Caring for a loved one living with mental health and/or addiction issues? We are here to offer support and information to help you help them.
Mental health care is a community effort. CMHA Durham offers support to not only our clients, but to their family and caregivers. Whether you have questions about mental health or need help navigating mental health services for your loved ones in the Durham region, we are here to help.
These services are available to anyone caring for someone with mental health and/or addiction issues. Caregivers can be parents, siblings, adult children, spouses/partners, friends, or even neighbours.
For more information about family and caregiver-centered support please contact us by phone or email.
Phone: (905) 436-8760
CMHA Durham is happy to help anyone who has questions or needs support navigating mental health services in the Durham region. In addition, we provide Case Management services for caregivers and family members of those who are living with mental health and/or addiction issues.
To ensure that we are providing the best possible services to CMHA Durham clients and their caregivers, The Client Caregiver Family Advisory Committee meets monthly to provide support for caregivers and generate feedback. For more information about the Committee, please contact us by phone or email.
Sheryl Wedderburn is the Chief Executive Officer at the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Durham. Since her appointment in 2021 she has led the organization through innovative key milestones. The transformation and modernization of housing programs for people with serious mental illness; attaining Accreditation with exemplary standing and raising the profile of the organization within the mental health and addictions sector by co-partnering with lead service providers to support an integrated care model for people living with Schizophrenia. Sheryl has a proven track record in removing barriers between providers and designing client-centred systems while championing the expansion of the traditional catchment areas moving towards equitable access to care. The former CEO and Principal Consultant for Bernard Consultancy, Sheryl has worked dutifully with Chief Executive Officers and Chief Operating Officers, inspiring them to cultivate inventive strategic plans, conducting quality-driven operational reviews and advancing the development, mentorship and successioning of their leadership teams. As a seasoned Governor, Sheryl has been serving on various Boards since 1986, from hospital sector to community. In addition to her role as Officer of the esteemed CMHA Durham Board of Directors, she is the Treasurer and Founding President for JCAN, a registered not-for-profit charity serving the Afro-Caribbean population, and the Vice Chair for the Alzheimer Society of Durham Region Board, where she advocates for enhanced services to meet the growing diverse needs of people living with Alzheimers disease and other dementias. A life-long learner, Sheryl holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Health Sciences and Certified Health Executive designation from the Canadian College of Health Leaders. Past cross-appointments include Adjunct Faculty for the Nursing Degree Program at University of Toronto and Ontario Tech University.
Kerrie has over 20 years of experience working in the community-based mental health and addictions sector and has held various leadership roles throughout her career. She attained formal education in Recreation and Leadership (Ontario Tech University), Professional Management (York University), and Harm Reduction. She is also a Green Belt in leading process improvement methodology Lean Six Sigma and holds a Change Management Practitioner certification. In her current role as CMHA Durham’s Senior Director of Business Operations, she effectively fulfills layered reporting obligations to numerous levels of government and ensures all services are integrated, planned, delivered, and evaluated in accordance with professional standards. Kerrie’s passion for quality improvement supported her role designation as Accreditation Co-Lead from 2016 to 2021. As a caregiver to a loved one with a severe mental disorder, Kerrie is a firm believer that connected and caring communities promote wellness. To that end, Kerrie volunteers as a panel member with Ontario Caregiver Organization and a member of an Advisory Board within her township, in addition to her work with CMHA Durham.
Sarah is an accessibility advocate with a passion for cultivating inclusion, standing up to stigma, and breaking down barriers alongside people with visible and invisible disabilities. She is an Accredited Municipal Professional with more than 15 years of local government experience. Her portfolio includes specialties in public administration, accessibility compliance, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), as well as volunteer management. Sarah is an Honours graduate of the University of Toronto and obtained a certificate in Accessibility Practices from Toronto Metropolitan University. With both a personal and professional connection to mental health, supporting family members, friends, and colleagues with mood disorders, Sarah is eager to contribute to the promotion and enhancement of positive mental health within the Region as a member of the CMHA Durham Board of Directors. Outside of work, Sarah’s hobbies and interests include film, language studies (French and Spanish), baking, and spoiling Riley, her Shih-Tzu.
Nicole Seymour is currently the Chief Regulatory and Compliance Officer for a global property and casualty insurance organization. She has over 20 years of regulatory compliance experience in the insurance and financial industries and has held Chief Compliance Roles at insurers, mutual fund dealers, and life insurance MGAs. Throughout her career, Nicole has implemented successful compliance and regulatory risk management programs at multiple institutions. Continuously committed to her professional development, she holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo and has recently completed the Cambridge Business Sustainability Management Certificate and the Certificate in Regulatory Compliance and Legal Risk Management for Financial Institutions from Osgoode Hall. Nicole lives in Whitby with her husband and four children. She enjoys traveling and being a hockey/soccer mom.
Over the past 15 years, Katie has dedicated her career to guiding organizations to build strong cultures that create inclusive and successful business outcomes. After completing her Honours BA at McMaster University and a post-graduate certificate in Human Resources at Durham College, Katie spent 10 years in organizational and career management consulting, delivering services across North America. She later took on a leadership role within the energy sector, where she focused on learning and development to support the growing demands of that industry. A certified Change Management Practitioner and Human Resources Leader (CHRL), Katie also has experience serving on a non-profit board within the financial sector and brings a governance/policy strength that has resulted in increased performance of the teams and projects she’s worked on. Growing up in Durham Region, and currently residing in Courtice with her family, Katie has a deep appreciation for community services such as the ones provided by CMHA Durham.
Jason is a Senior Strategy & Innovation leader at a large North American financial institution. With a cross border mandate, Jason has built a brand rooted in strategic thought leadership and has a track record of driving multi-dimensional transformation focused on growth and the customer experience. Jason is passionate about coaching and developing future leaders and is a staunch advocate for mental health in both his professional and personal life. He holds both an MBA and Certificate in Responsible Leadership from Queen’s University, a Bachelor of Commerce from Ontario Tech University, and is a Certified Change Management Practitioner. Having grown up in Oshawa, Jason now lives in Clarington with his wife and daughter. In his spare time, he enjoys being outdoors and is an avid fisherman.
Duncan Kerr is an experienced executive currently serving as the Director of Sustainability and Training with Toronto Hydro. He is responsible for developing and managing short- and long-term sustainability, training, and workforce skills development strategies, as well as directing and managing the organization’s sustainability and training systems, processes, and programs. Duncan also drives change in the pursuit of compliance and continual improvement of environment, social, and governance (ESG). Prior to Toronto Hydro, Duncan held professional and leadership roles in both health and safety and operations at General Motors in Canada, the United States, and Australia. His impact is supported by a diverse education, including a Bachelor of Kinesiology from McMaster University, a Master of Science in Biomechanics from the University of Guelph, and a Master of Business Administration from Wayne State University. He is also a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) and an Environmental Professional (EP). Duncan has lived in Brooklin for the last 15 years, with his wife of over 20 years and their two sons.
Elizabeth is currently a Human Resources (HR) Executive for a leading global insurance organization. Elizabeth has obtained her Canadian Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designation and carries a certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution from the University of Windsor. Over the course of her career, she has led teams in both the private and public sectors across North America. She has driven complex transformational change projects in corporate and manufacturing environments and has worked in a variety of HR disciplines. In addition to her HR qualifications, Elizabeth has served as a professor at Algonquin College’s School of Business. Beyond work, Elizabeth is a passionate health advocate, with a Bachelor of Science (Honors) in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa. She keenly understands the value that focused strategies can bring to the health outcomes of individuals, organizations, and the broader community. When Elizabeth is not at work she enjoys CrossFit, running, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Earlene seeks to leverage her knowledge and skills in ways that make a meaningful difference for others. Specializing in brand-building, marketing, and strategy, she has spent the last twelve years working with healthcare clients to build molecules into powerful brands. Holding a Bachelor of Commerce from Queens University, Earlene deeply understands the underlying drivers of behaviour, uncovers the insights that matter, and unfailingly pulls through to actionable strategy. Earlene greatly values her trusted advisor role with clients, being called upon to help them tackle their toughest strategic challenges, while ultimately improving the lived experience of patients, their loved ones, and the healthcare providers who treat them. She is equally committed to sharing this expertise with her community, taking on a variety of volunteer roles over the past two decades, spanning her interests in the environment, the arts, social services, and healthcare. In addition to her role as a Board Member at CMHA Durham, Earlene is a Partner within the Advisory Services arm of Ipsos Healthcare.
Melissa has a rich background in the non-profit sector with more than 25 years of experience. Tapping into her formal education in Sociology (BA, University of Ottawa) and Early Childhood Education (Honours Diploma, Algonquin College), she is currently a Manager for Children’s Services in the Durham Region. Melissa has also previously served on the board of non-profit organizations as secretary and treasurer. A lifelong learner, Melissa has prioritized her professional development in the areas of mental health, diversity, special needs, addiction, management, and leadership. She recognizes the importance of the work that CMHA Durham does to provide services for the community and those living with mental health challenges, and she is honoured to support the mission. Besides Melissa’s personal and professional pursuits, family is integral to her life. Melissa, her partner, her two children, and her parents are all long-time residents of the Durham Region.
Jim Hunt is a retired management professional, whose career touched many essential business operations, from manufacturing to customer satisfaction. He is an outside-the-box thinker with a Mathematics degree from the University of Waterloo (whose handbook he co-authored). An effective problem solver, Jim was one of a few people in North America to successfully manage the implementation of operation scheduling software. Jim also served on the boards and advisory committees of several noteworthy organizations, including Sir Sandford Fleming College and the Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario, where he was a board member for nine years. Jim’s investment in accessible and effective mental health care is inspired by the experiences of his loved ones who live with mental disorders. As a resident of Scugog, Jim’s work with CMHA Durham is a testament to his commitment to ensuring care is available to those in his community who need it most.
Dave Wheeler is a passionate advocate for mental health, and a trusted advisor to CMHA Durham. He has brought his empathetic and effective approach to professional and organizational advancement to roles at several notable companies, including his current position as senior manager of sales and operations at one of Canada’s leading financial institutions. Dave’s expertise is backed by a Master of Business Administration from Queens University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from York University. As CMHA Durham Board Chair, Dave effectively develops strong relationships with stakeholders, while ensuring the appropriate processes are in place to monitor and measure the organization’s performance and efficacy outcomes. Beyond his professional endeavours, Dave enjoys travelling, golf, hockey, baseball, running, and coaching sports.
Preya Singh-Cushnie is a Licensed Life Insurance Agent and the Senior Director at Ontario Medical Association (OMA) Insurance. She expertly collaborates with key internal and external partners, committees, and the OMA Insurance Board to advance the organization’s risk management program and advocacy work. Preya also has extensive experience in financial services thanks to her previous roles at noteworthy companies where she successfully created, launched, and managed several large-scale wealth management platforms and programs. With a BA in Psychology from York University, Preya has continued to find personal and professional passion at the intersection of people, mental health, diversity, and inclusion. Prior to her position on the board of CMHA Durham, she served a four-year term as the Vice Chair of the Town of Ajax’s Diversity and Community Engagement Committee. Preya lives in her hometown of Ajax with her husband and two sons and enjoys travelling, yoga, and mindfulness in her spare time.