Our family advisory council (Family council) builds on the capacity of family members to improve child and youth mental health across Ontario as active decision makers and partners in our work. The Family council reflects our commitment to meaningful family engagement; we rely on family members' perspectives as well as integral input, expertise and guidance to ensure our policies, approaches, initiatives and other work are responsive to the evolving needs of families.

Member responsibilities

The purpose of the Family council includes:

  • advising on our strategic directions and activities
  • empowering family representatives to lead and inform key decisions in the development, implementation and evaluation of our initiatives
  • building meaningful, professional relationships between council members
  • augmenting the capacity of the Centre's family engagement team by acting as a mechanism for project support, when needed
  • ensuring alignment with our strategic advisory council through consistent family liaison representing both councils

Meet the Family council

The Family council consists of a number of diverse family members from across the province.

Portrait of Britt-Mari Sykes

Britt-Mari Sykes

Britt-Mari Sykes is a career counsellor and author specializing in existential and humanistic psychotherapies. She earned her PhD from the University of Ottawa and, for nearly 20 years, has presented and guest lectured extensively throughout Canada, the United States and Europe on topics including existential analysis, meaningful and fulfilling living and ethics in everyday life. Britt-Mari is actively engaged in the community, including serving as an advisor and committee member for several projects and initiatives at CHEO.

 

Portrait of Damion K. Nurse

Damion K. Nurse

Damion Nurse is a cake artist, owner of the award-winning Toronto-based bakery, Cinnabean cakes and former executive producer of the Canadian television series, ‘da Kink in my Hair. As the father of a teenage son who has experienced mental health challenges since early childhood, Damion has been closely connected with many mental health agencies and has previously served on several advisory committees devoted to child and youth mental health.

 

Portrait of Erica Schumacher

Erica Schumacher

Biography coming soon...

Portrait of Joe Holubowich

 Joe Holubowich

Joe Holubowich works as a peer support facilitator for Parents’ Lifelines of Eastern Ontario (PLEO), does contract work for Able2 and is on his way to becoming a counsellor and psychotherapist. As a foster parent for two children who came into his care with undiagnosed mental health challenges, Joe has first-hand experience of navigating the mental healthcare system and advocating for services through the education system. He also currently sits as a board member for the Royal Ottawa Volunteer Association.

Portrait of Kelly-Lynn Musico

Kelly-Lynn Musico

Kelly-Lynn Musico is a physiotherapist and mom to three young adults, two of whom have experienced mental health challenges since their teenage years. A huge promoter of family engagement, Kelly-Lynn was instrumental in the establishment of a family advisory committee for the lead agency in her area, served on the planning committee for the FRAYME 2020 conference and currently sits on several local and provincial committees, including the provincial family advisory council for Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO).

Portrait of Leslie Kulperger

Leslie Kulperger

Leslie Kulperger has more than 20 years of experience in research, evaluation and management systems. She personally experienced significant gaps in mental health services while trying to access appropriate supports for her 11-year-old son at school and in the community. After he died by suicide in 2018, Leslie founded Myles Ahead in his memory, with the goal of leveraging her professional skills to create meaningful and measurable changes in the mental health and education sectors across Canada.

Portrait of Louise Murray-Leung

Louise Murray-Leung

Louise Murray-Leung is the family engagement lead at the Lynwood Charlton Centre. With a passion born of lived experience caring for loved ones with mental health challenges, Louise has played an important role in amplifying the family voice in child and youth mental health in Ontario. Notably, she was part of the advisory group that helped develop the quality standard for family engagement. She is also a volunteer peer leader with her local chapter of Parents for Children’s Mental Health.

Portrait of Lynn Courey

Lynn Courey

Lynn Courey studied marketing and entrepreneurship at McGill University before embarking on an award-wining career in child and youth mental health. Lynn is a trained Family Connection Leader representing the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEABPD) and a founding member of the Sashbear Foundation. This organization is committed to leading the way to mental health reform by promoting awareness for the need of early prevention, recognition, timely intervention and access to affordable treatment for individuals with emotional dysregulation. Lynn also brings a notable family perspective through her own lived experience.

Portrait of Vicki Cochrane

Vicki Cochrane

Vicki Cochrane is a busy mom of two sons with exceptions that require constant advocacy, resourcefulness and the ability to ask for support when needed. She is driven by the desire to bring a voice of families trying to navigate the child and youth mental health system and the hope of improving it. Vicki is passionate about community development and volunteerism. She also happens to be a child and youth worker with over 20 years of experience working for the Children's Aid Society.