October 30, 2013 - Social justice advocate Uppala Chandrasekera named Vice Chair of MHCC’s Board of Directors

October 30, 2013

Calgary, Alberta | Wednesday, October 30, 2013 |

David Goldbloom, MD, Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Uppala Chandrasekera, MSW, RSW, as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors.

Ms. Chandrasekera, a MHCC board member since September 2012, is a Toronto-based social worker with experience in anti-oppression, anti-racism, and social justice work, focusing on the areas of health inequities and the social determinants of health. She is currently Director, Policy and Planning, at Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario.

"Promoting mental health and wellbeing in communities all across Canada is vitally important because every person in every walk of life, regardless of socio-economic status, race, gender or age, is vulnerable to the negative effects of mental health issues or illnesses," says Ms. Chandrasekera. "I'm proud to be appointed as the newest Vice Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, an organization committed to the critical task of reducing stigma and addressing the discrimination associated with mental illness," she says.

Ms. Chandrasekera brings a wide perspective on health care from her previous experiences working in human rights and social justice, health promotion, and health and social policy.  As Managing Partner at Authentiq Consulting, Ms. Chandrasekera also provides education, training, and consultation services in the area of human rights, anti-racism, and health equity. Her research and publications examine the impact of discrimination on the health and wellbeing of marginalized individuals and communities.

Ms. Chandrasekera is an active member of the Toronto community and previously held the position of President of the Board of Directors at Parkdale Community Health Centre, where she has volunteered for the past five years. In 2011, she was recognized by the Association of Ontario Health Centres as a New Emerging Leader.

“Uppala’s valuable insights have helped guide the Commission as we have presented the national mental health strategy to policy makers, service providers, and other partners across the country this past year,” says MHCC Chair David Goldbloom, MD. "I am pleased to have Uppala expand her efforts in this enhanced capacity in the years ahead.”

Ms. Chandrasekera joins Patrick Dion in the role of Vice Chair on the MHCC Board of Directors. Her appointment took effect earlier this month.

ABOUT THE MENTAL HEALTH COMMISSION OF CANADA
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for change. We are collaborating with hundreds of partners to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and to improve services and support. Our goal is to help people who live with mental health problems and illnesses lead meaningful and productive lives. Together we create change.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is funded by Health Canada.
www.mentalhealthcommission.ca | strategy.mentalhealthcommission.ca

Contact:
Kyle Marr, Senior Communications Specialist
Mental Health Commission of Canada
Office: 403-385‐4050
Mobile: 587-226‐8782
kmarr@mentalhealthcommission.ca

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The views represented herein solely represent the views of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Production of this document is made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada.