Mental Health and Addictions Strategy

Consultant Team Members

Brian Rush (Co-Lead)
Brian holds a PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and worked for over 38 years as a mental health/substance use researcher with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto Canada. He retired in 2013 as Head of the Health Systems Research and Consulting Unit. Since then he has focused full-time on his consulting practice, VIRGO Planning and Evaluation Consultants, established in 1985. He retains a position at CAMH as a Scientist Emeritus and continues as Full Professor at the University of Toronto in the Departments of Psychiatry and Public Health Sciences. He remains active provincially, nationally and internationally in many aspects of mental health and substance use services and system design, integration and performance measurement. Brian has led projects of varying degrees of complexity including those with multiple team members with multiple roles. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications and numerous reports, monographs and other publications, and has provided countless presentations to diverse audiences including planners and policy makers. He is highly respected for his depth of knowledge in mental health and substance use services and systems and for his ability to translate information and challenging concepts into plain language and practical, but evidence-informed, solutions.

Adair Roberts (Co-Lead)
Trained initially at a Master's level in commerce and economics, Adair has worked for 17 years in the mental health, addictions and supportive housing sectors. Her clients have included federal and provincial governments; sector organizations and network tables; and mental health, addictions and supportive housing service providers. Before launching her own consultancy, Adair worked at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto as Chief of Strategy and Planning, and at McKinsey and Company, a management consultancy specializing in strategy and organizational development for Fortune 500 companies. Adair is widely known and respected for her ability her to support policy makers and organizations in strategy development and implementation, problem-solving and decision-making, and performance management. Adair is also known for her strong facilitation skills, assisting her clients to make difficult decisions in a collaborative, consensus-based way.

Amy Cheung (Consultant)
Trained and certified in Adult, Adolescent and Child Psychiatry since 2004, Amy in on faculty at the University of Toronto, Department of Psychiatry and working as a clinician at Sunnybrook Hospital. She has worked as a systems consultant for over 15 years with the focus of much of her work on guidelines development and knowledge translation, major system reviews and other transformation initiatives. Her achievements as a mental health services researcher were recognized by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, Ontario when she was awarded a five-year Career Scientist Award in 2009 and most recently, the Bell Canada Chair in Adolescent Mood and Anxiety Disorders (University of Toronto) in 2012. Amy is well-respected for her ability to translate and integrate her clinical experience and training to community and system-level issues with major strengths related to system design, information systems, and information management.

April Furlong (Project Manager)
April began her career as an Occupational Therapist and transitioned into research and evaluation with over 17 years of experience in the mental health, substance use and public health sectors. As a consultant, April has been involved in a broad range of program development, system planning, performance measurement and evaluation projects at the provincial, regional, and agency levels in six Canadian provinces and two territories. She has also contributed to national and international health system initiatives for the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the World Health Organization.

In addition to her role as consultant, April also manages research and evaluation at the Jean Tweed Centre, a community-based agency providing services to women with substance use, gambling and mental health issues. April holds a Professional Project Management (PMP) certification and has been a part of the VIRGO team since 2008.

Jonathan Ramirez (Data Analyst)
Jonathan holds a BA Hons. in Psychology and has worked in the mental health/substance use field as a researcher within the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) for the past 4 years. His work has included coordinating investigator-initiated and industry-led clinical trials, as well as coordinating international projects implementing mental health literacy programs in school curriculums in Latin America.

Chris Mushquash (Content Expert)
Chris is Ojibway and a member of Pays Plat First Nation. He obtained his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Dalhousie University and completed his pre-doctoral residency in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba, specializing in rural and northern clinical practice. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Lakehead University and the Division of Human Sciences at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. In addition to his academic appointments, Chris is a clinical psychologist at Dilico Anishinabek Family Care. He also holds a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Mental Health and Addiction.

Chris is engaged in community-based clinical and research work with First Nations locally, regionally, provincially, and nationally. He frequently is consulted on issues related to culturally appropriate addictions treatment and program development for First Nations people by various organizations. His work also covers indigenous youth, mental health and resiliency.

He was a member of the First Nations Addictions Advisory Panel and the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program Renewal Leadership Team (a partnership between the Assembly of First Nations, National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation, and Health Canada). He was a member of the Advisory Board for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Aboriginal Peoples' Health from 2011 - 2016.

Peter Butt (Content Expert)
Peter is a physician graduated from McMaster University and a Certificant and Fellow with the College of Family Physicians of Canada. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in a position dedicated to Addiction Medicine. He currently serves as a consultant to Mental Health and Addictions in the Saskatoon Health Region. In addition to his extensive clinical experience and contributions to addiction medicine, Peter has been involved in a number of initiatives related to health promotion and substance use and the integration of mental health and substance use services into emergency and primary health care.