Our Team

Angela Frisina, Secretary

Angela has been an active member of the Family Advisory Council at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Mental Health and Addictions Program for the last 5 years. She has recently retired from Hamilton Public Health Services, where she had a successful record of obtaining funding for community-based research projects.

Angela holds a Master of Health Sciences degree from McMaster University; her nursing career of over 30 years, included employment at Juravinski Cancer Centre, McMaster University and Toronto Hospital for Sick Children. In 2010, Angela received an Award for Clinical Excellence in Community Health Nursing from the Community Health Nurses Initiatives Group (CHNIG) of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. She served on the Board of Directors of CHNIG (2017-2019) and previously served on the Board of Directors of YWCA Hamilton (2010-2015). Angela continues to hold an appointment with McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences as an Assistant Clinical Professor in Nursing.

Mary Beth Odell, Treasurer

Mary Beth Odell, now retired, was a leader in the Canadian commercial post production industry. She is an award winning executive producer and was a partner and the general manager of Flashcut Editing, now known as Rooster Post Production.

With over twenty years of lived experience supporting family members with learning challenges and mood disorders, she knows that giving families knowledge and skills to support their loved ones at the onset of mental illness is the best way to avoid escalating illness and avert crisis.

Committed to improving access to expedient and better support for patients and their families, Mary Beth has been an active member of CAMH’s Family Advisory Committee since 2019, and has represented the family perspective on the hospital’s Digital Health Steering Committee, and The Patient & Family Learning Space Committee, among others. In addition, she is a trained volunteer facilitator with The Sashbear Foundation’s Family Connections program and has co-facilitated a DBT informed family learning course with CMHA.

Kathleen Mochnacki

Kathleen Mochnacki is the Co-founder and Past President of Home on the Hill Supportive Housing. She received a BSW from York University and an MSW from the University of Toronto and has worked as a mental health case manager in the formal mental health system in York Region for many years. It was only after her family member first became ill in 2004, did she fully comprehend the challenges involved in advocating for appropriate care.

She has made deputations to Richmond Hill Council on behalf of Home on the Hill which informed the Council about the negative outcomes of De-institutionalization. She subsequently was appointed to the Implementation Committee of the Affordable Housing Strategy of Richmond Hill and has since taken a leadership role in the formation of the Richmond Hill Supportive Housing Collaboration.

In 2021, Kathleen received the Outstanding Canadian Award for “consistently engaging the community and helping numerous families affected by serious mental illness living in Richmond Hill.” In 2022, Kathleen received the Platinum Jubilee Award for making a significant contribution to her community.

Angie Hamilton

Angie is the Executive Director of Families for Addiction Recovery (FAR), a Canadian registered charity founded and operated by parents of those who struggle, or have struggled, with addiction and associated mental health disorders. She is also a member of the National Board of MADD Canada. With a background as a Tax and Estate Planning Lawyer, Angie is a past member of The Estate Planning Council of Toronto and served on the Board of Directors of Earlscourt Child and Family Centre (now Child Development Institute).

Sydney Graham

Sydney is a Patient and Caregiver Engagement Specialist and Educator. She has been involved in healthcare, both personally and professionally, for over 20 years. Sydney’s first-hand experience as a patient and family caregiver complements her extensive Patient and Family Centred Care training. Sydney advises healthcare providers and organizations, academic institutions, government organizations, governance bodies, patients and family caregivers, including: University of Toronto, Health Quality Ontario, Toronto International Summit on Leadership Education for Physicians, The Change Foundation, Canadian Critical Care Trials Group, VON, Patients Canada and various hospitals. Sydney also works with (FAR) Families for Addition Recovery and delivers Caregiver Training Seminars.

Peter Ostrowski

Peter is Vice-chair of the Family Council at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby.  He is also representing families on the hospital Internal Quality Committee.

His journey in mental health started in 2009 when a family member was diagnosed with mental illness.  The topic of family support in mental health is very dear to him as it evident that family members play a pivotal role in the treatment and recovery of their loved ones.

Peter is a nuclear engineer M.Sc, M.Eng. and Ph.D. in the area of structural engineering and a member of various technical committees at Canadian Standards Association.  He is applying his engineering experience in the field of mental health by adding logic, clarity and order to policies and procedures as well as lived experience.  He is also gathering useful information for patients and their families who navigate the field of mental health.

Clayo Laanemets

Clayo holds a Master of Public Health in Health Promotion from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, as well as a collaborative program in Addiction Studies. During her studies, Clayo researched the need for an online self-navigational tool for families affected my psychosis, inspired by her own lived experience as a caregiver to a family member with schizophrenia since she was 19 years old.

Her work efforts are focused on developing and implementing innovative programs and services for vulnerable populations, such as developing and implementing a caregiver coaching program for caregivers in distress, a mobile health bus initiative for people experiencing homelessness and planning a supervised injection site. Clayo is passionate about reducing system barriers for caregivers and their families affected by mental illness and addiction.