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Conversations about Mental Health as Covid-19 Becomes our New Normal

Join us for this six-part series that explores the mental health challenges that our community is facing as we navigate our way through this pandemic.

  • Available for on-demand viewing on September 28th

Conversations About Mental Health as Covid-19 Becomes our New Normal is a six-part series that features different psychiatrists discussing the mental health of our community, from children to seniors. 

Hosted by Dr. Pier Bryden (BA 1981, PGMT 2001), and presented in partnership with the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, we are pleased to have the following physicians join us to share their expertise and experiences delivering mental health care during COVID-19:

Dr. Priya Watson (PGMT 2006) - Preschool and elementary school children

  • Dr. Watson is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, at the University of Toronto. Dr. Watson has additional appointments as an Education scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and as a Scholar in the Cundill Centre for Child and Youth Depression. Dr. Watson has published and lectured internationally on the subjects of trauma, culture, psychotherapy, and psychiatric education. Dr. Watson has co-authored a book on the treatment of depression, and created two online courses to train clinicians in how to assess and address trauma in children and youth. 

Dr. Daniel Gorman (MD 1998) - Adolescents

  • Dr. Daniel Gorman is a Staff Psychiatrist at The Hospital for Sick Children, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He is also the Program Director for the University of Toronto’s residency program in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He has a broad clinical practice that includes children and adolescents with a wide range of mental health challenges. However, his particular areas of expertise include attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, tic disorders, and disruptive behaviour. 

Dr. David Gratzer (PGMT 2006) -  Adults

  • Dr. David Gratzer is a Toronto-based psychiatrist and physician. He works at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, where he is an attending psychiatrist, and serves as the associate chief (inpatient care & practice innovation) of the General Adult Psychiatry and Health Systems Division. He is active in teaching, and recently won the Peter Selby Award for Excellence in Technology-Enhanced Education. He has been nominated 10 times for University of Toronto teaching awards. He peer reviews for several journals, including CMAJ, and he sits on the editorial boards of The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry and JMIR Mental Health.

Dr. Simone Vigod (MD 2003, PGMT 2006, PGMT 2009, MSc 2011) - Women

  • Dr. Simone Vigod is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and head of the Department of Psychiatry at Women’s College Hospital. Dr. Vigod’s research addresses disparities in health and health care for individuals with psychiatric disorders, with a specific focus on women across the lifespan and on equity in access to treatment for diverse populations.  She is an Adjunct Scientist at ICES in Toronto, Ontario where she conducts her population-based epidemiological research focused on the health of women with mental illness and their children. In 2018, she obtained the Shirley A. Brown Memorial Chair in Women’s Mental Health Research at Women’s College Research Institute at Women’s College Hospital where she runs a clinical research program that focuses on novel health system interventions to improve access to and uptake of care for women with mental illness.  

Dr. Amy Gajaria (PGMT 2016, PGMT 2017) - Black, Indigenous and People of Colour

  • Dr. Amy Gajaria is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health where part of her role involves working with the Substance Abuse Program for African Canadian and Caribbean Youth (SAPACCY) and providing outreach psychiatric care to Iqaluit, Nunavut. She is also a Clinician-Scientist with CAMH's Campbell Family Mental Health Institute with a research focus on health disparities for racialized populations.  She is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. 

Dr. Lesley Wiesenfeld (MD 1998, PGMT 2003) - Seniors

  • Dr. Lesley Wiesenfeld is Psychiatrist-in-Chief of Sinai Health. She is Head of Sinai's Geriatric Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Service, and has been the Quality Improvement Lead for Psychiatry. Her focus on addressing the unique mental health needs of older patients, in particular, those experiencing delirium, dementia and persistent and serious mental illness has helped shape the care for this growing patient population. Her collaborative leadership of the Safe Patients/ Safe Staff program, which supports patient and staff safety across a continuum of care settings, earned her team a National Healthcare Safety Award from the Canadian College of Health Leaders. Dr. Wiesenfeld is an Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Pier Bryden (BA 1981, PGMT 2001) - Series Host

  • Dr. Pier Bryden has been a staff psychiatrist at Sick Kids since 2001. She is an Associate Professor and Senior Advisor, Clinical Affairs and Professional Values, for the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Bryden is a graduate of the University of Toronto, the University of Oxford, and McMaster University. She has subspecialty certification in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry with the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada. Her academic publications include papers on medical education, medical professionalism, and ethical and legal aspects of child psychiatry. She is the co-author, with Dr. David Goldbloom, of a popular book on psychiatry, “How Can I Help: A Week in my Life as a Psychiatrist”, and with Dr. Peter Szatmari of “Start Here: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Children and Teens Through Mental Health Challenges”. Dr. Bryden was the 2018 Recipient of the University’s prestigious President’s Teaching Award. 


U of T Alumni Online

U of T alumni online programming includes free Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), the U of T alumni book club, and online lectures and webinars on a wide range of topics from health to computing to Indigenous Studies.