Principal Investigator (Main Study and LGBTQ Extension): Sean A. Kidd, a Clinical Psychologist, is an internationally recognized authority in the area of youth homelessness research. In this work he has focused on service models, qualitative methods, and the impacts of marginality and stigma on the population. He has also worked extensively in these same areas as they relate to individuals with severe mental illness.
Dr. Kidd is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, and is Head of Psychological Services at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Schizophrenia Division. He has over 50 peer reviewed publications with a primary focus on marginalized populations and qualitative methodologies.
Co-Investigator (Main Study and LGBTQ Extension): Kwame McKenzie is a Full Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, Director of Health Equity at CAMH, and Director of a Canadian Institutes of Mental Health (CIHR) Social Aetiology of Mental Illness (SAMI) training program at CAMH. He is also Director of the Division of Equity, Gender and Population Health for the Department of Psychiatry University of Toronto and the CEO of the Toronto Wellesley Institute. He currently sits on the Service Systems Advisory Committee of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and he has written the paper on which they are basing the health equity goals of the emergent Mental Health Strategy for Canada.
Dr. McKenzie has a long history of mixed methods research linked to services development and he has been working in the field of mental health services and research for diverse ethnic groups for 20 years. Dr. McKenzie has over 100 peer reviewed publications with a concentration on mental health among minority groups.
Postdoctoral Fellow/Project Coordinator (Main Study and LGBTQ Extension): Tyler J. Frederick has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto. His primary area of research is homeless and street involved young people, including research on the unique experiences of LGBTQ youth. Tyler's dissertation examined at how homeless young people in Toronto develop survival strategies as they navigate the unique social spaces that make up "the street."
With the support of the Weston Foundation, Tyler worked as a post-doctoral fellow at CAMH coordinating the Main Study and LGBTQ Extension and collecting and analyzing data for the Main Study. He was also an affiliate-fellow in the SAMI training program (2012-2013). Tyler recently joined the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology as an Assistant Professor.
Doctoral Student Research Trainee (Main Study): Lesley A. Tarasoff, MA, is a PhD Candidate in the Social and Behavioural Health Sciences Division at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and since 2010 has been a member of the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team. Lesley collected and analyzed data and contributed to knowledge translation (KT) activities for the Main Study.
She has many research interests including women's sexual, reproductive, and periantal health; sexual and reproductive health rights and the law; the sociology of health and illness; reproductive technologies; sex, gender, and health; disability and health; LGBTQ health; and, mental health.
Research Analyst (Main Study): Gursharan Virdee has an MSc in Counselling Psychology from City University, London, UK, and is currently finishing up her doctoral degree in Counselling Psychology through City University, London, UK. Gursharan works as a Research Analyst in the Schizophrenia Division at CAMH.
She has a keen interest in improving mental health equity amongst marginalized groups in the Greater Toronto area, specifically South Asian communities and women. She has worked extensively with the South Asian communities in the UK, developing psychological interventions for adults and young people in both inpatient and community services.
Doctoral Student Research Trainee (LGBTQ Extension): Merrick D. Pilling recently completed his PhD in Gender, Feminist, and Women's Studies at York University. His research interests include theorizing madness, the intersections between critical disability studies and queer and trans studies, and the impacts of dominant understandings of mental health on the everyday lives of queer and trans people.
Master's Student Research Trainee (LGBTQ Extension): Meg Howison is completing her Master of Social Work degree at Ryerson University.
Steering Committee Member (Main Study and LGBTQ Extension) and Coordinator of Empowerment Council Advisory Group to the Project: Lucy Costa is a systemic advocate with the Empowerment Council, an organization representing the client voice primarily CAMH. She is a Board Member of ARCH Disability Law Centre, Board Vice Chair at Sound Times Support Services, former Board Member of the Psychiatric Survivor Archives of Toronto, and Founder of the Mad Students Society.
Lucy graduated from York University with a Hons. B.A and is currently a Masters of Law student at Osgoode Hall Law School. She is also the recipient of the 2013 City of Toronto Access Award for Disability Issues.
Empowerment Council Advisory Group Member (Main Study): Jijian Voronka is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Social Justice Education at OISE, University of Toronto. Her doctoral research explores the politics of peer/service user involvement in mental health research and service systems through a case study of a national research demonstration project on homelessness and mental health.
She works as a consultant for the MHCC and teaches at Ryerson University's School of Disability Studies. She is a Board Member of the Ontario Mental Health Foundation (OMHF), Sound Times Support Services, and A-Way Express Couriers.
Doctoral Student Research Trainee (Main Study and LGBTQ Extension): Angela Day, MA, is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. She managed the spatial analysis component of the project in the summer of 2014.
Her research focuses on the dynamic relationships between the environment and health, with theoretical interests in the areas of political ecology, feminist geography, and critical population health. She is also skilled at using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and is particularly interested in applying these skills to innovative health research projects.
Master's Student Research Trainee (Main Study and LGBTQ Extension): Rajiv Lalla is currently a student in the Master of Spatial Analysis program in the Department of Geography at Ryerson University's. He worked with Angela on the spatial analysis component of the project in the summer of 2014.
Co-Investigator (LGBTQ Extension): Lori E. Ross, PhD, is a Senior Scientist in Social and Epidemiological Research Department at CAMH in Toronto, where she leads the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health team. Lori is also Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto, and an Adjunch Scientist at Women's College Research Institute.
She uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches in her research work, with a strong focus on integrating the principles of community-based research. Much of her research focuses on understanding the mental health and service needs of marginalized populations, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) people, in order to improve access to services for these communities. Lori is also internationally recognized for her research in the area of reproductive and perinatal mental health.
Steering Committee Member (Main Study): Steve Lurie is the Executive Director of the Toronto Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association. He has provided strategic advice and support on many international initiatives such as the Schizophrenia Research Foundation (SCARF), a community mental health and research organization in Chennai, India, as well as worked on the development of a National Mental Health Plan for Kyrgyzstan through the Soros Foundation. He is the principal author on the Graham report, Building Community Support for People, and conducted the 1998 Minimum Data Set Pilot Project which established a common data set for the reporting of client outcomes in community and hospital based mental health services.
In 2005, he provided technical assistance to Michael Kirby on the development of the $5.3 billion mental health transition fund recommended in Out of the Shadows at Last. He was the Chair of the MHCC Service Systems Advisory Committee from 2007-2012, leading initiatives on diversity, house, and peer support, among others. Steve is an Adjunct Professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto.
Steering Committee Member (Main Study, First Year): Susan Pigott is the former Vice President of Communications and Community Engagement at CAMH. Trained as a nurse and a social worker, Susan has worked in the non-profit human services field in Toronto for over 25 years. For nine years, Susan was the Chief Executive Officer of St. Christopher House, a community-based multi-service agency that operates in the west end of Toronto. Prior to that she spent seven years at United Way of Greater Toronto, first as Allocations Director and then as Vice President of Fundraising. In 2006-7, Susan took a leave of absence from St. Christopher House to serve as the Executive Lead for Citizen Engagement, supporting the Ontario Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform.
Susan volunteers her time as a board member of many organizations and is currently Executive in Residence at Ashoka Canada.
Steering Committee Member (Main Study and LGBTQ Extension, Second Year): Janet Mawhinney is the Director of Community Engagement at CAMH. Prior to taking on this role in 2013 she worked as the Manager of Diversity and Equity at CAMH and as a consultant in diversity and equity education.
Core research team members based in Toronto:
- Sean A. Kidd
- Tyler J. Frederick
- Lesley A. Tarasoff
- Gursharan Virdee
- Merrick D. Pilling
- Meg Howison
To the left and on the other 'People' pages you will find detailed bios of the core research team members as well as bios of those who contribute to specific components of the studies (e.g., mapping and as steering committee members).