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Mental Health and Addiction Working Group

Dr. Marnie Wedlake (Co-Chair), Adjunct Research Professor/Sessional Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Western University

Marnie has worked in mental health care since 1986. She has a Hons BA in Psychology (Waterloo), a MEd in Educational Psychology (Western), and a PhD in Health Professional Education (Western). As a Registered Psychotherapist, Marnie is a Member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. She works in private practice as a psychotherapist. She is an Adjunct Research Professor and a Sessional Assistant Professor, in the Faculty of Health Sciences, at Western University.

As a qualitative researcher and a person who tends to be quite practical, Marnie delights in finding varied and creative ways of applying philosophy and theory to real life. In her spare time Marnie enjoys reading, photography, writing poetry, watching movies, and being active outdoors.

Dr. Saadia Ahmad (Co-Chair), Mental Health & Addictions Clinical Research Lead, Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare

Dr. Saadia Ahmad has worked for Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare for more than a decade, currently as the Mental Health and Addictions Clinical Research Lead. Prior to her current role, Dr. Ahmad was Manager of a number of Outpatient Mental Health programs at Hotel-Dieu Grace. She has also served as Clinical Neuropsychologist overseeing all Psychological and Neuropsychological services at the HDGH Ouellette site. Dr. Ahmad is an adjunct faculty member for Western University's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry providing lectures on clinical techniques for undifferentiated physicians to the Windsor medical students rotating through Psychiatry. She has also taught approximately 20 courses at the University of Windsor in the Department of Psychology. She has a number of peer review publications and has received a number of provincial and national research awards and grants for her work in the area of neuropsychology.

The Mental Health & Addiction Working Group falls under the direction of the Community Engagement Committee of SWAHN.

The purpose of the Mental Health & Addiction Working Group is to engage health/human service providers and academics from different professions, students, and service users from across Southwestern Ontario in the development and implementation of interdisciplinary initiatives that address mental health and addiction-related concerns in the region. Specifically, the advancement and/or improvement of clinical practice, public awareness, system change, knowledge translation, research, and innovation, will be considered.  

The Mental Health & Addiction Working Group will accomplish this by:

  1. Ensuring that Working Group activities are aligned with the goals of SWAHN (i.e., to transform health in Southwestern Ontario through integrated excellence in research, education and clinical practice);

  2. Liaising with and reporting to the SWAHN Community Engagement Committee concerning matters related to its areas of focus;

  3. Developing short and long term goals in collaboration with the SWAHN Community Engagement Committee which will be specific, measurable, and achievable in one-to-two years (short term) and three-to-five years (long term);

  4. Identifying appropriate performance measures to monitor progress and performance;

  5. Focusing on initiatives and the development of knowledge products that encourage cross-sector collaboration among academics, researchers, health/human service workers, students and service users.

  6. Developing networking events that create awareness and stimulate positive change related to issues involving mental health and addiction in Southwestern Ontario.

Please visit our symposium page for information on the Mental Health and Addiction Working Group's activities.