Mental Health Toronto

Toronto Mental Health Empowerment Day: Addressing Youth Mental Health

The time is now. This is my story, her story, his story‒this is our story.

Mental Health Empowerment Day is the brainchild of Leanne Matlow, Special Education Resource teacher, and CBT Counsellor.  Leanne is a Professional Colleague of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy.  She is the author of two books: Thinking About Thoughts and TELL ME! Her blog can be found here.

Over the years, I have been fortunate to cross paths with Leanne many times, as fellow Gen Xers parenting Millennials, and sitting on our kids’ high school education committee together.

In September 2017, I was eager to attend the first MHED Symposium along with many other professionals, lay leaders and concerned parents‒ networking, sharing resources and learning about a community crisis: iGen and the increasing rates of mental health challenges. The 2017 MHE Day featured:  Dr. Ari Zaretsky, Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Dr. Mark Sinyor, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, his main research focus is on suicide prevention and mental health literacy; and the enthusiastic impact speaker‒ Ryan Golt, currently spearheading “Stronger than Stigma” program at McGill University. Indeed, a powerful panel of speakers.

That informative event sparked our interest, answered some questions, and of course raised more questions. And so, the conversation must continue. We are a caring and compassionate community.

This year Mental Health Empowerment Day promises to be even bigger and better.

The initiative is a collaborative educational event lead by Leanne’s turbo team of dedicated professionals and lay leaders and co-sponsored by the Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Education, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and Beck Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

What Is Mental Health Empowerment Day and Who Should Attend?

The second annual Mental Health Empowerment Day is designed to give tools to those who work with children and youth who are dealing with mental health issues, one of the most pervasive issues in the world today. 

The goal of these sessions is to provide concrete tools for participants in our schools, community institutions and youth programs who work daily with this population.  Each of these frontline workers can have an active role in making the lives of our young people better. The goal of Mental Health Empowerment Day is to reduce stigma, provide a forum for discussion and give tools for action. 

By attending MHED 2018, we will have the unique opportunity to learn from a world-renowned expert in the field of Mental Health from the BECK Institute in Philadelphia. 

Further, attendees will have the chance to network with like-minded dedicated community professionals and share best practices.  This is the first time in Canada that such an opportunity has presented itself.  

Empowerment Day is directed at school teachers, administrators and guidance counselors, staff from summer camps, chaperones of travel experiences social workers, directors of agencies that deal with children, youth, and young adults. 

The time is now. This is my story, her story, his story‒this is our story. Please join us.

Hot off the Press! Guest Speaker: Eli Brown, CEO-

“Clothing designed to bring a voice to mental health issues impacting youth”

Key note speaker: Torrey A. Creed, Ph.D
Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Torrey A. Creed, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, where she directs the Beck Community Initiative, a program of implementation delivery and research through a large-scale academic-public partnership with the City of Philadelphia and other behavioral health systems.

Two Great Opportunities:

Professional Platform: 12:30pm to 4:00pm 

Topic: Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Youth

Parents Platform: 4:30pm to 6:30pm

Topic: Helpful Hints for Anxiety and ADHD 

For more information about this impactful symposium and to register please contact

Liz Pearl, M.Ed., is an educator and facilitator with an interest in psychogeriatrics, adults with special needs and expressive arts therapy. She is a graduate of OISE with a Master of Education and she is a member of OACCPP – an Association of Mental Health Professionals. Liz is the founder of PK Press and the editor of several collections of personal narratives including the revised edition of Mourning Has Broken (KOPE Associates, 2005, 2015) and the Living Legacies series featuring Canadian Jewish women including, Volumes I – VI (PK Press, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2017). Liz is an active volunteer in the GTA Jewish community including Ve’ahavta (creative writing with marginalized adults) and DANI’s (music and dance with adults with special needs). Her immediate goals include streamlining her Pearls of Wisdom and social networking nonsense into a succinct blog on WordPress and adjusting to the looming empty-nest stage.

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