Forensic Practices & Systems: A Focus on South Asian Communities

Forensic Practices & Systems: A Focus on South Asian Communities
Event on 2017-11-20 08:45:00
Want a better understanding of the forensic mental health system in Ontario? The training event Forensic Practices and Systems: a Focus on the South Asian community is hosted by the Forensic Consultation and Assessment Team, CAMH and The Collaborative for South Asian Mental Health, CAMH at the Canadian Coptic Centre, Mississauga on November 20-21, 2017. This event is open to those interested in learning about forensic mental health. It will be of interest to individuals who work in mental health, counselling, addictions, immigration and settlement agencies, housing and justice sector services, family services, community services, victim services, law enforcement and probation and parole as well as lawyers and paralegals. DESCRIPTION Forensic mental health is a specialized area of practice. Its processes and systems are complex and  easily misunderstood by those outside the forensic system. Community based agencies and services  may be unaware of issues and concerns that are specific to forensic populations. Yet these agencies often provide the bulk of support and service to individuals upon release. Being equipped with accurate information and appropriate training can help them support forensic clients in their care. Over two days we will take workshop participants through cases and exemplars from South Asian community and situations that relate to experience of individuals who are in the forensic mental health system. All trainers are experts in forensic practice and either themselves South Asian or deeply immersed in working with this population. Participants will be engaged through a combination of both didactic and interactive methods of learning. PROGRAM Day One I) Mental illness, stigma and help seeking in the South Asian community Session content: Prevalence of mental illness in immigrant and refugee population. Mental illness, stigma and help seeking in the South Asian community. Facilitators: Dr. Gursharan Virdee, D.Psych, Research Analyst (CAMH) and Ms. Sireesha Bobbili, MPH, Researcher, Office of Transformative Global Health (CAMH) II) Not Criminally Responsible: What does it mean? Session content: What is a finding of NCR? How does it happen? What does it mean to individuals in terms of shaping their path forward? Facilitator: Mr. Gavin Mackenzie, Legal Counsel (CAMH) III) Mental disorder and the Law: Offences and offence pathways in the South Asian Community: Panel Session content: Role of mental illness in bringing individuals into the justice system or forensic mental health system. Presenting problems and reasons police get called. Pathways into the forensic system and its overlap with the correctional system. Manner in which individuals or their families are managing these problems. Barriers in assessment, treatment and provision of services. Panelists: Ms. Tina Chhokar, Probation & Parole Officer, Brampton Office (Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services); Dr. Ritika Goel, MD, MPH, CCFP (Family Physician, Queen West Community Health Centre, Inner City Health Associates, St. Michael's Hospital, Lecturer, University of Toronto); Mr. Johnny Bobbili PC, Community Mobilization Unit (Toronto Police Service) Moderator: Dr. Smita Vir Tyagi, Ph.D., C.Psych, Forensic and Clinical Psychologist, Forensic Consultation and Assessment Service (CAMH) IV) Forensic Systems, Ontario Review Board Session content: Overview of ORB systems and processes. Role of patients, advocates and families, from admission to discharge. Facilitator: Ms. Monica Beron, MSW, RSW, Forensic Social Worker, Forensic Consultation and Assessment Service (CAMH) V) Relationship between mental disorder and violence Session content:  Issues and concerns in violence assessment and relationship to mental disorder (also, role of alcohol and drugs in the clinical picture). Facilitator: Dr. Kiran Patel, MD, FRCPC, Consultant Forensic psychiatrist, CAMH (Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto) Day Two VI) Consent and Capacity  Session content: Overview of consent and capacity in the forensic system. What and how is someone ‘formed’ (involuntary admission), Role and hierarchy of SDM (Substitute Decision Maker).    Facilitator: Ms. Kendra Naidoo, Legal Counsel (CAMH)   VII) Personality disorders Session content: Overview of Personality Disorders: Focus on Antisocial personality traits, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Paranoid Personality Disorder. How it presents, assessment and intervention. Facilitator: Mr. Biraj Khosla, OT, Clinician, Case Manager (Forensic Outpatient Service, CAMH) VIII) Risk assessment Session content: Overview of basics in forensic risk assessment: Assessing risk in different types of offences, Key factors in predicting risk, importance of assessing risk appropriately, role of risk assessment and its role in treatment and interventions. Facilitator: Dr. Smita Vir Tyagi, Ph.D., C.Psych, Forensic and Clinical Psychologist, Forensic Consultation and Assessment Service (CAMH) IX) Best practices in treatment Session content: Overview of treatment and intervention in forensic mental health and correctional populations. Pharmacological interventions and patient management in forensic populations. Psycho-social interventions for forensic populations including programs for specific offence types for example sexual offences, violence offences. Facilitators: Dr. Ipsita Ray, MD, CAMH; Dr. Smita Vir Tyagi, Ph.D., C.Psych, Forensic and Clinical Psychologist, Forensic Consultation and Assessment Service (CAMH) X) Discharge Planning on release from jail or hospital Session content: Issues and concerns relevant to discharge planning: Housing, health services, counselling supports, medication management, community liaison and family education, case management. Challenges in meeting needs of forensic clients in the community. Facilitators: Ms. Sharlene Dewji, MSW, RSW, Social Worker, Forensic Early Intervention Service (CAMH); Ms. Natasha Travasso, Transitional Case Manager (Reconnect Community Health Services); Ms. Jodi Elliott, Manager, MHJ (Mental Health and Justice), TCM (Transitional Case Management) and TRHP (Transitional Rehabilitation Housing Program) SPEAKERS & PANELISTS   Ms. Monica Beron Monica Beron holds a Honors B.A. from the University of Toronto (2008), and an MSW from Smith College in Massachusetts, USA (2012).  Monica has since worked in a variety of acute care inpatient settings – both forensic and civil – throughout the Complex Mental Health program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. She holds Adjunct Lecturer designation at the University of Toronto.  Most recently, in September 2017, Monica accepted a position with the Brief Assessment Unit. In this specialty clinic within the Complex Care and Recovery Forensic  Division at CAMH, her practice is focused on conducting Court and Ontario Review Board ordered psychosocial assessments focusing on criminal responsibility and risk. In addition, Monica provides ongoing treatment for forensic clients and assessment support to the Sexual Behaviours Clinic. Prior to joining the BAU, Monica was a member of the Forensic Consultation and Assessment Team, providing clinical support to external agencies as well as forensic clients and teams.  In addition to supervising students, Monica’s professional interests include capacity building and training inpatient staff on protective factor focused risk management tools, such as the SAPROF. Monica is committed to an anti-oppression practice with a strong focus on supporting individuals of diverse backgrounds. As an immigrant herself, issues of access to competent, culturally sensitive services for immigrant and refugee populations are paramount.  Police Constable Johnny Bobbili, South and West Liaison Officer, Toronto Police Service PC Bobbili currently works to establish trust and confidence between police and the various South and West Asian communities across the city. This involves working with South and West Asian based community leaders, residents, businesses, cultural associations, social services, government agencies, ethnic media and religious institutions. Through these relationships and in partnership with stakeholders, he conducts outreach, offers support and develops strategies to address issues taking place within the community. Prior to this position, he worked in the downtown core responding to 911 calls in police cars and conducted community bike and foot patrol. He has training in scenes of crime processing and criminal investigations including sexual assault and child abuse. When he joined the job in 2002, he was the first person of Andhran descent in Canada to become a police officer. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production from Concordia University and enjoys spending time with family and watching Jackie Chan movies.   Ms. Sireesha Bobbili Sireesha Bobbili is a Special Advisor / Project Coordinator with the Office of Transformative Global Health, Institute for Mental Health Policy Research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Ms. Bobbili spent four years as a Health Promoter at the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit and played an important role in conducting research to support evidence-based public health policy recommendations. She built partnerships with key stakeholders to generate buy-in and advocate for policies at hospitals, school boards, municipal and provincial levels and was successful with influencing policy changes in these sectors. For the past seven years at CAMH, Ms. Bobbili has shifted her attention to strengthening mental health services on a global scale in Canada, Peru, India, Tanzania, Chile and Brazil. Her current research at the Office of Transformative Global Health focuses on equitable access and quality care for those affected by mental health and substance use problems. Bringing together her skills in health promotion, community development, global health research and public health policy, Ms. Bobbili has been co-leading the Collaborative for South Asian Mental Health which focuses on addressing the unique needs of these populations. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Public Health at the University of Toronto.   Ms. Tina Chhokar Tina Chhokar is employed with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services as a Probation and Parole Officer at the Brampton Probation and Parole office. She possesses an Honors Bachelors of Art Degree from the University of Toronto, with majors and minors in Criminology, English and Philosophy. In addition she has also obtained her Ontario Graduate Diploma specializing in Forensic Social Work with Honors.  Tina has over eight years of work and volunteer experience in various community roles such as mental health case manager, streets to homes housing support worker, hostel outreach program, crisis support work and the Punjabi Community Health Liaison Officer. In her current role as Probation and Parole Officer she is required to complete comprehensive assessments, develops and implements case management plans and provides effective supervision for clients who are primarily South Asian within the Peel Region. She provides counselling and advocacy services for a diverse client population and is able to apply social work theories while engaging in motivational and rehabilitative strategies with clients. Additionally, for over three years Tina has supervised complex clients diagnosed with serious mental health related issues, concurrent disorders, acquired brain injuries and developmental disabilities. This caseload is designed to provide specific resources and supports to those individuals who are being supervised within the community. Through her current and previous work experiences she has become aware of the services available to assist and support clients with various mental health related issues as well as provide culturally sensitive case management and programming specifically the South Asian clientele.  She has built strong relationships with community agencies within the Greater Toronto Area in her previous role and within the Peel Region South Asian community in her current role.   Ms. Sharlene Dewji Sharlene Dewji received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Toronto, and holds a BA. Honours in Criminology.  Sharlene is a social worker with the Forensic Early Intervention Service at the Centre for Addiction Mental Health.  In this role, she provides assessments, case management support and release planning to individuals in custody who suffer from mental illness.  Sharlene also co-facilitates psychoeducational groups at the Mental Health Assessment Unit and Special Needs Units in the Toronto South Detention Centre. Sharlene has worked for Supportive Housing in Peel at Peace Ranch, a residential supportive housing program for individuals with mental illness.   During her time at the University of Toronto she trained at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health with the Sexual Behaviours Clinic and the Forensic Outpatient Services Program which developed her interest in improving the quality of life for marginalized individuals living with mental illness.   Dr. Ritika Goel, MD, CCFP, MPH Dr. Ritika Goel is a family physician working primarily with marginalized people who may have experiences of poverty, homelessness, mental illness, addictions, trauma, incarceration and precarious immigration status in Toronto. Her clinical work is based at Queen West Community Health Centre and with the Inner City Health Associates (ICHA) through St. Michael's Hospital at Sistering, a women's drop-in centre, and the FCJ Refugee Centre's uninsured clinic. Ritika has a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, with an interest with health systems and policy. She has served as the Lead Physician at the Inner City Family Health Team, the Population Health Lead for ICHA and has served on the Health Council of the Mid East Toronto Health Link. Ritika is Chair of the Social Accountability Working Group at the College of Family Physicians of Canada and involved in medical education pertaining to advocacy, social determinants of health and anti-oppressive practice. She has been involved in health-related activism since medical school, currently as part of the OHIP for All campaign, the Decent Work and Health Network, and as a board member of Canadian Doctors for Medicare. Ritika is an avid contributor to traditional and social media – find her on Twitter @RitikaGoelTO.   Biraj Khosla, B.Sc. (OT); MS – Clinical Counselling Biraj Khosla is an Occupational Therapist (OT) and Case Manager with CAMH’s Forensic Outpatient Service for the past 18 years. He works with clients who have been discharged into the community and continue to be Not Criminally Responsible under the Ontario Review Board.  His practice is focused on managing clients’ risk to public safety and client rehab to enable their effective reintegration into the community.   Biraj is also the Clinical Education and Training Coordinator for CAMH OTs for the past 16 years. He holds a Lecturer position with the University of Toronto’s MSc. OT program. And has been the Chair of UofT’s PT/OT Alumni Awards Committee 2010–2017. He is a mentor for UofT MSc. OT students.  He holds a BSc. (OT) from the University of Toronto and an Clinical Counselling from the New York Institute of Technology (USA). Prior to being a clinician Biraj worked in HR and as an administrator with multinational organizations in the private, NGO and government sectors.  Biraj has worked closely with the College of OTs Ontario in the development of practice standards for Ontario OTs. Biraj’s clinical interests  are in utilizing recovery-based, psychotherapeutic, MI, CBT perspectives etc.  His specific focus of care is in optimizing clinical efficacy with involuntary clients (under the ORB), while resolving the ongoing clinical dilemma inherent in client rehab and client’s risk to public safety.  This is informed by client enablement and the formation of therapeutic alliances with clients. Mr. Gavin Mackenzie Gavin Mackenzie is litigation counsel at CAMH. He routinely appears before the Ontario Review Board at hearings for those found Not Criminally Responsible or Unfit to Stand Trial, on applications in the Superior Court of Justice, and at appeals before the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He also provides legal advice to CAMH clinicians and senior leadership, and is involved in policy development and drafting agreements. Prior to joining CAMH in 2013, Gavin was a criminal defence lawyer for 6 years.   Kendra Naidoo Kenda Naidoo is Legal Counsel to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.  She holds an H.B.Sc. in Health and Disease from the University of Toronto (2005) and a J.D. from the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Law (2010).  Kendra provides general advice, advocacy and education services to CAMH clinical teams and administrators on a wide range of legal issues, including consent and capacity law, civil detention, and privacy law.  Kendra represents CAMH clinicians before the Consent and Capacity Board and resulting appeals to the Superior Court of Justice, and represents CAMH before the Ontario Review Board.  Kendra provides advice regarding subpoenas and summons of personal health information and represents CAMH clinicians in complaints to their regulatory colleges.  Kendra also teaches on health law and mental health law, both internally at CAMH and externally.  Prior to joining CAMH, Kendra was an associate with the Health Law Group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.  In that role, Kendra acted as counsel to healthcare institutions and their employees, including hospitals, clinics and community care access centers, in defending medical malpractice and personal injury claims. She also acted on behalf of healthcare providers and institutions in matters before the Consent and Capacity Board, Ontario Review Board, regulatory colleges, and the Human Rights Tribunal, as well as advising healthcare institutions on compliance with healthcare legislation and the development of institutional policies. Dr. Kiran Patel, BSc (Hons), MBBS, DipFMH, DipAB (Dist), MAcadMed, FRCPsych, FRCPC Dr Patel is a Staff Psychiatrist within the Forensic Division of the Complex Care and Recovery Programme at CAMH.  In addition, he is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. He undertakes inpatient work on the Forensic Assessment & Triage Unit, the primary interface between CAMH and the Court system, and he provides psychiatric opinion to the Mental Health Court at Old City Hall on a weekly basis. He is the Clinical Lead for the CAMH partnership programme with the Ministry of Correctional Services & Community Safety, the Forensic Early Intervention Service (FEIS). FEIS provides enhanced triage, assessment and case management services to inmates at Toronto South Detention Centre and the Vanier Correctional Centre for Women. Dr Patel completed his undergraduate and postgraduate training in the United Kingdom obtaining accreditation as a specialist in General Psychiatry, Substance Misuse Psychiatry, and Forensic Psychiatry. He practiced as a Forensic Psychiatrist in the UK for 5 years before moving to Canada in 2014.   Ms. Natasha Travasso Natasha Travasso works as a Forensic Transitional Case Manager with Reconnect Community Health Services . ReConnect offers a wide range of programs, treatment, and support to individuals 16 years of age and older who are dealing with acute and chronic age-related challenges, mental illness and addictions concerns and doing so with minimal supports. Natasha works in a partnership program between CAMH and Reconnect to provide case management to individuals under the Ontario Review Board who have a finding of NCR. In her role, she supports individuals who are transitioning to community living. Her focus is supporting her clients with meeting their ORB reporting requirements while also supporting them in developing healthy relationships and life skills. She works with them to ensure that they can make connections in the community through social rehabilitation and relapse prevention strategies. Natasha serves clients in both the Toronto and Peel regions. Throughout Natasha’s career she has worked with clients in the forensic system. Natasha has a strong commitment to working with individuals with mental illness whose lives intersect with the law.  She migrated to Canada from India and is particularly interested in the intersections between culture and the individual’s experience with mental illness and the mental health system. This continues to be Natasha’s focus as she works to complete her Masters of Social Work.   Dr. Smita Vir Tyagi, Ph.D., C.Psych, Clinical and Forensic Psychologist Dr. Tyagi is a staff psychologist with the Forensic Consultation and Assessment Team, Complex Mental Illness Program, CAMH. She came to CAMH after working for nearly a decade as a prison psychologist with the Ontario Correctional Institute, prison for men, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. At CAMH Dr. Tyagi’s work includes risk assessments and forensic consultations, individual and group therapy, program development, training and supervision. She conducts cognitive behavioural therapy groups for psychoses and has developed a specialized therapy program for women convicted of killing/harming their children. She has extensive experience in developing, implementing and evaluating specialized programs. She ran a prison based intensive sex offender program and developed a prison based program for men convicted of violence against partners. She also developed a prison based Fathering program for men with children and clinical programs for ADHD management and Emotional Regulation. She facilitated intensive case management and behavior management models in unit settings using clear outcome criteria for behavioural change. Dr. Tyagi also has extensive experience in collaborative services with community agencies in sexual violence, domestic violence, cross-cultural counselling and program development. Her areas of interest are sexual offending, female offending, filicide, domestic violence, risk assessment and cross-cultural forensic practice. She has written a number of articles and chapters in some of these areas and continues to provide teaching and training on these issues.   Dr. Gursharan Virdee, D.Psych., C.Psych. (Supervised Practice) Dr. Gursharan Virdee is a psychologist (supervised practice) currently working as a researcher at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Downtown Toronto. Her research focuses on expanding our understanding of mental health recovery for diverse populations, youth and individuals with severe mental illness. This includes the development of evidence based psychological interventions. Dr. Virdee works to better understand and address community and service level factors that impact equitable access to mental health care. She is Co-lead of The Collaborative for South Asian Mental Health and is on the Board of the Regional Diversity Roundtable – Peel Region.     REGISTRATION Early Bird: 5 (limited number available) Regular: 0 Student: 0 (Please bring your student ID on the day) To take advantage of the Early Bird rate please register by Saturday, September 30, 2017. After this date the fees will increase as noted above. Registration ends Sunday, November 19, 2017. Questions about the training? Please contact Dr. Smita Vir Tyagi by email at or by phone at 416-535-8501 ext. 32501. In the coming weeks we will update this page with names of speakers and panelists. Please check back often!

at Canadian Coptic Center
1245 Eglinton Ave. W
Mississauga, Canada

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