Our strategic advisory council (the Council) provides us with advice, direction and input on strategic plans, partnership initiatives and other high-level operations that advance our work toward achieving our vision, mission and strategic goals.

Member responsibilities

The Council meets four times a year, often in person. Members are committed for a two-year term.
Council duties include:

  • working with our leadership team to set strategic priorities and directions
  • contributing to generative discussions to advance the relevance and impact of our work
  • reviewing and advising on our annual operating plans and budgets
  • reviewing quarterly performance reports
  • providing input into our executive director's performance appraisals

Meet the Council

Council members include:

  • young people with lived experience with mental health challenges or mental illness
  • parents or family members of a child or youth with mental health challenges or mental illness
  • organizational decision makers from the child and youth mental health sector
  • individuals with relevant experience in finance and management


Portrait of Cathy Curry

 Cathy Curry (Chair)
CHEO Board of Trustees

Cathy Curry holds a BA in English Literature and an MSc in Education. Her considerable experience in education and community building includes time spent as a trustee and chair of the Ottawa Carleton District School Board and director of the Ottawa Carleton Education Network.

As if she wasn't busy enough, Cathy is raising four teenagers. Still, she manages to find the time to travel and play French horn in Kanata's concert band. 

Portrait of Alan Leschied

 Alan Leschied, PhD
Psychologist and Professor, 
Western University

Alan Leschied is a founding member of the International Prisons and Corrections Association and an expert in children's legislation and juvenile justice. His work in children's services began in 1977 at the London Family Court Clinic. He has been at Western University for more than 20 years and currently teaches in both the graduate program in counselling psychology and the preservice program in the Faculty of Education. Alan's work focuses on assessing the prevention of childhood sexual abuse in institutions like schools and churches, as well as the trauma concerns of victimization in civil and criminal cases.

Portrait of Assia Messaoudi

 Assia Messaoudi

Assia Messaoudi is currently completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto and plans to pursue a Master of Social Work, with a focus on providing accessible mental health and addictions services to marginalized and underrepresented communities. As a young Algerian-Canadian woman, Assia is passionate about authentic intersectionality, accessibility and meaningful youth engagement. She works with the Centre in multiple advising capacities and is also part of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s PSSPLived Experience and Family Advisory Panel. Additionally, Assia works as a youth co-researcher with Taylor Newberry Consulting on the YWHO Integrated Youth Service sites project. She enjoys singing karaoke and cooking for her friends. 

Portrait of Camille Quenneville

Camille Quenneville 
Chief Executive Officer, 
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division 

Camille Quenneville is an alumnus of the University of Windsor and the University of Toronto. Prior to joining CMHA Ontario, Camille channeled her passion for mental health care through senior leadership roles in the education, government and children’s mental health sectors. She has served in senior roles at the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Children’s Mental Health Ontario and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association. 

Portrait of Joanne Lowe

 Joanne Lowe
Vice-President, Mental Health and Addictions, CHEO

Executive Director, Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa

Joanne holds a BSW from Laurentian University and an MSW from Wilfred Laurier University and has extensive experience in the field of mental health. Prior to joining YSB, Joanne spent nearly a decade each as manager of the community division of CHEO’s specialized psychiatric and mental health services and executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association Ottawa Branch.

Joanne’s impact — locally, provincially and nationally — is astounding! In recent years, she has co-chaired or chaired the cross-sectoral committee in mental health and education, the provincial framework advisory committee for child and youth mental health, the Ottawa Suicide Prevention Network, the Provincial Lead Agency Consortium and the Provincial Priorities Standing Committee.

A big believer in continuous quality improvement, Joanne is currently working on her LEAN black belt certification.

Portrait of Karen Ingebrigtson

 Karen Ingebrigtson 
Chief Executive Officer, 

Karen Ingebrigtson holds master’s degrees in social work and business administration and is a Certified Health Executive. She has extensive experience in healthcare, having previously worked as a senior consultant for a Local health Integration Network in Ontario and in leadership roles in community health centres in Manitoba. Karen has also been a surveyor for Accreditation Canada, an associate researcher and a lecturer for the eUniversity of Manitoba’s Faculty of Social Work. We hear that back in the day, she was a pretty good Kentucky Fried Chicken cook, too. 

Portrait of Leena K. Augimeri

 Leena K. Augimeri, PhD 
Director, Scientific & Program Development, 
Child Development Institute 

Leena K. Augimeri has devoted more than three decades to child and youth mental health and has many prestigious awards boasting of her contributions to the sector, including the Prime Minister’s Regional Social Innovation Award. In addition to her role at the Child Development Institute, Leena is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto, a prolific academic author and co-founder of SNAP®, a model to help teach effective emotional regulation and self-control to children with serious behaviour challenges and their parents. She is currently leading a multi-million-dollar national implementation strategy to bring SNAP to communities across Canada. 

Portrait of Lynn Courey

 Lynn Courey, CSW 
Founder and President, 
Sashbear Foundation 

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. 

Centre logo

New member coming soon!

Centre logo

New member coming soon!

Centre logo

New member coming soon!

Centre logo

New member coming soon!