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Speakers

The virtual nature of this conference has allowed the Scientific Committee to invite a much larger group of keynote speakers for the conference who are all international leaders in their field.

Plenary Speakers

Professor Laurence Kirmayer

McGill University
A psychiatrist and expert in transcultural psychiatry

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Laurence J. Kirmayer, MD, FRCPC, FCAHS, FRSC is James McGill Professor and Director, Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University and Co-director of the Culture, Mind and Brain Program, McGill University. He is Editor-in-Chief of Transcultural Psychiatry, and Director of the Culture & Mental Health Research Unit at the Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, where he conducts research on culturally responsive mental health services for immigrants and refugees, the mental health of Indigenous peoples, and the philosophy of psychiatry. He also founded and directs the Network for Aboriginal Mental Health Research. His past research includes studies on cultural consultation, pathways and barriers to mental health care for immigrants and refugees, somatization in primary care, cultural concepts of mental health and illness in Inuit communities, risk and protective factors for suicide among Inuit youth, and resilience among Indigenous peoples. Current projects include: mental health promotion for Indigenous youth; the integration of ethnography and neuroscience in global mental health; and models of mental health services for multicultural societies. He co-edited the volumes: Understanding Trauma: Integrating Biological, Clinical, and Cultural Perspectives (Cambridge University Press), and Healing Traditions: The Mental Health of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada (University of British Columbia Press); Cultural Consultation: Encountering the Other in Mental Health Care (Springer); the DSM-5 Handbook for the Cultural Formulation Interview (APPI): and Re-Visioning Psychiatry: Cultural Phenomenology, Critical Neuroscience and Global Mental Health (Cambridge). He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada.

Professor Katherine Iverson

University of Boston, USA.
A clinical research psychologist and an expert in intimate partner violence

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Dr. Katherine (Kate) Iverson, PhD is a clinical psychologist, health services researcher, and implementation scientist who aims to improve healthcare services for individuals who experience trauma, particularly intimate partner violence (IPV). She is an Investigator in the Women’s Health Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD and in the Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research, both located at the VA Boston Healthcare System. She is also an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University. Dr. Iverson’s research and clinical practice address the trauma-related health needs of women who served in the military. This work has been funded for nearly 15 years by grants and operational support from the US Veterans Health Administration (VHA). At VHA she has worked with policy makers to inform and support the implementation of trauma-informed IPV care. This includes validating screening tools, identifying and disseminating best practices for screening and response, and testing implementation strategies. The clinical and policy impacts of Dr. Iverson’s research were recognized by a 2014 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Dr. Iverson also co-developed and established the evidence-base for “Recovering from IPV through Strengths and Empowerment” (RISE), a counseling intervention for patients who experience recent or ongoing IPV. She is currently establishing a RISE Dissemination and Implementation Team to spread this counseling intervention across VHA. Additional projects as Principal Investigator include a longitudinal assessment of Veterans’ IPV experiences and associated mental health needs and an investigation of mental health clinicians’ use of evidence-based psychotherapies in community-based clinics.

Professor Heidi Ellis

Harvard Medical Boston.
A clinical psychologist who will speak about her work with refugees

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B. Heidi Ellis, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in Psychology and Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, and a licensed clinical psychologist. She is also the Director of the Trauma and Community Resilience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, a partner in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Dr. Ellis’ primary focus is on understanding and promoting youth mental health and well-being, with a particular emphasis on understanding how trauma exposure, violence, and social context impact developmental trajectories. Over the past 15 years she has conducted a Community Based Participatory Research program with Somali youth and was Principal Investigator of a multi-site, longitudinal research project examining developmental pathways to and away from violence, including ideological violence, gang involvement, and constructive civic engagement. Dr. Ellis is co-developer of the trauma treatment model Trauma Systems Therapy, along with its adaptation for refugees, and is engaged in capacity building and training related to trauma-informed multidisciplinary approaches to the repatriation and reintegration of children from formerly ISIS-controlled territories. She is also the lead author of the book “Mental Health Practice with Immigrant and Refugee Youth: A Socioecological Framework”.

Professor Nicholas Procter

University of South Australia.
A mental health nurse and will speak about the use of co-design and lived experience within vulnerable populations

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Professor Nicholas Procter is Chair: Mental Health Nursing and director of the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Research and Education Group at the University of South Australia. Professor Procter is a community engaged researcher leading funded programs of research across a range of population groups and settings.

Associate Professor John Torous

Harvard University.
A psychiatrist and one of the world’s leading thinkers about digital mental health

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John Torous, MD MBI is director of the digital psychiatry division, in the Department of Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Harvard Medical School affiliated teaching hospital, where he also serves as a staff psychiatrist and assistant professor. He has a background in electrical engineering and computer sciences and received an undergraduate degree in the field from UC Berkeley before attending medical school at UC San Diego. He completed his psychiatry residency, fellowship in clinical informatics, and master’s degree in biomedical informatics at Harvard. Dr. Torous is active in investigating the potential of mobile mental health technologies for psychiatry and has published over 200 peer reviewed articles and 5 book chapters on the topic. He serves as editor-in-chief for JMIR Mental Health,  web editor for JAMA Psychiatry and, currently leads the American Psychiatric Association’s Health IT Committee.

Professor Bob Ursano

Uniformed Services University.
A psychiatrist who is a lead researcher in the area of disaster mental health

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Founder of Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University School of Medicine and past Chair of Committee on Disaster Psychiatry, American Psychiatric Association and Senior Editor, Textbook of Disaster Psychiatry. He is recognized internationally for his leading work on the interface of psychiatry and public health in times of disaster and terrorism, and he is a frequent advisor on issues surrounding psychological response to trauma to the highest levels of the US Government and specifically to the Department of Defense leadership. He has had leadership involvement in the seminal Army STARRS project which studies Suicide in the military and has provided critical information about suicide risk in military personnel. Dr Ursano has more than 300 publications and is co-author or editor of eight books. He is the recipient of many awards including the ISTSS Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding and fundamental contributions to understanding traumatic stress.

Professor Tim Dalgleish

University of Cambridge.
A clinical psychologist who specialises in transdiagnostic interventions.

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Professor Tim Dalgleish is a clinical psychologist. He works both as a research scientist at the University of Cambridge and as a practitioner. He is the director of the Cambridge Centre for Affective Disorders. His research focuses on understanding and developing psychological treatments for common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress. He adopts a translational approach, seeking to utilize insights from basic cognitive neuroscience to enhance clinical interventions for these conditions. His work employs a range of scientific methods from brain imaging to the use of large scale clinical trials.

Christine Morgan

CEO of the National Mental Health Commission and National Suicide Prevention Adviser to Prime Minister Scott Morrison

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Christine Morgan is the CEO of the National Mental Health Commission and National Suicide Prevention Adviser to Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Ms Morgan is a passionate leader in mental health care reform, committed to listening and responding to the voice and needs of those with lived experience.
Prior to joining the Commission, Ms Morgan was CEO of the Butterfly Foundation for eating disorders and Director of the National Eating Disorders Collaboration. As former CEO of the Butterfly Foundation, she led a collaborative advocacy strategy that included amplification of eating disorders as a serious mental and physical health issue. This is now being replicated internationally. In the not for profit sector, Ms Morgan was General Manager at Wesley Mission, over the areas of Corporate Services; and Community & Family Development. Prior to joining Wesley Mission, Ms Morgan was Executive General Manager responsible for managing the strategic direction and business unit effectiveness of the Wholesale, Broadband & Media Business Unit at Telstra.
Ms Morgan brings connection and passion to mental health reform, built on the networks she established in the corporate world, her broad legal expertise, her extensive not-for-profit experience and her strong ability to demonstrate to people how their contribution can make a real difference.

Fiona Cornforth

CEO of The Healing Foundation
Extensive background working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.

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Fiona Cornforth is the CEO of The Healing Foundation, a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to address the ongoing trauma caused by actions like the forced removal of children from their families. Fiona has an extensive background working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. She is a Wuthathi (Shelburne Bay) descendant with family roots in the Torres Straits. Fiona is a Masters Graduate of ANU’s College of Business and Economics, and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy of the UK. Holding past senior roles in community and government organisations, she utilised her global experience in education, leadership and business development to raise awareness around the impacts of intergenerational trauma.
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