Goals of the Collaboration

This collaboration brings together together leadership from the University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute (uOBMRI) in partnership with the Department of Psychiatry, the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC), and the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics (CHLPE), which endeavour to utilize the justice system to affect and advocate for policy and rights change in under serviced areas. The interaction between the legal and healthcare systems will help address human rights for mental healthcare in underserviced populations. We will also establish a legal framework for parity of esteem between physical and mental health. 


Members of the Collaboration

Dr. Simon Hatcher

Vice-Chair of Research, Department of Psychiatry

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Dr. Simon Hatcher is currently a Full Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa, having moved there from Auckland in May 2012. He worked for 18 years in Auckland, New Zealand as a clinical academic running a Liaison Psychiatry in a general hospital and at the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland. His main research interests include suicide, self-harm, psychotherapies, psychiatry in the general hospital setting and e-therapies. He provided the clinical input into the John Kirwan Journal program (www.depression.org.nz). Currently, he is based clinically at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre where he is working in an anxiety disorders clinic and providing services in the downtown homeless shelters. Academically he is based at the University of Ottawa’s Institute of Mental Health Research where he is the Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Psychiatry.

His role in this collaboration is, with the assistance of Valerie Testa, to determine the most effective method to influence policy makers to enable excellent care for our patients and to thereby improve patient outcomes. This collaborative endeavour will result in the establishment of a research, policy and clinical theme at the University of Ottawa. As such, it is vital that service users and caregivers remain at the core of the issue throughout the lifetime of the collaboration venture. 


Valerie Testa

Research Manager, Department of Psychiatry

Valerie Testa is the Research Manager for the Department of Psychiatry, and is involved in suicide prevention research. She is engaged in promoting collaborative opportunities across all affiliated hospitals and Research Institutes, as well as municipal organizations in Ottawa. She is co-Chair of the SOCRA Ottawa Chapter and is a Women’s Executive Network member. 

Her role in this collaboration is, with the assistance of Dr. Simon Hatcher, to determine the most effective method to influence policy makers to enable excellent care for our patients and to thereby improve patient outcomes. This collaborative endeavour will result in the establishment of a research, policy and clinical theme at the University of Ottawa. As such, it is vital that service users and caregivers remain at the core of the issue throughout the lifetime of the collaboration venture. 



John Packer

Director, Human Rights Research and Education Centre

Professor John Packer has recently taken up responsibilities as an Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) at the University of Ottawa.

Professor Packer previously held academic positions at the University of Essex where he was the Director of the world-renowned Human Rights Centre and at The Fletcher School, Tufts University. He has held Fellowships at Cambridge and Harvard Universities and lectured at universities and professional institutions around the world. He has been widely published and contributes to the editing of a number of scholarly journals. He also serves on the boards of a number of NGOs and is a Member of the Expert Advisory Panel for the Shared Societies Project of the Club de Madrid comprising almost 100 former Heads of State or Government of democracies.

Professor Packer is also an experienced practitioner bringing to the University of Ottawa some 20 years working for inter-governmental organizations, including in Geneva for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Labour Organisation, and for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights investigating serious human rights violations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma/Myanmar, extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detention, forced disappearances, the use of forensic sciences, the use of civil defense forces, and the independence of judges and lawyers throughout the world. From 1995 to 2004, he was Senior Legal Adviser and then the first Director of the Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities in The Hague working across Central and Eastern Europe and throughout the former Soviet Union. For the last two years, Prof. Packer was a Constitutions and Process Design Expert on the United Nation’s Standby Team of Mediation Experts attached to the Department of Political Affairs, advising in numerous peace processes and political transitions around the world focusing on conflict prevention and resolution, diversity management, constitutional and legal reform, and the protection of human rights including minorities.

Professor Packer’s role in this collaboration is, with the assistance of Viviana Fernandez, to influence policy makers to improve care and legal treatment of individuals affected by mental illnesses from the perspective of the full respect for and realization of their human rights. This collaborative endeavour will result in the establishment of a research, policy and clinical theme at the University of Ottawa.
 


Viviana Fernandez

Assistant Director, Human Rights Research and Education Centre

Viviana Fernandez works as Assistant Director at the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC), University of Ottawa (uOttawa) since January 2014. Her portfolio includes the management of the operations and resources of the Centre as well as the implementation of its strategic plan (research, teaching, outreach and promotion). Viviana joined the Boards at Women in International Security Canada in 2015 and the Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory on the Rights of the Child (uOttawa) in 2014. She represents the University of Ottawa in the Scholars at Risk Network since 2014.

Prior to taking up her position at the HRREC, Viviana joined uOttawa as Head of the Research Office at the Telfer School of Management in July 2004. She created the Telfer School’s Research Office with the goal to develop professors and students research capabilities and to increase the School’s share of research funding. Earlier in her career, Viviana worked at the Embassy of Chile in the United States, the Exporter’s Association of Bio-Bio Chile and the Chilean Development Corporation. Her role within this collaboration is, with the assistance of Professor John Packer, to influence policy makers to improve care and legal treatment of individuals affected by mental illnesses from the perspective of the full respect for and realization of their human rights. This collaborative endeavour will result in the establishment of a research, policy and clinical theme at the University of Ottawa.


Dr. Colleen Flood, Director

Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics

Colleen M. Flood is a Professor in the University of Ottawa and a University Research Chair in Health Law & Policy. She is inaugural director of the Ottawa Centre for Health Law Ethics and Policy.  From 2000-2015 she was a Professor and Canada Research Chair at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto with cross-appointments to the School of Public Policy and the Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation.  From 2006-2011 she served as a Scientific Director of the Canadian Institute for Health Services and Policy Research. 

Her primary areas of scholarship are in comparative health care law & policy, public/private financing of health care systems, health care reform, constitutional law, administrative law, and accountability and governance issues more broadly. Her latest book, co-edited with Aeyal Gross of Tel-Aviv University, is entitled The Right to Health at the Public/Private Divide and published in 2014 with Cambridge University Press.  Forthcoming in 2016, co-edited with Jennifer Chandler of Ottawa University, is her book entitled Law & Mind:  Mental Health Law and Policy in Canada, with LexisNexis, Canada. Mental health law and policy is one of the four major pillars of the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics and they are very interested in pursuing this in a collaborative way. The co-leads on the mental health theme for the Centre, reflecting our interdisciplinary stance, are Dr. Paul Federoff, from the Department of Psychiatry, and Professor Jennifer Chandler, from the Faculty of Law, both at the University of Ottawa.