Chair of the Board of Directors, Chair of the Finance Committee
Andre is the Chair of Mental Health Without Borders, having assumed the position in 2022.
As an executive, Andre advised FTSE 100 companies and governmental bodies. Despite success in his professional life, Andre's passion and love lies with the connection between mental health and fitness. It is because of that connection that he is able to live fully today! This is the experience he brings to Mental Health Without Borders as he steers the the organization.
Andre holds degrees from the University of Edinburgh, the University of Oxford - Säid Business School, and continuing education from McGill University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statement from the Chair of the Board:
When we, as humans, experience trauma or severe life stressors it is not uncommon for scars to form. These scars are what led me to join Mental Health Without Borders in 2018. Prior to joining Mental Health Without Borders I’ve had the privilege to live and work across the globe where I gained unique first hand experiences in the world of regulatory affairs, from finance to public administration. I am comitted to growing and leading the organization towards the fulfillment of our vision.
Larissa Schneider (She/Her)
Vice Chair & Co-Chair, Fund Development Committee
Larissa Schneider is an inclusivity-oriented, international development practitioner who focuses on the economic empowerment of underrepresented and underserved communities within the Global South.
Having worked in over 15 countries around the world, she has been exposed to the often competing and dire demands on global healthcare systems. She became involved with MHWB to support mental health and wellbeing practitioners within underserved communities to better deliver the much needed and culturally appropriate services to their clients.
Larissa holds an M.A in Global Governance from the University of Waterloo, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Global Business Management from Conestoga College and an Honours B.A. in International Development from the University of Guelph.
Shrenik Parekh (He/Him)
Board Member & Volunteer Educator Coordinator
Dr. Shrenik Parekh is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Grand River Hospital, Kitchener. He is also an adjunct faculty for the McMaster University at Waterloo regional campus. Shrenik grew up in India where he completed his medical education. He later joined a Master’s program in Public Health at the University of Texas, Houston. With strong interest in the field of mental health, he completed his training as a general psychiatrist at the State University of New York, Buffalo followed by a specialization in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Oregon Health and Science University, Portland.
Shrenik has fascination for travelling and learning about different cultures. He has been involved in a project in Guyana that has been primarily focused on training psychiatrists and other mental health clinicians to improve access to quality mental health services.
He loves outdoors, animals and movies. His wife and him are proud parents of two dogs and two horses!
Patricia Dowsett (She/Her)
My concern for the mentally ill can be traced to my early days of teaching. I am a retired elementary teacher who was educated and taught for my entire career in Waterloo Region. Over the course of my years in the classroom, I have taught many students who struggled with mental illness. Now retired, it is my opportunity to be more involved in this important initiative.
I am committed to live an active and involved life in my senior years. I am diligent about exercise and try to lead a healthy, balanced life. I do love to read and I try to garden. I am not very good at it but it certainly does feed the soul.
I will work to help further the cause and mission of Mental Health Without Borders. It is my firm belief that anyone who struggles with mental health issues deserves support and compassion wherever they live.
Sonia Gulati (She/Her)
I joined Mental Health without Borders as a Board Member in 2016. I value being part of a team that is responsible for shaping the organization’s vision and mission.
I am a faculty member in the Department of Health Sciences at Carleton University. I teach in the Global Health and Disability & Chronic Illness Concentrations. My primary research interests are in the areas of global health and community-based rehabilitation programs in underserved areas. I also serve on Carleton’s Senate.
I obtained both my BSc in Occupational Therapy and PhD in Rehabilitation Science from Queen’s University. I completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Services Research and Pediatric Oncology at McMaster University. I am also a registered Occupational Therapist with clinical experience in acute care, complex continuing care, geriatric rehabilitation, and outpatient vocational rehabilitation.
Karen F. Hidalgo (She/Her)
Board Member, Social Media Coordinator & Chair, Marketing & Communications Committee
Karen joined Mental Health Without Borders as the Social Media Coordinator in 2018. She was born and raised in Mexicali, Mexico, while attending school in California where she has had the opportunity to volunteer among a multidisciplinary team of health professionals as a translator. This experience gave her unique insight into possibilities, barriers and limitations across cultures. She learned the importance of team collaboration to address each patient’s case with a biopsychosocial approach to provide the best quality of care possible with their available resources.
In 2016, she moved to Ottawa to begin her post-secondary education where she became passionate for wellness-focused mental health resources. Her main research interests are in student mental health, substance use disorders and the impact of stigmatizing language and attitudes in health care.
She has completed an Honours Bachelors degree in Health Sciences with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences from Carleton University. She is a student candidate for a Master’s in Education for Health Professions at the University of Ottawa. This year, she joined the Board of Directors as well as serves as the Chair the Marketing and Communications Committee. She can be reached at email@example.com
Seema Singh-Roy (She/Her)
Board Member & Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Committee
Seema joined Mental Health Without Borders in 2020; she is a Chartered Accountant currently working in a Healthcare company as the Corporate Controller. She grew up in Mississauga, Ontario and has gained extensive experience over the past 10 years in consulting/advisory roles, corporate tax and strategic leadership positions.
Seema believes it is vital to prioritize your mental health in order to live a happy, healthy life. She is excited to be a part of Mental Health Without Borders as she has always felt that individuals and communities should be empowered with the knowledge and resources necessary to access the help they need.
Seema enjoys travelling with her husband and two beautiful boys. Reading and wellness activities are also important to Seema and where she spends her “me” time!
Domenica De Pasquale (She/Her)
Domenica is full-time professor in the department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Conestoga College, where she teaches psychology. In collaboration with a local co-operative, Domenica is currently researching ethical investing, which allows Waterloo Region community members to invest with the goal of providing affordable housing within the Waterloo Region. While her career is focused on teaching and research, Domenica also has experience evaluating best-practices in online learning and pedagogy and has spent over 5 years working with children with autism.
Having always been interested in community well-being; during her graduate studies, Domenica co-founded the Graduate Student Wellness Initiative at Laurier which focused on mental health and self-care for the graduate student community. Domenica is also a founding board member for Trusted Clothes, a local not-for-profit organization with volunteers both locally and globally, who are committed to promoting more Ethical, Sustainable and Healthy fashion.
Domenica holds a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, and a M.A. in Social and Developmental Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University and an Honours B.A. in Psychology and Business with a specialization in Human Resource Management from the University of Waterloo.
Justine Sparling (She/Her)
Emeritus Chair of the Board
Justine is the Emeritus Chair of Mental Health Without Borders and has been involved in the organization for a number of years. She studied her Masters of Social Work at the University of Calgary with a specialization in Leadership in Human Services. She has always been passionate about education, mental health and wellness.
Justine has a wide range of experiences, and has been fortunate to work in residential programs, the community legal clinic system, the homelessness sector, and most recently, public health.
She is excited to be involved with an organization that is increasing resources, education and awareness around mental health issues both internationally and locally. Justine has a passion for the outdoors, food and building community. You’ll often find her engaged in various community initiatives, visiting local restaurants, cooking or on an outdoor adventure with her pup, Marshall.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org