Our youth advisory council (the Youth council) builds on the capacity of young people to improve child and youth mental health and addictions services across Ontario by speaking to, and acting on, issues that impact or are important to young people. The Youth council reflects our commitment to meaningful youth engagement; we rely on young people's 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 young people.

Member responsibilities

The purpose of the Youth council includes:

  • advising on our strategic directions and activities
  • empowering youth 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 youth engagement team by acting as a mechanism for project support, when needed
  • ensuring alignment with our strategic advisory council through consistent youth liaison representing both councils

Meet the Youth council

The Youth council consists of about a dozen diverse youth from across the province.

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Abeer Ansari

Coming soon...

Portrait of Alisha Sharma

Alisha Sharma

Coming soon...

Portrait of Christina Robert

Christina Robert

Christina Robert is studying kinesiology at Laurentian University and hopes to become a dermatologist. She has been involved in student council and peer mentoring in university and worked with organizations like the Track North Athletic Club. As a competitive athlete, Christina experienced her own mental health challenges and witnessed how mental health concerns impacted other young people in school, sports and day-to-day life. She is now passionate about helping friends, peers and family members become the best version of themselves. As a hobby, Christina likes capturing beautiful moments through photography.

Portait of Erika Dupuis

Erika Dupuis

Erika Dupuis is a registered social worker, working in the mental health and addictions sector in the Greater Toronto Area. They also work with the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council, the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning and the Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Erika’s main interests include food justice, reproductive justice and harm reduction. They’re also keen to ensure that healthcare policies and programs meaningfully address young people’s concerns. For fun, Erika enjoys cooking, trying new coffee blends and hiking at local conservation areas.

Portrait of Hajar Seiyad

Hajar Seiyad

Coming soon...

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Kai Flicker

Coming soon...

Portrait of Katlyn Kotila

Katlyn Kotila

Katlyn Kotila is pursuing her undergraduate degree in political science and communications at Laurentian University. Born and raised in northern Ontario, she became passionate about improving mental health infrastructure because of her own experiences accessing services. Through public speaking and volunteer work, she uses her story as a suicide-loss survivor and a member of the 2SLGBTQI+ community to advocate for greater intersectionality and accessibility within the mental health sector. Katlyn’s favourite way to rest and recharge is by playing video games.

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Maryam Felfel

Coming soon...

Portrait of Raissa Aqila Amany

Raissa Aqila Amany

Raissa Amany is studying health sciences at the University of Ottawa. She is interested in public health, health equity and access, specifically within the mental health sector. Having personal experience of the mental health system in Ontario, Raissa advocates to reduce barriers and improve youth engagement sector-wide. She has worked with various organizations including the Youth Services Bureau, the Federation of Canadian Secondary Students/Fédération des élèves du secondaire au Canada and the Ottawa Hospital and even founded her own organization, called ConnectSTEM. For fun, Raissa enjoys binge-watching medical shows, drinking bubble tea and trying out the latest food trends.

Portrait of Robert Chin-See

Robert Chin-See

Coming soon...

Portrait of Samarah Maqbool

Samarah Maqbool

Coming soon...

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Sophia Chail-Teves

Coming soon...

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William McCormick

William McCormick is studying health promotion with a minor in communications at Laurentian University. He hopes to become a psychiatrist. William has a passion for mental health advocacy and has worked with various organizations, including the Myths and Mirrors community arts program and the Sudbury Chief’s youth advisory council. He has also taken an active role in developing outreach events aimed at destigmatizing and raising awareness for mental health issues, such as the Defeat Depression walk. In his spare time, William enjoys playing and watching sports — primarily baseball.