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From Chaos to Order – Transforming Mental Health for Veterans: Leveraging Digital Technologies



13 June 2024

About the Webinar

How does an organization that does not deliver health care to its clients ensure they receive the best care, influence the delivery of its care and measure improvements in an environment that cannot be qualified as a system? That is what Veterans Affairs Canada has accomplished in a relatively short time by leveraging data, leveraging the virtual environment propelled by the COVID pandemic, and implementing measurement based care.

While Veterans Affairs Canada is not a healthcare delivery organization, there are great expectations on it to act as one.   To achieve this, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) is leading in digital, virtual and e-mental health for Veterans, by showing leadership in best practices for delivery of programs and services for mental health, measurement-based care, and non-invasive treatment options.

This evolution is influenced by changing demographics of Veterans, an increase in mental health needs, the reality of a post-COVID digital/virtual world, and Veterans living in rural and remote areas. Our goal is to offer mental health services that are equitable and that address the diverse needs of Canada’s Veterans and their families, where and when they need them.

In this webinar, VAC officials will share information about the population they serve; how they ensure the delivery of  mental health services virtually; ways they’re facilitating non-invasive emerging therapies; the mental health apps they offer to support self-directed care; how they’re measuring effectiveness of care with digital tools; and ways they’re looking at filling gaps in the continuum of service.

Key discussion points:

  • How has the increased availability of virtual mental health services had a positive impact for those receiving services through the operational stress injury (OSI) Clinics?
  • What has been the biggest challenge in getting clinicians and patients to use the Client-Reported Outcome Monitoring Information System (CROMIS)?
  • What are the challenges to expanding service offerings in a federal government department?
  • What are the risks and opportunities with regard to emerging therapies?


13 June 2024
9:00 am -
10:00 am


Colin Mason

Acting Regional Coordinator, Southern Ontario for the Operational Stress Injury Social Support program

Colin Mason is an 18 year Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) veteran who deployed to Afghanistan in 2008, and several commemorative locations in Europe throughout his career.  He was medically released from the CAF in 2021, and is currently the Acting Regional Coordinator for Southern Ontario for the Operational Stress Injury Social Support program.

Dr. Cyd E. Courchesne

Chief Medical Officer, Veterans Affairs Canada

Dr. Cyd Courchesne (OMM, CD1, MD, MCFP, DAVMED, CHE (Captain (Navy) retired) retired from the Canadian Armed Forces after 30 years of service before joining the Department of Veterans Affairs as Chief Medical Officer in 2014. Dr. Courchesne is a General Practitioner who obtained her Doctor of Medicine from Université de Montréal in 1987.  She also holds a Diploma in Aviation Medicine from Kings College University, London, England, and a Master Certificate in Healthcare Management from the Sprott School of Business. She has been a surveyor for Accreditation Canada for 21 years and is a Canadian College of Health Leaders’ Certified Health Executive.    

Throughout her career, Dr. Courchesne held a number of senior medical positions responsible for leading multidisciplinary Primary Care clinics at Canadian Forces Bases to being responsible for Medical Policy and the delivery of Primary Care for the Canadian Forces across the country. She is currently responsible for the management of all Health Professionals at the Department of Veterans Affairs, for the management of Mental Health Support and Services for Veterans, and for overseeing the management of two new Centres of Excellence funded by Veterans Affairs Canada: the Atlas Institute ( a Centre of Excellence on PTSD and related mental health conditions) and the Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Veterans.  In 2023 Dr Courchesne was named VAC’s Champion of 2SLGBTQI+ and of Women’s Health. 

Julie Drury

Director Mental Health, Veterans Affairs Canada

Julie Drury is the Director Mental Health for Veterans Affairs Canada. Julie is responsible for leading clinical mental health expertise within VAC, and for the delivery of a comprehensive continuum of mental health care program and services for Veteran clients. Her current focus is on access to mental health programs that meet the needs of Veterans where and how they would like to access care and support – with a strong emphasis on digital, virtual and e-Mental Health initiatives. 

Julie has held several policy and program leadership roles across the Canadian federal government, provincial government, and as a patient partner consultant to national and international organizations. She is passionate about building and leading intersectoral partnerships and teams in health care program and policy, system design, innovation & improvement.

Dr Jean-Bernard Dupuy

Operational Stress Injury National Network Manager & National Clinical Coordinator, Directorate of Mental Health in the Health Professionals Division, Veterans Affairs Canada

Dr. Jean-Bernard Dupuy is the Operational Stress Injury National Network Manager and National Clinical Coordinator for the Directorate of Mental Health in the Health Professionals Division of Veterans Affairs Canada. An experienced psychologist for 22 years, Dr. Dupuy holds a master’s degree in science from the Psychiatry Department of McGill University and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Laval University. 

Dr. Dupuy has worked in a variety of key positions for the Department of National Defense and Veterans Affairs Canada, gaining in-depth experience in the assessment and treatment of operational stress injuries and comorbid disorders affecting current and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the RCMP. In 2018, the Department awarded him an Award of Excellence for Service, Compassion and Respect in recognition of his work with Veterans.

Gregor Henderson


Gregor Henderson, an Independent Consultant and Mental Health Adviser, works across the UK, Europe and internationally. Collaborating with various national, international organisations and Governments. With expertise in policy, strategy implementation and operational delivery, he also serves as a thought leader in digital mental health. Formerly the Director of Mental Health for Public Health England, Gregor led the organisation’s extensive programmes of work on public mental health. Gregor was also the founding director of Scotland’s internationally renowned National Program for Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing. Gregor is actively involved in various initiatives, serving on a variety of boards and forums, such as the eMental Health International Collaborative, UK Research and Innovation and as an active member of the Global Leadership Exchange. Gregor is also the chair of the Research Advisory Group for Place2Be, a children’s mental health charity. Gregor advocates for an integrated approach, combining policy, research, practice, and lived experiences to transform societal impact on mental health. Gregor is also a coach and mentor in mental health and shares his insights through writing and lecturing.