Mental Health in the COVID-19 Pandemic

(Psychiatric Dimensions of Disasters III)

Join us Saturday, June 6, 2020 (9 AM to 1:30 PM EDT) for a FREE virtual event. Open to All Healthcare Professionals.

Learning Objectives:

After active engagement in this program, participants will be better able to:

  • Assess and evaluate the mental health burden of the current COVID-19 pandemic
  • Prevent and manage traumatic stress related disorders, including children and families, applied to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Prepare to practice Psychological First Aid, self care, and enhanced resilience of healthcare professionals in disasters
  • Collaborate with colleagues in healthcare, first responders and the Red Cross

Schedule-at-a-Glance (Each session contains 10 min Q&A)

09:00 – 09:30

Introduction & Welcome

Frank G. Sommers, MD, FRCPC, DLFAPA, DFCPA

Program Chair
Founding Chair, Section of Disaster Psychiatry, Canadian Psychiatric Association and Disaster Psychiatry Canada, University of Toronto

Benoit H. Mulsant, MD, FRCPC, DFAPA

Professor and Labatt Family Chair, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto

Samantha Hill, MDCM, FRCSC

President, Ontario Medical Association; Cardiac Surgeon, St. Michael’s Hospital & Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

9:30 – 10:00

Prevention and Treatment: Management of Acute Stress, Post Trauma Stress and Psychosocial Distress in the context of COVID-19 pandemic

Janet Ellis, MBBChir, FRCPC

Director, Psychosocial Care in Trauma, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

10:00 – 10:30

Psychological First Aid & Self-Care in COVID-19 pandemic

Jodi Lofchy, MD, FRCPC

Interim Chief and Medical Program Director, Service Head, Adult Acute Care Psychiatry, St. Joseph’s Health Centre Toronto; Associate Professor, University of Toronto

10:30 – 11:00

Mental Health of Children and Families in the context of COVID-19 pandemic

Frederick J. Stoddard Jr, MD, DLFAPA

Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital; Chief of Psychiatry Emeritus, Shriners Hospitals, Boston; Co-editor & author, Disaster Psychiatry: Readiness, Evaluation and Treatment

11:00 – 11:30

Caring for Our Patients During Pandemic & Climate-Related Disasters

Joshua C. Morganstein, MD, DFAPA

Chair, APA Committee on Psychiatric Dimensions of Disaster; Captain, US Public Health Service; Associate Professor & Assistant Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Assistant Director, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda

11:30 – 12:00

Reducing the harmful impact of disasters on healthcare professionals in the context of COVID-19 pandemic

Robert Maunder, MD, FRCPC

Chair in Health and Behaviour at Sinai Health; Deputy Psychiatrist-in-Chief & Head of Psychiatry Research; Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto

12:00 – 12:30

First Responders – Prevention and Treatment in the context of COVID-19 pandemic

Andrea Tuka, MD, FRCPC

L.Col. Clinical Leader, Operational Trauma Stress Support Center, Royal Canadian Navy Base, Victoria, BC

12:30 – 13:30

Speakers Panel & Discussion


  • Dr. Catherine Martin-Doto, C.Psych. (Toronto Police Service)
  • Peter Rotolo (Toronto Paramedic Services)
  • Cary Stather (Toronto Fire Services)
  • Alison Paul, MSW, RSW (Canadian Red Cross)
  • Ted Bober, MSW, RSW (PHP, Ontario Medical Association)
  • Alexandra Heber, MD, FRCPC, CCPE (Chief, Psychiatry, Veterans Affairs Canada)
  • Cecilia Marino, MD, PhD, FRCPC, Psychiatry, University of Toronto
  • Laurie Mazurik, MD, FRCPC, MBA, Emergency Physician, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Robert J. Ursano, MD, DLFAPA

Professor, Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Director, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS); Department of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda; Editor: Textbook of Disaster Psychiatry


Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada – Section 1
This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and approved by Continuing Professional Development, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. You may claim up to a maximum of 4 hours (credits are automatically calculated).

Planning Committee: Frank Sommers, Benoit Mulsant, Janet Ellis, Heather Milliken, Ted Bober, Jennifer Csamer, Nazlene Shivcharan, Helen Lee

Supported by