The days are long, the stakes are high, and the demands are never-ending. Does the mental health of the people running our governments need more attention?

We have assembled a panel of people who know from personal and professional experience the importance of addressing mental health concerns and the need for greater openness and dialogue about them.

Join us for a timely and candid discussion about mental health in politics and some ideas and perspectives on how to tackle the challenge.


Tim Powers, Chair of Summa Strategies and Managing Director, Abacus Data

Tim Powers is Chairman of Summa Strategies, a leading Canadian public affairs consulting firm, and the Managing Director of Abacus Data, an opinion research company, both headquartered in Ottawa. He is a regular commentator for CBC’s Power and Politics, a columnist for The Hill Times and a former trustee at the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH). Tim has used his profile to raise awareness of mental health and has candidly discussed his own struggles with depression to help encourage people to reach out for help.

Dr. Araba Chintoh, Psychiatrist, Centre for Addictions and Mental Health

Dr. Araba Chintoh is a psychiatrist based in Toronto.  She began her career over two decades ago at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital and has a particular specialty in dealing with treatment for resistant schizophrenia. Dr. Chintoh – or “Roo” to her teammates - is also an elite rugby player and has represented Canada in international competition and served on the board of Rugby Canada.

David Shepherd, MLA for Edmonton City-Centre and Opposition Health Critic

As the MLA for Edmonton-City Centre since2015, and the Opposition Health Critic, MLA Shepherd is passionate about ensuring proper supports for people with mental health challenges and has publicly shared about his own mental health journey in the “Be a Part of the Bigger Picture” mental health awareness event on World Mental Health Day. Since his election, David has been an active advocate on a number of issues including ending the stigma around substance use and mental health. Through this work, he’s developed a reputation for engaging speeches, thoughtful commentary on public policy and candid discussion on mental health.

Emile Scheffel, Senior Associate, Prospectus Associates and Persist

Prior to joining Prospectus Associates, Emile held a number of roles in British Columbia provincial politics, most recently as Executive Director of the BC Liberal Party. Emile recently started Persist - an initiative to encourage more discussion and to bring awareness to problem of mental health in politics


Sophia Cote, Head of Public Affairs (Canada), Reef and Co-Chair Events, PAAC-BC

Date:    Wednesday, June 23, 2021


Panel:   4:00-5:00 pm PDT | 5:00-6:00 pm MDT | 7:00-8:00 pm EDT

Networking:  5:00-5:30 pm PDT | 6:00-6:30 pm MDT | 8:00-8:30 pm EDT


  • PAAC Members: Free
  • Non-Members: $10.00
Register Now
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