Apr 06, 3:00 PM EDT

Intergenerational Trauma in the Black Community: Q&A with Dr. Myrna Lashley

Part of Ask the Experts

Hosted by Mary-Lyn Kieffer

Join us for a Q&A with Mary-Lyn Kieffer, Director Made of Millions Foundation, and Dr. Myrna Lashley, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, and Adjunct Researcher at the Culture and Mental Health Research Unit of the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research.

Dr. Myrna Lashley will provide insight into why there is so much stigma towards mental health in the black community, and what can be done to start reducing that stigma. She will also look at intergenerational trauma and what happens when untreated trauma-related stress experienced by survivors, is passed on to second and subsequent generations.  

More about Dr. Myrna Lashley

Dr. Myrna Lashley holds a Ph.D in counseling psychology from McGill university. She was an Associate dean at John Abbott College She is also an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry of McGill University as well as a researcher and project leader at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research of the Jewish General Hospital.

She is an internationally recognized clinical, teaching and, research authority in cultural psychology, and serves as an expert psychological consultant to institutions, including the juvenile justice system. She is the Chair of the First-Line Psychosocial Science Committee of the Clinical Ethics Committee of CIUSS de centre-ouest-de-l'ile-de-Montréal. She has worked both as a consultant to First Nations and the Jewish communities, and as the Cross Cultural Trainer for the Grievance Committee office of the secretariat for McGill University. She has also conducted training workshops locally, nationally, and internationally and has acted as a consultant to the Brazilian health care system.

Dr. Lashley was a director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and has also served on the Comité consultatif sur les relations Interculturelles et Interraciales de la Communauté Urbaine de Montréal. From 2008 to 2017 she was the Chair of the Cross Cultural Roundtable on Security. She was the Vice-chair of the board of the École Nationale de Police du Québec from 2004 - 2017. As well as conducting research on police matters, she has also been appointed to the Comité expert en matière de profilage racial of the Service de ploice de la Ville de Montréal and to the Comité-conseil sur l'organisation d'une consultation sur le racisme et la discrimination systémique. In addition to academic publications, she has also authored two training manuals on intercultural issues in the workplace and co-authored a chapter in the book Encountering the Other. She has received several awards including the 2015 Woman of Merit Award from the Playmas Montreal Cultural Association; the Queen Elizabeth II 2012 Diamond Jubilee award; 2006 Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Award for Holocaust studies; the 2004 Martin Luther King legacy award; as well as the 1995 Merit Award for the Kanawake Native survival school. Her current research focuses on the intersections of culture, terrorism and national security.

About Mary-Lyn Kieffer

Mary-Lyn Kieffer is a mental health advocate and Director of Made of Millions Foundation, Canada. She oversees all event production, digital programming, advocacy and fundraising initiatives taking place in Canada. Prior to her advocacy work, she was a marketing and business development professional in both the financial and legal industries, as well as an event producer, producing educational events for executives from Fortune 500 companies. Mary-Lyn holds a Master's Degree and Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Economics and Finance. 

In 2018 she left the corporate world after experiencing severe symptoms of OCD. Her personal experience opened her eyes to the lack of accessible mental health care, and drove her to seek out advocacy initiatives that allowed her to give back to the community. In addition to her work at Made of Millions, Mary-Lyn is an active member of the Toronto OCD community. In 2018, she completed the Peer Support Training program at Mood Disorders Association of Ontario. Using her knowledge to help others, she co-facilitates the Obsessive Compulsive Anonymous Support Group, as well as an OCD peer support group held at Sunnybrook Hospital.

About Ask the Experts

It's estimated that 1 in 5 people have a mental health condition. In 2020, that's over 1.9 billion people. But despite the high rates of mental illness, accessing reliable, quality care remains a luxury in most countries. Barriers to treatment — including complicated insurance plans, high costs and a shortage of mental health care workers — keep the vast majority of sufferers from receiving the advice and support they deserve.

We believe that the internet can help us chip away at these barriers. No, we won't fix the system overnight, but we can start using technological tools to our advantage. And in doing so, make valuable opinions more accessible to those in need.

Ask the Experts is an ongoing Q&A series featuring leading psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, family physicians, social workers and other mental heath care leaders. It was created to bring trustworthy information and recommendations to the community for free. Before each Q&A, spend some time looking into that week's guest and come prepared with questions that are relevant to your experiences and their expertise.

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