It is the privilege of the President of the Canadian Psychiatric Association to periodically give this award to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the mental health field.
As one of his last official duties as CPA president, Dr. Gary Chaimowitz presented Dr. Frank Sommers and Dr. Renée Roy with a President’s Commendation.
- Dr. Frank Sommers was recognized for his lifetime contributions to psychiatry and his unwavering focus on equity and justice. Influenced by his experiences as a Holocaust survivor and refugee, Dr. Sommers founded Disaster Psychiatry Canada and the CPA Disaster Psychiatry section, both dedicated to addressing the mental health needs of disaster-affected communities.
- Dr. Renée Roy was celebrated as a pioneer in the treatment of female offenders with severe and persistent mental illness. She has worked collaboratively with Quebec health authorities, social services and federal and provincial corrections, but her great passion of 24 years has been her work with Le Jalon, Quebec’s only residence that houses and supports women living with mental health problems who are justice involved. She was also instrumental in establishing the subspecialty of forensic psychiatry.
During the president’s dinner and awards gala on Oct. 29, Dr. Doug Urness conferred the CPA’s highest award, a President’s Commendation, to two leaders:
• Dr. Cornelia (Nel) Wieman for her leadership and powerful voice in advocating for an end to racist attitudes and behaviours in the patient clinical care experience, in medical culture, and at the societal level more broadly,
• Dr. Donald Addington for a lifetime of contributions to psychiatry as a tireless teacher, academic, clinician, mentor and leader, as well as his extensive involvement with CPA.
CPA’s highest award, the President’s Commendation, was conferred to our outgoing Board Chair, Dr Pamela Forsythe.
• Dr. Joel Paris for a lifetime of contributions to psychiatry both nationally and internationally as a teacher, academic, clinician, mentor and leader
• Dr. Manon Charbonneau for her years of devoted advocacy against stigma and discrimination, as well as her leadership at the provincial and national level
• Dr. Karine Igartua for her dedication to combatting stigma, alleviating the suffering caused by homophobia and transphobia, and promoting the mental health of young people
• Dr. Glenda MacQueen (in memoriam) for her career as a distinguished researcher, scholar, educator and mentor.
CPA conferred its highest award, the President’s Commendation, to two worthy recipients in appreciation of their outstanding contributions and mental health leadership in Canada. Andrea Paquette, an award-winning mental health speaker, activist, educator and published author from Vancouver, British Columbia, who has helped to destigmatize mental illness through her charitable work as president and founder of the Stigma-Free Society. Mary Deacon, chair of Bell Let’s Talk, for her leadership of the country’s largest-ever corporate mental health initiative in support of research, greater access to treatment, improvement of workplace mental health and the fight against stigma.
Dr. Idumban Asoka Rajan is an unsung hero who has dedicated his work on the front lines in under-serviced areas. Dr. Rajan, now in his seventies, still works part-time because of the need. Small town psychiatrists, such as Dr. Rajan enjoy their demanding work because of the connection between themselves and their community.
Dr. Giovanni Villella treats each of his patients with respect and dignity. He is proud to serve the vulnerable, marginalized mental health population in an under-serviced community. He strongly believes everyone deserves equal access to health care.
Dr. Cornelis de Boer has worked for over two decades as a rural child and adolescent psychiatrist. He co-founded a collaborative group that gives physicians and therapists direct access to child psychiatrists through telephone consultation. He cooperates with community services and has successfully argued for clinical services for the children in their care. He is an excellent physician.
Other 2018 recipients include, Dr. Anees Bahji and a Forensic Psychiatrist who has remained anonymous.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was recognized with the CPA President’s Commendation in appreciation for his outstanding contribution to improving the mental health of Canadians. In both his private and public life, Prime Minister Trudeau has understood the importance of mental health and the need to find ways to improve access to a range of cost-effective mental health services. His words, and more importantly, his actions consistently speak to the need for compassion and understanding for those who are suffering from mental illness.
The Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) presented its CPA President’s Commendation to Margaret Trudeau in appreciation for her important role as a mental health advocate. Her ability to transform her struggle with bipolar disorder is an inspiration to others. She has shown great courage in recounting her story, helping many Canadians facing mental illness to seek treatment and support. Ms. Trudeau sits on the Executive Advisory Board of the UBC Mental Health Institute as a community advocate, and is the author of four books, including her bestselling title, Changing My Mind, which charts her life’s ups and downs.
Former NHL hockey player, Sheldon Kennedy, was recognized with the CPA President’s Commendation for his work to improve the treatment and prevention of child abuse. Abused by his Major Junior Hockey league coach, Kennedy has translated his personal situation into positive action. Most recently he played a primary role in the vision and development of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre. This Centre brings together paediatricians, nurses, community services, police and legal services under one roof to deliver care to the most complex and difficult child abuse cases in Calgary and surrounding areas.
Les Impatients, a Montreal-based community organization that helps people with mental illness through artistic expression through visual arts, music and expression libre workshops, was recognized for its active role in fostering and developing the creative skills of patients, connecting them through culture to the broader community, building on their strengths and helping break down the barriers of stigma.
The Kajouji Family and Mr. Harold Albrecht, MP were jointly recognized by psychiatrists for advancing the cause of suicide prevention.
Mr. Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Health and Community Services, was recognized by psychiatrists for his longstanding advocacy role in improving mental illness and addictions supports and services in Newfoundland and Labrador. Read the media release.
Mr. Howard Sapers, the Correctional Investigator of Canada, was honoured with a Presidential Commendation from the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) for his longstanding advocacy role in defending the rights of mentally ill offenders, an often neglected population.
Dr. Donna Stewart was recognized for her substantial and sustained contributions and enduring commitment to the advancement of women’s mental health through research, education, and public advocacy.
Dr. Doug Weir, Dr. Bob Buckingham, Dr. Richard O’Reilly and Dr. Sonu Gaind were recognized as founding members of the Coalition of Ontario Psychiatrists for their dedication and leadership in developing the Coalition. This group has helped psychiatrists communicate on the policy issues effecting psychiatric care in Ontario. The Coalition has had great success in improving the working conditions for psychiatrists and consequently improving access for patients to psychiatric care.
Dr. Michael Myers for his vision and outstanding pioneering leadership in raising awareness about physician mental health. He first authored the CPA position paper on the treatment of the mentally ill physician and has since helped bring about a significant shift in attitudes. He was founding Chair of the CPA Physician Well-being Section and a driving force behind the Physician Health Centre at the Canadian Medical Association. But most notably his work has resulted in the creation of special health services for physicians now available across the provinces. His work now extends into the international arena.
The Honourable David Hancock for making mental health a priority during his term as Alberta’s Minister of Health and Wellness. He used his not inconsiderable leadership skills to spearhead amendments to the Alberta Mental Health Act. These amendments will introduce community treatment orders and make it possible to treat patients under the Act, not solely for reasons of dangerousness but also if there is evidence of deterioration in their mental and physical health.
Mr. Gary Mar, QC, former Alberta Minister of Health and Wellness, for making mental health a priority during his term. He lead the development of mental health services under the Regional Health Authorities of Alberta leading to significant improvements in mental health service delivery in Alberta.
Dr. Jean-Marie Albert for his lifelong dedication, leadership and exemplary service to our psychiatry in Quebec and Canada. He served on the CPA Board including a year as President, was a founding Board member of the Foundation of the CPA and an inaugural member of the Joint CPA-CFPC Shared Care Working Group.
Dr. Pierre Beauséjour for his outstanding dedication and leadership in the founding of the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) and in building consensus among consumer, family, community and professional groups to get mental health onto the national agenda resulting in the establishment of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Mr. Phil Upshall for his outstanding advocacy on behalf of Canadians on the importance of addressing mental illness and for his skillful leadership in securing mental health onto the national agenda resulting in the creation of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Dr. Roger Bland was recognized for his untiring volunteer work on behalf of the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) and the psychiatric profession including three double terms as a CPA Board member. He also served as deputy editor of the CJP, Chair of the practice research network and a member of the Shared Mental Health Care Working Group. Throughout a distinguished career, he held many administrative positions outside the CPA including that of Assistant Deputy Minister in Alberta Health.
Dr. John Stanley worked to conceive and develop the first child multidisciplinary team at the Mental Health Clinic in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Dr. Moses Alatishe was recognized for his role in developing New Brunswick’s only inpatient child and adolescent unit, which was established at the Moncton Hospital.
Dr. Laurence Kirmayer was recognized for his dedication in advancing cultural psychiatry.
Dr. David Keegan was recognized for his dedication to psychiatry as a leader, administrator, teacher and clinician in Saskatchewan.
Saskatoon Police Chief Joseph Penkala (retired) worked tirelessly with Larson Intervention House, a non-profit addiction rehabilitation service.
Dr. Frédéric Grunberg improved the mental health of Canadians. He is a noted medical expert, humanist, teacher, communicator, decision-maker, defender of the ill, and mentor.
Dr. Judge Sheehan was recognized for his work on suicide.
Dr. Janine O’Kane has spoken openly about being a physician suffering from depression and about her suicide attempt during residency training.
Cyril Greenland was recognized for his leadership and research in the history of psychiatry.
Dr. Alan Weston, Calgary
Dr. AG Catterson, Ontario
On occasion, the CPA presents special recognition awards to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the mental health of Canadians.
Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston for their work in mental health. Their Excellencies have added their voices to the ongoing national dialogue about mental health and mental illness and participated in the national effort to reduce stigma, advocating for treating mental illness as a matter of health like any other disease.
Dr. Pierre Beauséjour was recognized for his leadership in founding and nurturing Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) and fostering partnerships with mental health organizations to form the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH), a key player in advocating for a mental health strategy for Canada.
The Globe and Mail’s editorial team for its groundbreaking July 2008 mental health series, “Breakdown: Canada’s Mental Health Crisis”. This series has made a significant contribution to increasing the Canadian public’s understanding of mental health and mental illness. It has put a human face on mental illness and allowed those with mental illness and their families to tell us their stories in their words. But equally important, the series examined the policies that have shaped their experiences and focused on the solutions needed to fix mental health care services in Canada.
Dr. John Leverette, Dr. Emmanuel Persad, Dr. Gary Hnatko and Dr. Richard Swinson for their extraordinary service and leadership through the National Strategy for Postgraduate Education Working Group in modernizing the core competencies and training requirements for general psychiatry adopted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in June 2006.
Mr. Bill Wilkerson, founder of the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health, for his tireless work in educating the business community about mental illness.
The Honourable James Bartleman, Lieutenant Govenor of Ontario, for his courage and dedication in speaking out about mental illness and for promoting mental health in First Nations communities.
The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology (2003-2006) for undertaking the landmark study on mental health, Out of the Shadows at Last, under the leadership of Senator Micheal Kirby and Senator Wilbert Keon.
Dr. Quentin Rae-Grant
Honorary Members are individuals upon whom the Association wishes to bestow special recognition. On the recommendation of the Membership Affairs Committee and the Board of Directors such persons may be elected to honorary membership at any Annual General Meeting of the CPA by an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the active and life members present. There shall be no more than 12 honorary members at any one time.
(Hon.) Michael Kirby, Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada
Dr. Roger Bland
Dr. Quentin Rae-Grant
Dr. Melvin Sabshin
Dr. Harry Prosen
These one-time awards were given on the occasion of the CPA’s 50th Anniversary and recognized individuals for their lifetime contributions and dedication to the profession and for serving as models in the practice of psychiatry.
Dr. Ruth E. Kajander, in recognition of her dedication to clinical practice.
Dr. Ian MacLaren McDonald, for his lifetime dedication to biopsychosocial psychiatric care and rural community services, and his leadership in reforming mental health systems in Saskatchewan.
Dr. William McCormick, for his lifelong dedication to teaching and his influence on students of psychiatry.
Dr. Mary Seeman, for her research work in schizophrenia, leadership in applying research into practice, and dedication to working with women who have psychosis.