Webinar: Listening to people with lived experience to create a more equitable and effective pandemic response

Missing voices: Listening to people with lived experience to create a more equitable and effective pandemic response

Join the Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) Community of Interest for its next webinar. A diversity of voices is essential for equitable healthcare and a just pandemic response. Yet, the voices of people with lived experience have often been missing from the conversation. This includes those with disabilities, individuals with mental health or addiction issues, and people experiencing systemic oppression and exclusion, who have experienced increased risks of harm and found it harder to access needed supports from healthcare services.

This webinar will raise the voices of people with lived experience to help those working in the sector understand key considerations to mitigate barriers to care and inform more equitable pandemic planning.

Date: Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Register now.

Christina Foisy, Engagement Coordinator at the Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) at CAMH, will describe a recent report that shares the perspectives of people with lived experience about pandemic responses. Following this, there will be a panel discussion with three members of PSSP’s Persons with Lived Experience and Family Advisory Panel: Jase Watford, Lisa Frys and Sandi Bell.

The panelists will provide insights on:

  • barriers that they have faced in accessing health services during the pandemic
  • ways that virtual care barriers have amplified existing disparities related to the social determinants of health
  • changes that might mitigate barriers and ensure virtual care meets the needs of service users.

About the speakers

Christina Foisy is the Engagement Coordinator at CAMH’s Provincial System Support Program (PSSP). She is a poet, writer, sound artist and Ph.D. candidate living in Toronto. Her work incorporates women’s lived experience of ECT treatments and their perceptions of its impact on memory. Using survivor testimony, archives and life writing, alongside theories of ethical listening, her work creates a space for silenced and disenfranchised narratives to speak. She has published original research in the field of ethics and pedagogy, life writing, mad studies and curriculum development as well as lived experience research methodologies.

Jase Watford is a program assistant at Lakehead University for their Humanities 101 program, he is presently attending Lakehead University, and in his 4th year pursuing both a Bachelor’s in Philosophy, and an Honours Bachelor’s in Social Work. Previously in his life, he has overcome chronic homelessness and addiction. Being a person who lives with mental illness, he spends his time advocating and social navigating for marginalized and vulnerable people. Jase sits on a variety of local (Thunder Bay) and provincial working groups, he enjoys using public speaking and stand up comedy to help break stigmas and create more awareness in a social context of living with disabilities.

Lisa Frys is a quirky and charming mental health advocate with a passion for breaking down the stigma that surrounds mental illness. She identifies as a person with lived experience of mental health struggles and has been involved with community mental health and poverty reduction initiatives for the past decade including: Toronto Distress Centres, Kids Help Phone, Toronto Youth Equity Strategy's Community Healing Program, Homeless Connect and the Toronto Mental Health Peer Support Network. She currently works as a caseworker for Toronto Employment & Social Services. She enjoys comedy, melted cheese and cats.

Sandi Bell is a highly respected expert with over 40-years of experience in the areas of social justice, human rights and equity. She has been a student and educator working with others to improve the welfare of the victims of the “isms” (such as racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, etc.). She is regularly sought-out based on her reputation for knowledge of, and sensitivity to Canada's diverse communities and the challenges they face. As the President of EMPOWWORD Inc., a mediation and restorative justice training & development firm, she offers a comprehensive range of “people-focused” expertise in ensuring equality for all. She served for two terms as a Commissioner on the Canadian Human Rights Commission and six years as a Member of the then Appeal Division of the Immigration & Refugee Board. She was also a member of the Mental Health & Law Advisory Committee of the Canadian Mental Health Commission. Sandi was also the Chair of the Health Standard Development Committee for AODA in Ontario as well as a Member of the Patient Family Advisory Council. She has volunteered with CAMH on various panels and committees for decades.


If you require captioning or ASL interpretation to attend this webinar, please email us at healthequity [at] camh [dot] ca by Monday, April 19, 2021.

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