Twenty Canadian Experts Join Parliamentarians for a Virtual Reception on Mental Health Research and COVID-19

OTTAWA, November 4, 2020 – Research Canada and the Parliamentary Health Research Caucus are proud to host a virtual invitation-only reception with Parliamentarians to learn about the important role of Canadian mental health researchers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic is having a significant impact on Canadians’ mental health, and the role of mental health research and innovation is imperative to navigating this mental health crisis. The pandemic has both magnified and added to existing mental health issues and highlighted how crucial mental health promotion and care are to our overall well-being. Any successful approach to supporting Canadians’ mental health in the wake of COVID-19 must address the broader context of mental health care in our country and offer a long-term, multifaceted solution. At this virtual event, panel experts will explore a broad range of topics, including the impacts of loneliness and social isolation, the impacts of restricted health and social care provision on vulnerable groups, and the effects of viral infection on brain nuclei.

Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2020 from 4:00 – 5:30 PM ET

Social media: #HealthResearchCaucus


SickKids Hospital Room
Panel 1: Individual Psychosocial Effects Stemming from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jehannine Austin, PhD
University of British Columbia | BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services
Joanna Henderson, PhD
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Chaya Kulkarni, BAA, M.Ed., Ed.D
The Hospital for Sick Children
David Nicholas, PhD
University of Calgary
Rudolf Uher, MD, PhD
Nova Scotia Health Authority | Dalhousie University

Shift Health Room
Panel 2: Population Psychosocial Effects Related to COVID-19

Suze Berkhout, MD, PhD, FRCPC
University Health Network | University of Toronto
Kim Corace, PhD, CPsych
The Royal | University of Ottawa | Canadian Psychological Association
Anthony Levitt, MD, MBBS, FRCPC
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre | University of Toronto
Soham Rej, MD
McGill University | Jewish General Hospital/Lady Davis Institute
Lianne Tomfohr-Madsen, PhD, R. Psych
University of Calgary | Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute

Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) Room
Panel 3: Population Psychosocial Effects Related to COVID-19

Imaan Bayoumi, MD
Queen’s University
Brenda Elias, PhD
University of Manitoba
Aaida Mamuji, PhD
York University
Cécile Rousseau, MD
McGill University | Montreal Children’s Hospital
Michael J. A. Wohl, PhD
Carleton University

Panel 4: The Short- and Long-Term Effects of the Pandemic on Brain and Mental Health

Robert Bartha, PhD
Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University
Catherine Legault, MD
McGill University
Mary Pat McAndrews, PhD
University Health Network | University of Toronto
Margaret McKinnon, PhD, CPsych
McMaster University
Lakshmi Yatham, MBBM, DPM, FRCPC, MBA (Exec)
University of British Columbia | Vancouver Coastal Health | Providence Healthcare

With Moderators:
Sandra Meier, PhD
Dalhousie University
David Pedlar, PhD
Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research
Philippe Robaey, MD, PhD, FRCPC
CHEO Research Institute | University of Ottawa
Michael Piccinini Vallis, PhD, R. Psych
Dalhousie University

Parliamentary Health Research Caucus
Chair: Lloyd Longfield, MP (Guelph)
Vice-Chairs: Marilyn Gladu, MP (Sarnia—Lambton), Carol Hughes, MP (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing)
Senate Representative: The Honourable Judith Seidman

Research Canada
Rosie Goldstein, MD, Chair
Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety, President and CEO

About Research Canada
Research Canada is a national alliance dedicated to increasing investments in health research through collaborative advocacy and engaging government, academia, industry and non-profit sectors to build support for long-term health research funding. For more information, visit

Since 2009, Parliamentary Health Research Caucus events on Parliament Hill have helped to educate politicians on the social and economic benefits of Canadian health research and innovation, as well as introduce them to the multi-sector partnerships among academic, private sector and health charity stakeholders essential to a robust health research enterprise and innovation system.

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For inquiries:

Christie Tomkins
Manager of Policy and Public Affairs