COVID-19 has affected the world in so many ways, and its interruption to school routines and social networks is having an impact on youth mental health. Programs like the Family Navigation Project (FNP) at Sunnybrook are needed now more than ever to make it easier for families to access vital mental health resources and support for their youth. This free phone and email service relies entirely on philanthropic support from our community in order do what it does best: pair families in the Greater Toronto Area with clinically trained navigators who can help guide them through the complexities of the mental health system to find the most appropriate care they need.
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.
Opening Remarks: 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.
Panel: Dr. Anthony J. Levitt, MD, FRCP(C) Medical Director
Dr. Levitt graduated from Medical School in Western Australia and came to Canada to train in Psychiatry in 1985. He completed his research training as a Fellow with Dr. Russell Joffe in 1990 and since that time held the positions of Director of Mood Disorders Programs at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and then Director of Mood Disorders at McMaster University, until moving to Sunnybrook and Women’s Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, where he served as Psychiatrist-in-chief at Women’s College Hospital from 2002 to 2011 and Psychiatrist-in-chief at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre from 2002 to 2012. He is presently the Chief of the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre and the Medical Director of the Family Navigation Project.
His area of research and clinical interest is in the area of mood disorders and navigation of the mental health and addiction system. He has published scientific articles in the area of treatment resistant depression and bipolar disorder, the treatment of adolescent depression, the treatment of seasonal depression and in the definition and value of navigation for families with a youth with mental illness and/or addictions More recently he has explored new and novel direct brain treatments for depression. Beyond these academic pursuits he has a firm commitment to public and medical education, to improving recognition of mood disorders by health care professionals and to expanding access to care for people with mental illness in the community.
Panel: Troy Maxwell, Chief Operating Officer, RBC Capital Markets
Troy Maxwell is Chief Operating Officer of RBC Capital Markets with global responsibility for all operational and administrative matters of the firm, including optimizing cost base management and financial resources, and leading the response to regulatory change.
Troy is a champion for diversity-related initiatives at RBC and an active member of the community. Since 2009, he has served as the executive sponsor of RBC’s Advancement of Women in Leadership committee, a global leadership forum responsible for driving actions to improve representation of senior women at the bank. Additionally, Troy is a senior advisor for RWomen, RBC Capital Markets’ internal forum dedicated to fostering the development and career aspirations of women. Troy has played a key role in RBC’s annual United Way campaign for several years acting as Co-Chair of RBC’s national Major Individual Gifts Committee.
Panel: Dr. Amy Cheung, MD, M.Sc., Youth Psychiatrist, Sunnybrook
Dr. Amy Cheung is an Associate Scientist, Evaluative Clinical Sciences, in the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program at Sunnybrook Research Institute and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. She works clinically as a psychiatrist with young people with mood and anxiety disorders, and their families. Dr. Cheung's research focus includes adolescent depression and community-based service delivery models for youth with mental illness.
Dr. Cheung completed her education and training at the University of Toronto, McMaster University and Columbia University. She has served on the boards of different NGOs serving children in Canada and internationally.
She lives in Toronto with her husband Kevin and their three children.
Panel: Miriam Blond, Family Navigator, Family Navigation Project
Miriam completed a graduate degree in social work at the University of Windsor with a special interest in family-centered care which she reflected in her Graduate thesis. Miriam has an extensive background in community mental health and hospital psychiatric interventions. She has worked with various patient populations including dual diagnosis, concurrent disorders, homelessness, and trauma. Most recently, Miriam was the liaison between North York General Hospital and the community through the Emergency Department Diversion Program. In addition, Miriam has provided therapy to Children and families through the North York General Child and Adolescent Outpatient Mental Health Clinic as well as facilitated Cognitive Behavioral groups for children and parents.
To watch the 2020 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:
Some suggestions on how to get your youth to open up: