Are you experiencing treatment-resistant depression or other mood disorders? Outpatient services are available. Find out more

Homewood Health Centre Hosts First Annual Mental Health Symposium for Community Health Care Providers

Mental Health Symposium presentation

Guelph, Ontario, June 1, 2023: The ever-increasing need for mental health education and synergy among community health care providers was the catalyst for Homewood Health Centre’s (HHC) first annual Mental Health Symposium on Wednesday, May 31st at the Delta Hotel and Conference Centre in Guelph. This accredited learning program was fully supported by the Health Centre and saw 132 health care professionals including family and specialist physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physicians assistants, therapists and counsellors attending from the local community and virtually from across Ontario and Canada.

The event featured clinical presentations by six leading experts from the nationally-recognized Homewood Health Centre, combining peer-reviewed scientific literature and research with clinical outcomes across Homewood Health Centre’s treatment programs. The topics and learning objectives were identified based on a recent survey conducted with the physician community. The final program featured presentations on six important topics: 

  • Addiction Medicine for Primary Care by Yelena Chorny MD, MSc, CCFP(AM), Chief of Addiction Medicine and Traumatic Stress Injury and Concurrent Program (TSICP),
  • Burn Bright Not Out: An Introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion for Health Care Professionals by Tara Riddell MD FRCPC, Physician Wellness Lead, 
  • Treating Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in Primary Care by Andrea Alvarez MD FRCPC, Consultant Psychiatrist, Traumatic Stress Injury and Concurrent Program (TSICP),
  • Introduction to Interventional Psychiatry by Sherief El-Gaaly MD FRCPC, Chief of Psychiatry – Regional Services and Comprehensive Psychiatric care/Assessment Stabilization Unit, Chief of Interventional Psychiatry Services, and Andriy V. Samokhvalov MD, PhD, FRCPC, CSCS, Medical Director, Assessment & Stabilization Unit and Comprehensive Psychiatric Care Unit and Medical Lead, rTMS,
  • Identification and Treatment of Eating Disorders by Taghreed Hassan MD FRCPC, Psychiatrist – Eating Disorders Program, and
  • Emerging issues in Geriatric Mental Health by Atul Sunny Luthra MD FRCPC,
     Medical Coordinator, Program for Older Adults.

The event was moderated by Carlos Lalonde, MD, FRCPC, President and Chief of Staff of Homewood Health Centre and Executive Vice President, Medical Services, Homewood Health Inc. According to Dr. Lalonde, “this event is part of our ongoing effort to enhance community education and outreach programming across Guelph and surrounding communities. With an increased demand for community mental health resources, we want to support our health care providers through education and peer networking. Together, we look forward to creating more dialogue around mental health disorders by sharing information openly, while continually learning about their educational needs and interests.” 

Dr. Lalonde also commented on the reach of this event, which included virtual attendees across Canada – “We were struck by the interest and attendance from health care providers across Canada to learn about the identification and treatment of mental health disorders. This reflects a need for greater national collaboration between primary care and mental health experts in providing high-quality education and training. Given this clear need, we intend to continue this learning program annually to support communities locally and across the country.”

The Mental Health Symposium was a free, fully accredited CME (Continuing Medical Education) event for attendees for both the College of Family Physicians and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

For information about this event including a link to the virtual recording, please contact 


Group at the Mental Health Symposium

Caption: Presenters at Homewood’s Mental Health Symposium: (Front row, from left to right): Atul Sunny Luthra MD FRCPC, Taghreed Hassan MD FRCPC, Andrea Alvarez MD FRCPC, Yelena Chorny MD, MSc, CCFP(AM), Tara Riddell MD FRCPC, and Sherief El-Gaaly MD FRCPC. Back row, left to right: Andriy V. Samokhvalov MD, PhD, FRCPC, CSCS and the event’s Moderator, Carlos Lalonde, MD, FRCPC. 

Mental Health Symposium presentation

Caption: Carlos Lalonde, MD, FRCPC, President and Chief of Staff of Homewood Health Centre and Executive Vice President, Medical Services, Homewood Health Inc served as Moderator for the event.


For media inquiries, please contact: 
Amrita Maharaj-Dube
Manager, Corporate Communications
Homewood Health
Contact: 226 962 3288

Mental Health Symposium presentation
Welcome to Homewood Health
Homewood Health Centre is a fully accredited, physician-led, medically-based inpatient treatment facility offering several specialized programs and extensive services to treat a wide range of mental health issues including trauma, addiction, anxiety, depression as well as co-occurring mental health and addiction issues.

Relax, Thrive, Persevere, and more. Transform your life with affordable and convenient virtual therapy from the comfort of your home.