As a direct result of community demands the Jewish Senior Alliance of Greater Vancouver’s Fall Symposium will focus on mental health and its vital role in a person’s general health. Members of the panel of experts include:
Penny MacCourt, MSW PhD
Penny has worked with older adults in the community, long term care and acute care settings for many years. She holds a Bachelor and Masters of Social Work from University of Manitoba and a PhD (Interdisciplinary Studies) from University of Victoria. Her doctoral and post doctoral studies have focussed on aging, mental health and service delivery. Her current research interests are mental health promotion, caregiving and policy analysis. Penny is a faculty member at Thompson Rivers University (Open Learning Division). She is a founding member and past President of the BC Psychogeriatric Association, past member of the Seniors Advisory Committee to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and of the Board of the Canadian Association on Gerontology. Through practice, research, policy and advocacy, and in collaboration with others, her goal is to facilitate social environments that support the well being/mental health of seniors and their caregivers.
Her focus will be: What is Mental Health? What does it mean? How does it affect us all?
Dr. Martha Donnelly, MD, CCFP, FRCPC
Dr. Donnelly was Director of Community Geriatrics for Family Practice for 25 years. She established teaching programs in medical school, Family Practice residency training and an accredited six-month training program in Enhanced Skills in Community Geriatrics for UBC. She also was the Director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry for 11 years and developed six-month teaching programs in Geriatric Psychiatry for General Psychiatry residents, as well as a one-year fellowship. She was President of the Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry when Geriatric Psychiatry was recognized as a subspecialty under the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Donnelly spearheaded the development of a two-year Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty Program at UBC and is now that program’s Director.
In 2010 she won a Killam Teaching Prize Award.
During her career Dr. Donnelly led the development of Guidelines for Geriatric Mental Health Practice, for assessing capacity, for the practice of ECT in BC and Guidelines for Collaborative Care between Family Practice and Psychiatry.
Her focus will be: ‘Early Warnings’: Loneliness, Isolation, Depression, Dementia and Alzheimer.
Grace Hann, Senior Peer Support Services; Trainer and Supervisor
Throughout the past 15 years Grace Hann has been very committed to the issues facing seniors. Her advocacy work is known in the community as she has helped many seniors who have faced evictions and other challenges. Grace has set up and supported volunteer systems as well as being a facilitator/trainer for various senior peer counselling groups within the Lower Mainland on an ongoing basis.
Grace is President of Senior Peer Counselling of BC, and serves on the YWCA Board for the Community Action on Elder Abuse project.·She is currently working with Jewish Seniors Alliance and is the Trainer and Supervisor of Peer Support Services.
Her focus will be: Emotional Support: What is this? What does it look like? How does it affect us?