Board of Directors and Officers

Lynn Courey

Lynn Courey - President

Lynn, C.S.W., graduated from McGill University in marketing and entrepreneurship. In 2017, Lynn was National Recipient of “CAMH difference makers – 150 Leading Canadians for Mental Health”. She is trained as Family Connections leader representing NEABPD in Canada. Along with her husband Mike, her daughter Kayla and the help of many friends and relatives, Lynn is a founding member of The Sashbear Foundation created in memory of her daughter Sasha. Lynn brings a notable family perspective from lived experience.

Rick Goldsmith

Rick Goldsmith - Treasurer

Rick is a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants Association of Ontario. He recently retired from KPMG where he worked his entire professional career, including as a Corporate Finance and Risk Management Partner in its Advisory practice.
Rick has always been involved with community organizations, including on the Boards of the Toronto Public Library, the Rotary Club and its Foundation, and the Toronto Community Foundation, respectively.
Rick and his wife, Robin are recent participants in Sashbear’s Family Connection program.

Terry Crosby

Terry Crosby - Director of Indigenous Relations

Terry Crosby (B.A., M.A.) and his wife Jennifer are facilitators in Abbotsford, BC. They have three children and have been married for 28 years. As a Status First Nations person, with first-hand knowledge of the culture, and the son of a residential school survivor, Terry has had the privilege as an itinerant speaker to talk, inform and discuss issues pertaining to his Mother’s experience in residential schools and to encourage participation in the truth and reconciliation process. Terry loves to be active and his newest passion is running Ultra Marathon trail races.

Julie Jomphe

Dr. Julie Jomphe - Director

Dr. Julie Jomphe, MD, is a practicing psychiatrist at Lanaudière regional hospital (CISSS Lanaudière, Quebec, Canada) since 2001. She was appointed as an assistant professor of psychiatry at University of Montreal in 2021. In 2003, Dr. Jomphe was introduced to the DBT and received training with Dr. Marsha Linehan in 2005 and 2013.  After having completed the intensive DBT training in 2015 and the Family Connection training with Alan Fruzzetti in 2016, she collaborated with Sashbear to implement the first Family Connections program in French in Quebec in 2017. Since 2021, she sits as a member of the Board of the directors at Sashbear Foundation. 

While practicing psychotherapy in the DBT program for adult BPD that she contributed to set up in 2013, she is also engaged in a DBT program for suicidal teenagers with emotion dysregulation deployed in 2020. In addition to her clinical activities, Dr. Jomphe is teaching DBT to psychiatrists and other mental health care professionals in various settings. For the excellence of her work on behalf of BPD patients and families, the Association des médecins psychiatres du Québec has honored her with an award in 2018.

Kathy Hunter

Kathy Hunter - Director of Education

Kathy Hunter is a creator and passionate foodie with an appetite for strategy that comes second only to her love of human beings. Kathy earned an honours degree in Marketing from York University in Toronto, Ontario and has more than 15 years in the food & beverage industry, with a focus on developing and marketing powerhouse brands to a variety of audiences.
Kathy began facilitating Family Connections in 2015, where she has the privilege of delivering mental health copings skills to families across Canada, and she is a member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum.
We all have a part of creating a life worth living and it is a privilege to hear the hardest parts of our loved one’s lives, AND be part of the solution.

Christiane Devaud

Christiane Devaud - Director of French Programming

Christiane is a certified translator with a real love for languages. Originally from Switzerland, Christiane has lived in several cities in Canada before deciding on Toronto, where she originally worked for L’Express de Toronto, her first job in Canada. She then worked as a freelance translator and, in the past decade, has been working full-time for a large union, with its Head Office in Toronto. Her passions include driving cars (fast) and helping underprivileged youth. She has volunteered in many capacities, for her church, going on mission trips, teaching French in a maximum security youth detention centre, where she enjoyed giving hope to the hopeless, at homeless kitchens, and for the last few years for Sashbear, in different roles.
She has been a facilitator of Family Connections for several years, starting with the English team, and now with the French team, leading alongside Lynn Courey, the development of Connexions familiales in Canada.

Jill Townsend

Jill Townsend - Director of Family Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion

Jill, B.A., M.A., has over 25 years of experience in litigation research and management. She is a Family Connections Facilitator, and an awed witness to the transformative effect this peer-led, evidence and skills-based program has on families. Jill is passionate about creating a user-centric mental health system, absent stigma or shame, in harmony with the connected meaningful lives we all and each deserve. Jill has ASIST suicide first aid training, as well as mindfulness-based stress reduction and self-compassion training. Jill is also a member of the Patient and Family Advisory Committee for BC Children’s Hospital, the BC Bereavement Advisory Committee, and a contributor to Child Health BC Mental Health Education initiatives.

Vanessa Dreyer

Vanessa Dreyer - Secretary

Vanessa brings over 16 years of Corporate Executive Administration experience to Sashbear. Currently in an HR Specialist role, she is excited to return to her strengths of attention to detail, event planning, and leadership support. Vanessa and her husband David have completed the Sashbear Family Connections program and found it so transformative in supporting their daughter with emotional dysregulation. Vanessa is passionate about supporting Sashbear's Vision and Mission Statement and is thrilled to be part of the Sashbear Family.

  • We are all doing the best we can and we can all do better...
  • Let's remove stigma from mental illness and Borderline Personality Disorder...
  • We are all in this together, you are not alone...
  • Validation before problem solving...
  • Emotion Regulation Disorder is the new name for Borderline Personality Disorder...
  • Let's teach DBT skills in schools...
  • Let's intervene, let's intervene early...
  • Show me compassion and empathy first, don't just tell me how to change
  • Let go of judgments and believe in me so that I can believe in myself
  • Accept me so that I can better accept myself
  • We are all doing the best we can and we can all do better next time
  • Take care of yourself then you can attend to others
  • Be mindful - Observe, describe, participate effectively
  • Observe your own emotions rise and that of others, pause then engage effectively
  • Strive to be wise, not just rational or emotional
  • Change what you can, accept what you cannot
  • Validation is not agreement
  • Validate, Validate Validate
  • Be supportive, let go of judgements
  • We can't control having strong emotions but we can change how we respond to them
  • Hope is everything and is always there even when I cannot see it
  • BPD is more common than Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder combined 6%
  • The suicide rate of BPD victims is 400 times that of general population
  • BPD is the third leading killer of young women between the ages of 15-24
  • 1 of 5 seek help, 4 of 5 benefit from treatment
  • 4,000 young people die by suicide per year in Canada
  • I am not the disorder. I am a person
  • Stop the Stigma - by Speaking Up
  • Living with BPD is like not having an emotional skin
  • Genetic vulnerabilities and invalidating environment could lead to BPD
  • Breathe
  • Mindfulness is not what you think
  • Mindfulness is being present moment to moment
  • Mindfulness is just observing, paying attention to non-judgement
  • Patience, trust, non-striving and acceptance
  • Mindfulness does not come by itself..it takes practice
  • Let your breath be your anchor to observe thoughts as they arise
  • Observe thoughts as they come and go like waves on the ocean
  • Pay attention to what you are actually paying attention to
  • What we frequently think we become
  • Turning my auto-pilot off
  • Only that day dawns to which we are awake - Thoreau Walden
  • It is a radical act of love to just just down and be quiet for a time by YOURSELF
  • You are HERE!
  • Make each moment count!
  • I am a valuable part of all that EXISTS
  • I am Love. ALL is Love
  • The practice of mindfulness is not to follow your heart but to train your heart
  • It's OK, let it be
  • Smile at thoughts, they are empty. The only power thoughts have is the power you give them
  • The benefit will come to your life with consistent mindfulness practice everyday
  • Whatever you do to make it mindful!
  • Kindness is pure wisdom
  • Mindfulness is free or craving, want or hate
  • Be gentle to yourself as well as others
  • When you feel connected to someone that connection gives you purpose
  • Practice kindness whenever possible. It's always possible - Dalai Lama

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NOTE: please do not use the button above to sign up for Family Connections (FC) - our Family Skills program. To sign up for FC follow this link instead Family Connections and register directly from that page.