*Accredited Sessions are denoted with an asterix*

JJR Macleod Auditorium – Medical Sciences Room 2158

  • 9:00 am – Registration (JJR Macleod Auditorium Lobby)
  • 9:15 am  – Welcome by Master of Ceremonies: Dr.Raheel Syed (PGY6 and Dr.Zainab Furqan) and Opening Remarks : Dr.Kenneth Fung and Dr.Lisa Andermann (Department of Psychiatry – University of Toronto) , and Dr.Aleem Hussain (Muslim Medical Association of Canada President)
  • 9:30 – 10:45 am – *Keynote Speaker: Dr.Asim Yusuf  | Topic: Spirituality, Mental Health, and Mental Illness through the Ages
  • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – *Keynote Speaker: Dr.Rania Awaad | Topic: Self-care for Muslim Mental Health Professionals and Caregivers
  • 12:00 pm – 12:45 pm – Break

Booths and Research Presentations (Medical Sciences Lobby)

Lunch (Auditorium Lobby)

Dhuhr Prayer (2nd floor of Auditorium)

Medical and Mental Health Professionals – JJR Macleod Auditorium – Room 2158

  • 12:45 pm – *Trauma and Muslim Mental Health – Dr.Abby Hershler (Psychiatrist) and Dr.Yusra Ahmad (Psychiatrist)
  • 2:00 pm – *Understanding Psychosis in Muslim Patients – Dr.Asim Yusuf (Religious Scholar and Psychiatrist)
  • 3:00 pm – Announcement of Results from Research Poster Presentation – Dr.Ahmed Faress and Dr.Ahmed Hassan (CMMHC Research Directors), Asr Prayer (2nd floor of Auditorium)
  • 3:20 pm – *Pregnancy and Muslim Mental Health – Dr.Farah Islam (PhD), Dr.Rania Awaad (Religious Scholar and Psychiatrist)
  • 4:40 pm – Maghrib Prayer (2nd Floor of Auditorium) – Imam Imran Ally
  • 5:00 pm – *Understanding Suicidal Thoughts in the Context of Islam – Dr.Juveria Zaheer (Psychiatrist), Imam Omar Patel (Chaplain) , Chelby Daigle (Lived Experience Speaker)

Frontline workers, Religious Scholars and General Public – Medical Sciences Rm 2172

  • 12:45 pm – Marijuana, Mental Health and Muslims – Dr.Ahmed Hassan (Psychiatrist), Dr.Bassaam Salim (Psychiatry, PGY4), and Imam Ibrahim Hindy (Religious Scholar)
  • 2:00 pm – Navigating the System: How to help Family Members/Friends with Mental Illness – Dr.Zainab Furqan (Psychiatry, PGY4) and Zainib Abdullah (MSW)
  • 3:00 –  Asr Prayer (2nd floor of Auditorium) – Imam Imran Ally
  • 3:20 pm – Anxiety: Non-Pharmacological Treatments and Spiritual Coping Tools  – Dr.Arif Syed (Psychiatrist) and Ustadh Amjad Tarsin (Chaplain)
  • 4:40 pm – Maghrib Prayer (2nd Floor of Auditorium) – Imam Imran Ally
  • 5:00 pm – Recognizing and Managing Religious Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Scrupulosity) in Muslim Patients – Hooman Keshavarzi (Founder of Khalil Centre)

General Public and Mental Health Researchers – Medical Sciences Rm 2170

  • 12:45 – Muslim Mental Health 101 Objectives:  – Dr.Raheel Syed (Psychiatry, PGY6), Imam Imran Ally (Religious Scholar)
  • 2:00 – Meet the Researcher –  Roundtable discussion with Mental Health Researchers facilitated by Dr.Ahmed Faress
  • 3:00 –  Asr Prayer (2nd floor of Auditorium)- Imam Imran Ally
  • 3:20 pm – Oral Research Presentations facilitated by Dr.Ahmed Hassan and Dr.Ahmed Faress (CMMHC Research Directors)

Detailed Program:

*Accredited Sessions are denoted with an asterix*

Keynote Session 1:

Title: Spirituality, Mental Health, and Mental Illness through the Ages*

Speaker: Dr.Asim Yusuf Room: JJR Macleod Auditorium (Medical Sciences Building MS 2158)


  • To summarize preventative approaches to supporting mental health and well-being described in Classical Islamic literature
  • To identify the contributions of Islamic Scholars to the study of mental illness
  • To discuss the historical Islamic perspectives of depression and anxiety and contrast to Western psychiatric perspectives
  • To recognize spiritually integrated approaches to the treatment of mental illness in Islam

Keynote Session 2:

Title: Self-care for Muslim Mental Health Professionals and Caregivers*

Speaker: Dr.Rania Awaad

Room: JJR Macleod Auditorium (Medical Sciences Building MS 2158)


  • To recognize signs of burnout including self-assessment tools
  • To identify common factors contributing to stress and burnout among caregivers
  • To illustrate ways to promote wellbeing and improve self-care including spiritual strategies
  • To discuss steps to intervene when burnout is recognized

Lived Experience Session

Title: Lived Experience- Student Panel Session with Dr.Tayyab Rashid

Room: JJR Macleod Auditorium (Medical Sciences Building MS 2158)


  • To illustrate the experiences of individuals with mental health challenges
  • To discuss current mental health supports available in the community
  • To recognize gaps in the mental health system and areas for improvement

Medical and Mental Health Professionals (*Accredited Sessions are denoted with an asterix*)

(Room: JJR Macleod Auditorium (Medical Sciences Building MS 2158)

12:45 pm – Sessions #1:  Trauma and Muslim Mental Health *

Room: JJR Macleod Auditorium (Medical Sciences Building MS2158)

Speakers: Dr.Abby Hershler and Dr.Yusra Ahmad


  1. To provide a brief overview of the meaning and impact of trauma
  2. To review the principles of trauma informed care
  3. To outline the stages of trauma recovery and share a psychoeducational model for supporting trauma recovery (through case-based presentation)
  4. To discuss cultural and spiritual considerations in supporting Muslim patients with histories of trauma


  • To describe the meaning and recognize the impact of trauma
  • To summarize the principles of trauma informed care
  • To identify the stages of trauma recovery and discuss a psychoeducational model for supporting trauma recovery through case-based presentation
  • To recognize cultural and spiritual considerations in supporting Muslim patients with histories of trauma

2:00 pm – Session #2: Understanding Psychosis in Muslim Patients*

Room: JJR Macleod Auditorium (Medical Sciences Building MS2158)

Dr.Asim Yusuf


  1. Review of the symptoms and diagnosis of psychosis through case presentation
  2. Briefly review Canadian literature on minority cultures and psychosis presentations
  3. Improve understanding of common spiritual and cultural considerations and barriers to treatment in Muslim patients with psychosis
  4. Address Islamic and Psychiatric perspectives of psychotic symptoms


  • To identify the symptoms of psychosis
  • To examine the research surrounding the impact of culture on psychosis in Canada
  • To describe common spiritual and cultural considerations and to recognize common barriers to psychosis treatment in Muslim patients
  • To discuss the Islamic and Psychiatric psychiatric perspectives on the etiology and management of psychotic symptoms

3:20 pm – Session #3: Pregnancy and Muslim Mental Health *

Room: JJR Macleod Auditorium (Medical Sciences Building MS2158)

Speakers: Dr.Rania Awaad and Dr.Farah Islam


  1. Review of common symptoms and diagnosis of peripartum mental illness through case presentation
  2. Briefly review of Canadian literature on culture and peripartum mental illness
  3. Address Islamic and Psychiatric perspectives of peripartum mental illness
  4. Discuss spiritual tools for mental well-being in the peripartum period


  • To summarize common peripartum mental illness’ and to recognize symptoms through case presentation
  • To describe Canadian literature on minority cultures and peripartum mental illness
  • To discuss Islamic and Psychiatric perspectives of peripartum mental illness
  • To recognize adaptive and preventative spiritual tools and practices which support peripartum mental well-being

5:00 pm – Session #4: Understanding Suicidal Thoughts in the context of Islam*

Room: JJR Macleod Auditorium (Medical Sciences Building MS2158)

Speakers: Dr.Juveria Zaheer, Amjad Tarsin, Chelby Daigle (Lived Experience Speaker)


  1. Provide an understanding of suicidal thoughts through lived experience presentation
  2. Discuss the epidemiology of suicide
  3. Review an approach to a suicide risk assessment and prevention strategies
  4. Discuss spiritual and cultural issues impacting Muslim patients with suicidal thoughts


  • To identify presentations of suicidal thoughts in Muslim patients through lived experience case presentation
  • To describe the epidemiology of suicide
  • To illustrate an approach to suicide risk assessments and review prevention strategies
  • To recognize spiritual and cultural issues impacting Muslim patients with suicidal thoughts and to develop an approach to addressing these in treatment

Mental Health Researchers and General Public

Medical Sciences Room 2170

12:45 pm – Session #1: Muslim Mental Health 101

(Medical Sciences Room 2170)

Speakers: Dr.Raheel Syed, Imam Imran Ally

  1. Review the concept of Mental Health in Islam (Imam Ally)
  2. Present an overview of the most common mental illnesses in Canada (Dr.Syed)
  3. Review common misconceptions about Mental Illness in Islam (Imam Ally – For example –  Misconception that seeking mental health treatment is haram, misconception of depression as a sign of a lack of faith, mental illness as all being due to evil eye/waswas and not seeking appropriate medication/treatment as a result)
  4. Discuss briefly pharmacological and non-pharmacological mental health treatment approaches

Frontline workers, Religious Scholars and General Public

Medical Sciences Rm 2172

12:45 pm – Session #1 – Marijuana, Mental Health and Muslims

Speakers: Dr.Ahmed Hassan, Dr.Bassaam Salim, Imam Ibrahim Hindy

  1. Understand the composition cannabis and the effect of cannabis on the brain (Ahmed Hassan and Bassaam Salim)
  2. Understand the relationship between cannabis and mental illnesses (Ahmed Hassan and Bassaam Salim)
  3. Discuss the potential implications of legalization of cannabis (Ahmed Hassan and Bassaam Salim)
  4. Increase awareness about cannabis addiction (Ahmed Hassan and Bassaam Salim)
  5. Review the Islamic perspective on cannabis use (Imam Ibrahim Hindy)

2:00 pm – Session #2 – Navigating the System: How to help Family Members/Friends with Mental Illness

Speakers:  Dr.Zainab Furqan (Psychiatry, PGY4) and Zainib Abdullah (MSW)


  1. Review common issues family members and friends experience when caring for someone with mental illness
  2. Discuss how to provide support for someone with mental illness
  3. Provide an overview of the mental health system and how to access care
  4. Highlight specific useful resources for caregivers

3:20 pm – Session #3 – Anxiety: Non-Pharmacological Treatments and Spiritual Coping Tools

Speakers: Dr.Arif Syed and Ustadh Amjad Tarsin (Chaplain)


  1. Review common presentations of Anxiety (Dr.Arif Syed)
  2. Discuss non-pharmacological treatment guidelines  (Dr.Arif Syed)
  3. Review prophetic coping tools  in achieving mental health (Ustadh Amjad)
  4. Discuss prophetic examples of emotional challenges from the Qu\’ran and hadith (Ustadh Amjad)
  5. Address the potential harms of maladaptive spiritual practices (Ustadh Amjad)

5:00 pm – Session #4 – Recognizing and Managing OCD in Muslim Patients

Speakers: Hooman Keshavarzi


  1. a) Provide a case presentation of Religious Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Scrupulosity) in the context of Islam
  2. b) Review diagnostic criteria and non-spiritually adaptive treatments for Religious Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  3. c) Discuss a spiritually adapted psychotherapy modality for Religious OCD-Traditional Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy

CMMHC 2018 Team:

Organizing Committee:

  • Dr.Kenneth Fung
  • Dr.Ahmed Hassan
  • Dr.Yusra Ahmad
  • Dr.Aleem Hussain
  • Dr.Arfeen Malick
  • Dr.Ahmed Faress
  • Heba Ragheb (MSW)
  • Meccana Ali (MSW)
  • Maryum Rahman (RP (Q), CCC)
  • Dr.Zainab Furqan
  • Dr.Farah Islam
  • Dr.Tarek Al-Nahdi
  • Dr.Hashim Khan
  • Dr. Zafir Syed
  • Dr. Tanzila Basrin

Volunteer Team

  • Sumiyyah Choudhary
  • Dur-e-Shehwar
  • Sarah Furmli
  • Frozan Safi
  • Sarah Seddon
  • Farida Nakhuda (ITHI: 9-1)
  • Hajir Noorzai (ITHI: 9-1)
  • Safaa Labana (ITHI: 9-1)
  • Ambreen Yousaf
  • Ayehsa Tasneem
  • Ibrahim Tazkarji
  • Mariam Tazkarji
  • Fatimah Mulla
  • Syeda Qasim
  • Selma Lachemi
  • Shayma Khedr
  • Zeinab Mohammed
  • Nayasta Kusdaya
  • Nada Al Salmi
  • Imran Shabber (ITHI: 9-1)
  • Abdulaziz Hussaini (ITHI: 12-4)
  • Zanib Irshad
  • Nour Qa’aty
  • Yousef Helmy (ITHI: 9-4)
  • Ruba Najjar
  • Zainib Abdullah
  • Kashmala Qasim
  • Huss Akbar
  • Mohammed Akbar

Speaker Biographies:

Dr. Yusra Ahmad (MD, FRCPC) graduated with a BA from the University of Chicago and her MD from the University of Toronto where she also completed specialty training in psychiatry.  She previously led an MBCT group at Women’s College Hospital and a mindfulness group for Syrian women at Sistering.  She has worked with homeless and vulnerably housed clients with the Inner-City Family Health Team and the MATCH (Multidisciplinary Access to Care and Housing) team.  She is a Clinical Lecturer in the Division of Gender, Equity & Population at the University of Toronto.  She is experienced in media engagement and has been quoted or featured in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Vogue and Newsweek magazine. Dr. Yusra has lived in 4 countries and grew up with 5 languages. A poet at heart, she is guided by a deeply-held desire for a more peaceful world.  She is known for her sensitivity to suffering and her gentle approach to therapy.  She is also a passionate advocate for social justice and a more nuanced and inclusive approach to mental health services. She has created Mindfully Muslim, an Islamic mindfulness group therapy program for Muslims suffering from mental & emotional distress.  You can reach her at: yusra.ahmad@mail.utoronto.ca

Zainib Abdullah (MSW, RSW) is a psychotherapist working in the Urgent Care Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital, and in private practice in Toronto (mindwelltherapy.ca). She holds her Masters in Social Work from the University of Toronto. Her approach to healing is client-centred & trauma-informed, incorporating various therapeutic modalities including Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Sensorimotor, Somatic and Mindfulness-based psychotherapies. As a certified applied mindfulness meditation specialist from the University of Toronto, she has developed and facilitated various mindfulness-based therapy programs at Toronto Western Hospital, Southlake Regional Health Centre, Stevenson Memorial Hospital and Mindfully Muslim.

Dr. Rania Awaad (MD) is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine where she is the Director of the Muslim Mental Health Lab and Wellness Program and Co-Director of the Diversity Clinic. She pursued her psychiatric residency training at Stanford where she also completed a postdoctoral clinical research fellowship with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Her research and clinical work are focused on the mental health needs of Muslims. Her courses at Stanford range from instructing medical students and residents on implicit bias and integrating culture and religion into medical care to teaching undergraduate and graduate students the psychology of xenophobia. Her most recent academic publications include works on Islamic Psychology, Islamophobia, and the historical roots of mental health from the Islamic Golden Era. Through her outreach work at Stanford, she is also the Clinical Director of the San Francisco Bay Area branches of the Khalil Center, a spiritual wellness center pioneering the application of traditional Islamic spiritual healing methods to modern clinical psychology. She has been the recipient of several awards and grants for her work. Prior to studying medicine, she pursued classical Islamic studies in Damascus, Syria and holds certifications (ijaza) in Qur’an, Islamic Law and other branches of the Islamic Sciences. Dr. Awaad is also a Professor of Islamic Law at Zaytuna College, a Muslim Liberal Arts College in Berkeley, CA where she teaches courses on Shafi\’i Fiqh and Women\’s Fiqh . In addition, she serves as the Director of The Rahmah Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Muslim women and girls. At Rahmah, she overseas the Murbiyyah spiritual mentoring program for girls. Dr. Awaad is a nationally recognized speaker, award-winning teacher, researcher and author in both the Islamic and medical sciences.

Imām Shaykh Imran Ally was invited to Canada by the TARIC Islamic Centre in the mid 2000’s where he continues to serve as the Imām and Scholar in residence. He\’s a Chaplain (Muslim) for law enforcement (Peel Regional Police),  health care (Humber River Hospital) and sports (Pan Am and Parapan Am Games – Toronto 2015 and Invictus Games – Toronto 2017).  He volunteers as a Director and an Advisor on many Boards and has received numerous accolades.

Dr.Lisa Andermann (MD, FRCPC)  is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Hospital where she works in the Psychological Trauma Clinic as well as the Ethnocultural Assertive Community Treatment Team.  Her research and teaching interests focus on cultural psychiatry.

Chelby Marie Daigle is the Editor in Chief of MuslimLink.ca, an online hub for Muslims in Canada. She has been speaking publicly about her lived experience coping with mental illness since her teens when she co-produced a film about the youth experience of mental illness for the Children\’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Chelby will be sharing her personal experiences with suicide attempts, suicidal ideation, and suicide loss. Informed by her additional experience peer supporting her fellow Muslims, she will also discuss the specific challenges Muslims coping with suicidal ideation experience navigating both non-Muslim and Muslim mental health services.

Dr. Kenneth Fung (MD, FRCPC) is a Staff Psychiatrist and Clinical Director of the Asian Initiative in Mental Health Program at the Toronto Western Hospital. He is also Associate Professor with Equity, Gender, and Populations Division at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. He completed a two-year fellowship in Cultural Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He is the Vice-President (President-Elect) of the Society of the Study of Psychiatry and Culture.

Dr. Zainab Furqan (MD) is a PGY4 psychiatry resident in the Clinician Scientist Program at the University of Toronto. She is interested in suicide research and recently published a study examining suicide notes, which received significant media attention. Dr. Furqan also has a strong interest in cross-cultural psychiatry. She has spoken at various mosques in the GTA about topics related to mental health, in efforts to raise awareness and decrease stigma about mental health in Muslim communities.

Dr.Ahmed Hassan (MD, FRCPC, MPH) is a staff addiction psychiatrist at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). He is also an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He completed his psychiatry residency, mood and anxiety fellowship and Addiction fellowship at the University of Toronto. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physician and Surgeon of Canada and a Diplomate of the American Board of psychiatry and Neurology. He completed a master of public health degree from Johns Hopkins School of public Health. He has a particular research interest in the bio-psycho-social aspect of addictions, improving the care for patients with concurrent disorders with a focus on patients with both opioid use disorder and Mood/Anxiety disorders.

Dr. Abby Hershler (MD, FRCPC, MA) graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies in 1995, University of Toronto with a Masters of Arts in Sociology and Equity Studies in 1998 and McMaster University with medical degree in 2004. She completed University of Toronto’s Psychiatry residency program in 2009. Since that time she has worked at Women’s College Hospital, currently dividing her time between the General Psychiatry and Trauma Therapy programs, including collaborative work with the Crossroads Refugee Clinic. She also provides psychiatric support to the Native Men’s Residence (NaMeRes) shelter as a consultant through the Inner City Health Associates. She is a Lecturer within the University of Toronto.

Imam Ibrahim Hindy (M.A) is the imam of Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre in Mississauga, Ontario and Research Manager at Yaqeen Institute. He has a degree in History of Religions from the University of Toronto with a concentration in Islamic studies and a Masters in Usul al-Fiqh from Al-Madinah International University in Malaysia. Ibrahim is also pursuing a certification Couple and Family Therapy Studies at the University of Guelph.

Dr. Farah Islam, PhD, completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the University of Toronto and her PhD at York University. She is currently a Research Consultant at Access Alliance Multicultural Community and Health Services, editing a book on child and youth psychiatry, and a course instructor for the Muslim Youth Mental Health course at the Islamic Institute of Toronto (IIT). She explores mental health and service access in Canada\’s racialized and immigrant populations, using both epidemiology and mixed methods research. Dr. Islam orients her research and community work around breaking down the barriers of mental health stigma.

Dr. Hooman Keshavarzi (M.A, LCPC) is the Executive Director of the Khalil Center. He is a Licensed Psychotherapist in Illinois, completed his Psy.D (to be conferred), holds a Masters of Clinical Psychology and a Bachelors of Science – specialist psychology track/minor in Islamic Studies. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Argosy University Chicago, American Islamic College, Hartford Seminary, instructor of psychology at Islamic Online University and founding director of Khalil Center – the first Islamically oriented professional community mental wellness center and largest provider of Muslim mental healthcare in the US. He is also a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding at the Global Health Center, conducting research on topics related to Muslims and Mental Health. Hooman Keshavarzi is an international public speaker and trainer currently serving as a Clinical supervisor of graduate students of clinical psychology at the Village of Hoffman Estates (DHS). He also delivers seminars on specialized topics around multiculturalism and psychology. Hooman Keshavarzi has also authored several published academic papers in recognized peer-reviewed journals on integrating Islamic spirituality into modern psychological practice. In addition to his academic training, Hooman Keshavarzi has studied Islamic theology both formally and informally. He is a student of Shaykh Muhammad Zakariya from Toronto, Canada, where he attended his hadith and spiritual discourses for a number of years. After moving to Chicago, he studied informally with Shaykh Azeemuddin Ahmed enrolling in Darussalam Academy for 4 years. During this time he also did some specialized coursework with Shaykh Amin Kholwadia in Islamic counseling. He then transferred to Darul Qasim where he has been continuing his higher Islamic education for the past 2 years.

Imam Omar Patel completed his formal Islamic education in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Dar ul Ulum Azaadville, South Africa. Upon returning to Canada, he pursued his Master of Pastoral Studies with a specialization in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy at the University of Toronto. In 2015, Imam Omar began his service as a Muslim Chaplain at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. He has complemented his studies in Psychotherapy with certification from the Toronto Center for Psychotherapy and Counselling education.

Dr. Tayyab Rashid (Ph.D) is a licensed clinical psychologist and researcher at the University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada. Dr. Rashid\’s expertises include positive clinical psychology, strength-based resilience, posttraumatic growth, multicultural psychotherapy and positive education. Dr. Rashid completed his clinical training at the Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey and at the University of Pennsylvania where he developed and empirically validated positive psychotherapy (PPT). Dr. Rashid has worked for more than 15 years with young adults experiencing complex mental health issues including psychosis, complex trauma, grief, borderline personality disorder and severe depression. Rashid’s work has been published in academic journals and has been included in text books of psychiatry and psychotherapy. Dr. Rashid is co-chair of Canada’s National Campus Mental Health Community of Practice. He has recently won the Outstanding Practitioner Award from the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA). Currently, Dr. Rashid is leading Strengths-Based Resilience & Flourish – two award-winning initiatives, with vulnerable young adults.

Dr.Bassaam Salim (MD) is a 4th year psychiatry Resident at the University of Toronto. He is currently based at the University Health Network where he serves as a chief resident in psychiatry and has had experience in all of the downtown Toronto hospitals. He has been involved in community education through the Muslim Medical Association of Canada, under which he also serves on the IMG Advisory Committee. He is interested in addictions and has provided numerous psychoeducation lectures in the Muslim Community in order to increase awareness and address stigma related to addictions in the Muslim community. He also has a strong interest in teaching within the hospital setting and in the community.  Dr.Salim aims to pursue a fellowship in addiction psychiatry after completing residency.

Dr. Javeed Sukhera (MD, FRCPC, Ph.D) is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Paediatrics at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada where he is also the Senior Designate Physician Lead for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). He provides clinical consultation to the Child and Adolescent Mental Healthcare Program,  Paediatric Chronic Pain Program and Transcultural Mental Health Program. He completed his Ph.D. in Health Professions Education from Maastricht University\’s School of Health Professions Education in the Netherlands. He has been honoured to serve on the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Board of Directors from 2010-2012. He has also served on the AAMC’s Organization of Resident Representatives Administrative Board and as a Diversity Leadership Fellow and member of the Committee of Members-in-Training at the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Sukhera holds certification from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in both Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He is also double-board certified in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Sukhera sits on several committees and councils at the local, provincial, national and international levels. He is President-Elect of the   Ontario Psychiatric Association. He sits on the Governance Committee of the Academic Medical Organization of Southwestern Ontario and Board of the Clinical Teachers Association at Western University. He was recently appointed to the London Police Services Board.

Since 2012, he has secured over $2 million in grant funding including several peer-reviewed research grants as principal investigator. His research interests include mental illness stigma reduction, implicit bias in health professional education and facilitating authentic youth and community engagement with the health sector.

Dr. Arif Syed (MD, FRCPC ) was born in Edmonton, Alberta. He is a graduate from the University of Alberta with MD and a Graduate from the University of Western Ontario with Psychiatry specialization. He worked for about four years as a psychiatrist at University of Waterloo. For the last 7 years, Dr. Syed has been working in private practice in the Toronto area. Moreover, Dr. Arif Syed regularly speaks about mental health issues in the Muslim community.

Dr.Raheel Syed (MD, FRCPC) is a forensic psychiatry subspecialty resident at the University of Alberta. He also completed his general psychiatry residency from the University of Alberta. Dr. Syed has a keen interest in working with individuals with major mental illnesses who have come in contact with criminal justice system. He enjoys working with the Mental Health Court in Alberta and has served as an expert witness in psychiatry in front of the Court of Queens Bench. Outside of his residency, he works alongside the police assessment and crisis teams to provide emergency psychiatric consultations. Furthermore, Dr. Syed is passionate about treatment resistant mood disorders and physician mental health. He has previously spoken about the misperceptions of mental illnesses in ethnic communities and remains enthusiastic to further increase awareness of such issues.

Ustadh Amjad Tarsin was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and spent his early childhood there. He has also lived in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, growing up within diverse cultures. He obtained his Bachelors of Arts at the University of Michigan in English Literature and Islamic Studies. It was during his university years that Amjad developed a deeper connection to his faith, studying the Islamic sciences with teachers locally and internationally, and became actively involved in community service and youth engagement. After spending a transformative year studying Islam abroad, Ustadh Amjad returned to America to start his studies at University of Michigan Law School. Yearning to fulfill his calling to community building, spiritual development, and service, Ustadh Amjad changed career paths and enrolled in Hartford Seminary’s Islamic Chaplaincy program. While completing his degree, Ustadh Amjad worked as a part-time Muslim chaplain at Fairfield University, Connecticut. In 2012 he was selected as University of Toronto’s first full-time Muslim Chaplain. Ustadh Amjad continues to study and teach on a regular basis at SeekersHub Toronto.  He currently resides with his wife and children in Toronto, Canada.

Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf (MD) who goes by the pen-name of Talib al-Habib, is a Consultant Psychiatrist with a special interest in Islamic Spirituality and Mental Health. He is acknowledged as an authority on Islamic Psychology and is regularly invited to deliver lectures and seminars on the subject. He serves on the advisory panel of the Centre for Islam and Medicine, as well as in an advisory capacity to a number of community initiatives and charities. He has authored four books on diverse aspects of Islam, with a focus on classical spirituality. He has received twenty years of rigorous theological training at the hands of leading scholars of Islamic law and spirituality. He has been granted ijazaat (formal authorizations) to instruct students in the art and science of Islamic thought by over thirty scholars from four continents, and has taught thousands of students across the country and overseas. He was born in London and grew up in Manchester, before emigrating to South Africa with his family for a ten year stay. He returned to the UK in early 2002, where he has lived ever since. Currently, he lives in the West Midlands.

Dr. Juveria Zaheer (MD FRCPC MSc) is a psychiatrist and clinician scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. She studies suicide and suicide prevention from multiple perspectives, including qualitative research with people who have recovered after experiencing suicidal behaviour, families and health care providers, epidemiological research, and clinical guideline development. She has a particular interest in the intersection of gender and culture in narratives of suicide and barriers to accessing high quality mental health care for people who are suffering. Twitter – @juveriazaheer

Dr. Nazila Isgandarova (PhD., D.Min. RSW, RP, and Certified Spiritual Care Specialist) has a Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral counselling, marriage and family studies from Wilfrid Laurier University, Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, and Master of Social Work from the University of Windsor. She is a Registered Psychotherapist at the College for Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and Registered Social Worker at the Ontario Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Dr. Isgandarova is also certified American Board of Forensic Professionals for the CMCC AMA Guides to Impairment Rating. Dr. Isgandarova is an internationally published researcher and her research mainly focuses on psychotherapy, counselling, spiritual and religious care in a healthcare setting, and counselling in a multi-faith context. She is the recipient of the prestigious Forum for Theological Exploration research award for her study on domestic violence against Muslim women, Canadian Association for Spiritual Care Senior Research Award and Society for Pastoral Counselling Research Award. Dr. Isgandarova is an adjunct faculty member at Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto.