Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy | Diversity Dialogues | President's Office | Leadership | UNB

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Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy

A virtual panel discussion

Date: Oct. 26, 2023
Time: 2 - 3:30 p.m.
Location: Zoom

Topics of discussion

  • Approaching mental health care in Afrocentric, Indigenous and on campus communities
  • Identifying and understanding the challenges individuals are facing
  • Understanding how we, as a community, can support mental health challenges


Todd Ross, Indigenous Advisor, UNB Saint John campus, will be moderating the event and a Q&A period.

M.Ed., CCC

I have worked as a counsellor for over 20 years in the Fredericton community. I obtained my B.A. in Psychology from STU and my M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology from UNB. I began my career working with children and families at a non-profit agency and joined the UNB Counselling Team in 2008. I’ve had the privilege of working directly with students for many years, am part of a team of compassionate, caring professionals, and have taught several courses as a sessional instructor in the Counselling program here at UNB.

I believe that campus mental health is a collective commitment that extends across our entire campus community where students, faculty, staff, and administrators play an important role in fostering a nurturing and supportive environment for mental wellbeing. While some aspects of mental health services on campus have changed and evolved over my time here, the passion I have for this work and my commitment to helping students has remained solid.

Witnessing the strength, growth and resilience of students is an honour and I hold a deep sense of gratitude to be able work helping students receive the support and guidance they need to thrive academically and personally.

B.A., M.A., M.Ed., Ph.D.

I am a creative and revolutionary thinker who believes that decolonizing our self, communities and world can lead to real justice and not “just us” practices. I identify as an African/Black woman, poet/playwright, survivor of African enslavement via the Caribbean and Latin America, from working class roots, mother, living with a visual disability, and resisting in Turtle Island (Canada).

I draw from my over 30 years' experience of health-based activism, working with survivors of violence and trauma. I have worked in frontline community health agencies and in grassroot initiatives for over 20 years, coordinating projects and programs from an anti-racist, anti-oppression lens. Currently, I work as a professor at Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. I am also a co-founder, registered psychotherapist and consultant at Continuing Healing Consultants. For over 11 years I have trained community practitioners and agencies in “Anti-Oppression Psychotherapy,” a mental health model, created and developed by myself and Mercedes Umana.

I have worked with children, youth, women, men, trans and purposely marginalized populations from intersectional identities such as: Black, Indigenous, racialized, 2SLGBTTQ, underhoused, refugee and immigrant populations.

I have a BA in Political Science and Sociology with a specialty major in international justice and human rights (McMaster); an MA in Political Science (Guelph); a PhD. in Adult Education, Community Development and Gender Studies (OISE, University of Toronto); an M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology in Community Settings (OISE, University of Toronto); and a SSHRC post-doctoral fellowship (2011-2013) in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development (OISE, University of Toronto).

My work and praxis are grounded in Transnational Indigenous knowledges, African/Black feminisms, Intersectionality, decolonization frameworks and art-based resistance.


I am a Migmaq woman from the Listuguj Migmaq First Nation Community. My education background is in Social Work, and I have received my BSW from University of Maine in Presque Isle, Maine and MSW from University of Orono, Maine. I am a Registered Member of the New Brunswick Association of Social Workers.

I also obtained a Certificate in Community Development and Alcohol and Drug Counseling from the Nechi Institute in Alberta/Keyano College. Presently I work as a Mental Health Clinician for Neqotkuk Health Center two days a week, one day via phone. I am the Sole Proprietor and owner of Sacred Fire Healing Lodge in Ugpiganjig, NB.

I have also taught Native Studies for Cape Breton University. I have been involved in the Traditional Way of Life for 30 years. This is where I had found my identity as a Migmaq Woman. To be able to pray and sing in my own language has helped me to gain the confidence and receive the Wisdom and Knowledge from Elders throughout my journey.

Language has been the backbone of my spirit; it has provided me with the tools to share with all my brothers and sisters. I am sharing these teachings with you to bring back our Traditions and Culture. As Aboriginal descendants we need to take our rightful place in society.