Youth Mental Health Town Hall

Youth Mental Health Town Hall: Back to school, online bullying and more.

As we transition from summer to fall and back to school, the change in daily routines, new schedules and experiences can have an impact on youth and their mental health. But there is help. Join us for our virtual Youth Mental Health Town Hall and hear leading mental health experts address the resources and support available for youth as they cope with the transition to college or university. You can hear them speak to topics that many youth and their families are currently facing such as: the impact of technology, online bullying and online and social media addiction. You’ll also learn about how Sunnybrook’s Family Navigation Project (FNP) is engaging youth with their Youth Engagement Strategy. Giving youth an active role in guiding how FNP serves the young people in our community

Watch 2023 Town Hall video below.

Host and Moderator: Anthony Farnell, Chief Meteorologist, Global News
Growing up on the West Island of Montreal, Anthony Farnell developed a love for weather early on. At elementary school he remembers spending most of his time looking out the window at developing cumulus clouds. In 1998, his love for weather grew further as he lived through the “Ice Storm of the Century” in Montreal. Anthony brings his weather knowledge and experience to Global News where he recently celebrated his 10th year.

In 2005, Farnell joined Global Montreal’s evening newscast but quickly moved to Global Toronto to become their Chief Meteorologist in 2006. Since then, Farnell has expanded his reach and now brings his weather forecasting skills and personality to all four Global News markets in Eastern Canada, from Halifax to the GTA. He can also be heard giving his seasonal forecasts across the Corus Radio Network.

Kris Depencier, Regional President, Greater Toronto Region, RBC

As Regional President, Kris leads a team of 4,000 employees in providing financial advice and services to RBC’s personal, small business and commercial clients in Greater Toronto.

Since joining RBC in 1993, Kris has worked in numerous sales leadership roles in both commercial and retail banking. She’s also held a number of senior leadership and executive positions in both Canada and the US during her career, leading teams responsible for several businesses and client segments. In each role, Kris thrives at enabling her team to be their best and is committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming workplace.

Born and raised in London, Ontario, she’s a graduate of Western University and completed her MBA at Schulich School of Business. Kris is passionate about helping youth; she sits on the Board of the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada and is also a Board Member at the Toronto Region Board of Trade. She lives in Toronto with her family and likes to spend time at her cottage in Bruce County.

Michael Calis, Family Navigator, Sunnybrook’s Family Navigation Project
Michael completed an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Toronto majoring in psychology, followed by a graduate certificate in Addictions and Mental Health from Durham College. Michael has worked in various clinical settings; such as hospital and residential treatment, and has worked with clients coping with issues related to concurrent disorders, developmental disabilities, and homelessness. Most recently, Michael was the Concurrent Disorder Case Coordinator at St. Michael’s Homes. Working in a residential facility with men suffering from issues stemming from addiction and mental illness, Michael provided one-on-one counselling, facilitated group work, and assisted clients in developing their transitional care plans.

Thalia Phi, Youth Advocate with Lived Experience (YAL), Sunnybrook’s Family Navigation Project
Thalia completed her diploma in Developmental Services at Centennial College where she found her passion for advocating for youth mental health. She joined FNP initially as a Youth Engagement Partner before moving into a Youth Advisor role on the inaugural Youth Advisory Council. Thalia has previously worked as a Peer Support Worker at Progress Place and hopes to continue using her lived experience to aid in supporting youth navigating the mental health and addiction care system. Thalia is also deeply passionate about the impact of mental health and addictions on racialized and queer communities, strongly advocating for more education and training to ensure competent care for marginalized populations.

Dr. Monidipa Ravi, Child and Youth Psychiatrist and Consulting Psychiatrist with FNP

Dr. Ravi completed her undergraduate and medical training at the University of Toronto, followed by a residency in psychiatry leading to her general adult psychiatry qualification, and a subsequent fellowship in Child and Youth psychiatry. She believes in the power of working within a multidisciplinary team and has had the privilege of collaborating with many excellent colleagues from psychology, social work, behavioural analysis, occupational therapy and physical therapy.

Dr. Ravi specializes in assessing and treating children and youth with a variety of mental health concerns and has further expertise in the treatment of youth who have medical diagnoses in addition to mental health concerns, which can influence each other. She believes in the importance of the surrounding context to a youth’s concerns, including school functioning, peers, and the family unit.

To watch the 2022 town hall, see the recorded video below.

Looking for help? A phone call or email is all you need to get started.
The Family Navigation Project (FNP) is here to help young people and their families navigate the mental health and addictions system to find the care they need.

Phone: 1-800-380-9FNP or 1-800-380-9367 Email:

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