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April 28, 2016

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April 28, 2016
For Immediate Release

WATERLOO – The Canadian Mental Health Association is celebrating its 65th annual Mental Health Week May 2-6 to raise awareness and support for mental health issues.

There are several Laurier experts available to comment on mental health:

Amy Clements-Cortes, instructor in Laurier’s Music Therapy program, is an expert on music therapy and creative arts therapies for mental health, singing for health and wellness, mental health and older adults, dementia and depression and depression in long-term care homes. Clements-Cortes also has experience working with in-patient psychology. Contact information: (Cell) 519-897-3613 or

Carolyn FitzGerald, assistant professor in Laurier’s Faculty of Education, in an expert on mental health in education. FitzGerald’s research focuses on ways in which educators can offer effective programs to support the development of inclusive classrooms for Ontario’s children and youth. FitzGerald is also the coordinator of Laurier’s Mental Health Issues in the Classroom certificate. Contact information: (cell) 519-427-4762 or

Amy Milne-Smith, associate professor in Laurier’s Department of History, is an expert on the history of mental health, particularly in Victorian Britain and Europe. Milne-Smith is available to comment on the history of stigmas about mental health, the rise and fall of the asylum, mental health and crime, and the evolution of diagnostics including the creation of disease (i.e. hysteria). Contact information:

Geoffrey Nelson, professor in Laurier’s Department of Psychology, is an expert on homelessness and serious mental illness. Nelson has also researched the prevention of children's mental health problems. Contact information:

Carol A. Stalker, professor emeritus in Laurier’s Faculty of Social Work, is an expert on walk-in counseling. Stalker’s recent research has shown that the “walk-in counseling model” of service delivery is associated with a faster improvement in psychological distress compared to the traditional model of service delivery where people are often put on a wait list before seeing a counselor. Her research demonstrates that contrary to expectations, people presenting with complex needs (psychological trauma, abuse and serious mental illness and child welfare concerns) particularly benefited from access to the walk-in counseling model. Contact information: 519-896-7585 or

Michael Woodford, associate professor in Laurier’s Faculty of Social Work, is an expert on bullying and discrimination targeting LGBTQ youth. Woodford’s research explores the nature of LGBTQ bullying and its consequences in terms of mental health, physical health and academic engagement and success. Contact information: (cell) 519-998-4514 or

Danielle Law, assistant professor in Laurier’s Youth and Children’s Studies and Psychology programs, is an expert on cyberbullying and responsible Internet use. Law’s research examines how children and adolescents develop cognitively and socio-emotionally as they interact and socialize using various technologies. Contact information: 519-756-8228 x5552 or

Renée MacPhee, associate professor in Laurier’s Health Sciences and Kinesiology and Physical Education departments, is an expert on the health and wellbeing of paramedics. MacPhee is available to comment on occupational injury status and mental health. Contact information: 519-884-0710 x2754 or

Ginette Lafrenière, associate professor in Laurier’s Faculty of Social work, director of Social Innovation Research Group (SIRG) and the Manulife Centre for Community Health Research, is available to comment on issues related to intimate partner violence, gendered violence and sexual violence with vulnerable populations since 2006. Lafrenière, in tandem with the Sexual Assault Support Centre and her research team, spearheaded The Change Project. Contact information:

Bree Akesson, assistant professor in Laurier’s Faculty of Social Work, is an expert on psychosocial effects of war and disaster on children and families. Her current research includes a SSHRC-funded research project along with Geography Professor Sean Doherty focusing on the well-being and mobility of children living in refugee camps. Contact information:

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Kevin Crowley, Director
Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.884.0710 x3070



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