention, and her lived experiences of her own suicidal ideations and behaviours shape the multifaceted perspective that guides her within this role.
Prior to becoming program coordinator, Amanda spent four years completing research on suicide and suicide prevention, focusing on suicide stigma and an evaluation of the local Skills for Safer Living suicide prevention program. She also has experience in public health, post-secondary education, crisis intervention, and youth engagement, and spent two years as the Director of a youth mentorship organization.
Amanda values a life promotion perspective, and advocates for upstream suicide prevention initiatives and stigma reduction campaigns to reduce the impact of suicidal behaviour within our community.
Administrative Project Coordinators
Chantalle is an Administrative Project Coordinator for the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council. She graduated from the Child and Youth Worker program at Mohawk College in 2012 and has been working as a Child and Youth Counsellor at Lutherwood’s residences and day treatment programs since. During this time, Chantalle facilitated the Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Informed groups where youth are able to learn and practice coping skills.
She transitioned into her current role in the WRSPC in April 2018 with a determination to spread awareness and supports for suicide prevention. Chantalle is passionate about helping others and supporting those impacted by mental health and suicide.
Jenna Peacock is an Administrative Project Coordinator for the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council. Jenna has been with the WRSPC since October 2014. Jenna has a background in mental health services, graduating from the Child and Youth Worker Program at Mohawk College, and having worked as a Child and Youth Worker in residential treatment and the Open Custody Treatment program at Lutherwood for six years before transitioning into administration at Lutherwood.
While working for WRSPC Jenna was also the administrative assistant for the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention while its home office was in Waterloo Region. Jenna has a strong passion for helping others, suicide prevention, and supporting our community.
Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council Members
Mark Beadle – Chair
Adrienne Luft – Vice Chair
Bev Voisin- Secretary
Bianca Prince- Treasurer
Full Council List
|Sandra Ayerst||Youth in Faith-Based Education|
|Mark Beadle (Chair)||Business Community|
|Catrina Clark||Hospital Service Providers|
|Linda Flemming||Older Adults and Individuals with Disabilities|
|Meredith Gardiner||Young Adult Mental Health|
|Rob Martin||Older Males and Community Mental Health|
|Rondi McFarlane||Lived Experience|
|Laura McShane||Rural Communities|
|Colleen Pacey||Bereaved Persons|
|Bianca Prince (Treasurer)||Youth Mental Health|
|Ryan Schubert||First Responders|
|Melissa Strachan||Ethno Cultural Community and Community Mental Health|
|Bev Voisin (Secretary)||Faith Based Organizations|
|Barbara Ward||Children and Youth in Education|
|Adrienne Luft (Chair)||Private Practice Clinicians|
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 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 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.
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 Connolly – 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.