Our family advisory council (the Family council) builds on the capacity of family members to improve child and youth mental health across Ontario as active decision makers and partners in our work. The Family council reflects our commitment to meaningful family engagement; we rely on family members' perspectives as well as integral input, expertise and guidance to ensure our policies, approaches, initiatives and other work are responsive to the evolving needs of families.

Member responsibilities

The purpose of the Family council includes:

  • advising on our strategic directions and activities
  • empowering family representatives to lead and inform key decisions in the development, implementation and evaluation of our initiatives
  • building meaningful, professional relationships between council members
  • augmenting the capacity of our family engagement team by acting as a mechanism for project support, when needed
  • ensuring alignment with our strategic advisory council through consistent family liaison representing both councils

Meet the Family council

The Family council consists of diverse family members from across the province.

Portrait of Ahnika Bruetsch

Ahnika Bruetsch

Coming soon!


Portrait of Damion K. Nurse

Damion K. Nurse

Damion Nurse is a cake artist, owner of the award-winning Toronto-based bakery, Cinnabean cakes and former executive producer of the Canadian television series, ‘da Kink in my Hair. As the father of a teenage son who has experienced mental health challenges since early childhood, Damion has been closely connected with many mental health agencies and has previously served on several advisory committees devoted to child and youth mental health.


Portrait of Erica Schumacher

Erica Schumacher

Erica Shumacher is a senior policy analyst with the federal government and devoted mom to three boys. Her involvement was born of her own experiences seeking mental health services for her family and her firm belief that all children and young people deserve timely access to appropriate mental health care. Erica has also served on the board of Parents Lifeline of Eastern Ontario and she was a member of the Kids Come First mental health working group in 2019.

Portrait of Joe Holubowich

 Joe Holubowich

Joe Holubowich works as a peer support facilitator for Parents’ Lifelines of Eastern Ontario (PLEO), does contract work for Able2 and is on his way to becoming a counsellor and psychotherapist. As a foster parent for two children who came into his care with undiagnosed mental health challenges, Joe has first-hand experience of navigating the mental healthcare system and advocating for services through the education system. He also currently sits as a board member for the Royal Ottawa Volunteer Association.

Portrait of Kelly-Lynn Musico

Kelly-Lynn Musico

Kelly-Lynn Musico is a physiotherapist, yoga teacher and mom to three young adults. Along with her lived experience as a family member in the child and youth mental health sector, Kelly-Lynn brings extensive experience in the hospital, home care, school and private sectors and a long track record as a dedicated volunteer. She currently contributes her voice to a national mental health research project and several family advisory councils at both the local and provincial levels.

Portrait of Leslie Kulperger

Leslie Kulperger

Leslie Kulperger has more than 20 years of experience in research, evaluation and management systems. She personally experienced significant gaps in mental health services while trying to access appropriate supports for her 11-year-old son at school and in the community. After he died by suicide in 2018, Leslie founded Myles Ahead in his memory, with the goal of leveraging her professional skills to create meaningful and measurable changes in the mental health and education sectors across Canada.

Portrait of Louise Murray-Leung

Louise Murray-Leung

Louise Murray-Leung is the family engagement lead at the Lynwood Charlton Centre. With a passion born of lived experience caring for loved ones with mental health challenges, Louise has played an important role in amplifying the family voice in child and youth mental health in Ontario. Notably, she was part of the advisory group that helped develop the quality standard for family engagement. She is also a volunteer peer leader with her local chapter of Parents for Children’s Mental Health.

Portrait of Vicki Cochrane

Vicki Cochrane

Vicki Cochrane is a busy mom of two sons with exceptions that require constant advocacy, resourcefulness and the ability to ask for support when needed. She is driven by the desire to bring a voice of families trying to navigate the child and youth mental health system and the hope of improving it. Vicki is passionate about community development and volunteerism. She also happens to be a child and youth worker with over 20 years of experience working for the Children's Aid Society.