Working group history and vision
Calling, Educating and Equipping people of faith to stand with those who suffer from mental illness.
The Working Group was formed in January 2013. The founding members created this platform as a means to further their vision to promote dialogue and partnership between mental healthcare professionals and spiritual care professionals. They also wanted to respond to the expressed interest among people of faith for better equipping, support and resources for those living with mental illness within faith communities. The first meeting was convened at Tyndale University College and Seminary on January 23, 2013. People in attendance were Dr. Alan Fung, Rev. Sheila Stevens, Rev. Dr. Victor Shepherd and Purple Yip. Soon after, another like-minded individual, Adrianne Sequeira, became a member of the Working Group. After volunteering as a seminar leader and helping to build our website, Matthew Tsuda formally joined the Working Group in March 2015. The Working Group is supported by a group of volunteers who share our vision.
Purple grew up in Hong Kong and holds a B.A (Hon) degree in Business Studies from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She worked in the marketing field for the first ten (10) years of her career. In her spare time, Purple was a youth leader for 12 years working with adolescents and young adults in her church. Before coming to Canada, Purple worked as a parent-worker in a special school providing education and training for adolescents with emotional and mental health needs.
In 2003, Purple came to Canada to pursue her studies in theology and counselling. She graduated from Tyndale University College and Seminary in 2007 with a Master of Divinity and a major in counselling. Since then, Purple has worked as a mental health worker and addiction therapist in several organizations for the last fifteen years. She has a private practice in North York, Toronto, Ontario.
Purple worships at Midtown Alliance Church. Her church has a focus on reaching out to the marginalized population in their local community. Her church has a few compassion ministries in providing respite care to children with intellectual disabilities and breakfast clubs for neighbours.
Purple’s passion is to empower people with mental health challenges to live a full life and to provide education to families and friends in supporting recovery.
Dr. Fung is an attending psychiatrist and the Medical Director of Research in the North York General Hospital (NYGH) Department of Psychiatry. He also chairs the NYGH Research Ethics Board. Dr. Fung is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto (U of T) Faculty of Medicine. He co-chairs the U of T Department of Psychiatry Interprofessional Collaboration & Education (IPC/IPE) Working Group. He has a strong interest in promoting IPC/IPE endeavours between mental health and spiritual care professionals, as well as the spiritual and cultural dimensions of psychiatric care. He has initiated and/or co-organized several symposia in the interface of mental health and spiritual care in Toronto – amongst other IPC/IPE endeavours.
At the international level, he serves as secretary and treasurer of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Caucus on Spirituality, Religion and Psychiatry. He has also been invited to serve on the Steering Committee of the Mental Health and Faith Community Partnership – convened by the APA, the American Psychiatric Foundation (APF) and the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition (IDAC). To date he is the only committee member from outside the United States. He also served as a workgroup chair of the Mental Health: A Guide for Faith Leaders & the accompanying Quick Reference on Mental Health for Faith Leaders – publications from the Partnership.
Dr. Fung is a medical specialist in Psychiatry board-certified in the subspecialties of Sleep Medicine (American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology), as well as Behavioural Neurology & Neuropsychiatry (United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties, USA). He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada as well as the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Fung completed his undergraduate degree, medical degree, residency training in psychiatry and clinician-scientist training program, all at the University of Toronto. He also completed a Master’s degree at the University of Cambridge, UK, a Research Doctorate and a Research Fellowship at Harvard University.
Adrianne is a Registered Psychotherapist and a Registered Nurse with a Certificate in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing. She is in the final stage of completing Certificate in Psychoanalysis. She is a graduate of Tyndale Seminary’s M Div / Counselling program. Adrianne teaches two courses at Tyndale Seminary (Psychopathology and Addictions). She is also a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, teaching both courses, Basic, and for Adults who interact with Youth).
Adrianne is an Associate at the Institute of Family Living, and works with individuals, couples and families. She has 20+ years of experience working with individuals with addictions and concurrent disorders, and offers CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Therapy), IPT (Interpersonal Therapy), and psychodynamic psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families, and psychoanalysis for individuals.
Prior to joining the Tyndale faculty in 1993, Dr. Shepherd was Adjunct Professor in the Department of Church History, Emmanuel College, University of Toronto, the Department of Religious Studies, McMaster University and the Department of Religious Studies, Memorial University of Newfoundland. A frequent lecturer, he has addressed learned societies both in Canada and abroad, including the North American Calvin Studies Society and the Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies.
An adjunct professor at the Toronto School of Theology (University of Toronto) Dr. Shepherd supervises PhD comprehensive examinations and dissertations on themes related to the Sixteenth Century Reformation and to the tradition arising from it.
Dr. Shepherd earned his Th.D. from Emmanuel College, University of Toronto, in 1978. In 1995 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, N.Y., in recognition of his contribution to Wesley studies.
A Presbyterian, ordained in 1970 to the ministry of Word, Sacrament and Pastoral Care, Dr. Shepherd has served four pastorates in New Brunswick and Ontario. He is the author of nine books and numerous journal articles that reflect his extensive pastoral and academic experience. A long-time advocate for the mentally ill and the underhoused, he has served on the board of the Peel Mental Health Housing Coalition and Pathway Community Developments.
He belongs to several professional societies, including the Canadian Philosophical Association, the Sixteenth Century Studies Society, the Canadian Methodist Historical Society, the Toronto Renaissance and Reformation Colloquium, and The Writers’ Union of Canada.
Rev. Sheila Stevens is a Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor with AAMFT/OAMFT (American/Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy), Pastoral Counselling Specialist and Associate Supervisor with CASC (The Canadian Association for Spiritual Care), ordained to the Christian ministry by the CBOQ (Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec), and a certified Focusing Oriented Trainer. She received post-secondary education from Tyndale University College and Seminary (formerly Ontario Bible College and Ontario Theological Seminary), University of Waterloo, McGill University, and University of Guelph. Sheila and her husband were in pastoral work for several years in four congregations from 1979-1993. For many years Sheila has been counselling, supervising and teaching including positions as Staff Counsellor & Marriage Education Coordinator at Montreal Pastoral Institute, 1989-1993; Adjunct Faculty at Tyndale University College & Seminary, teaching psychology and counselling courses, 1995-2004; a Clinical Supervisor for the Master of Divinity Counselling Internship Program, Tyndale Seminary, 1997 to present; Supervisor for the Toronto Centre for Pastoral Counselling Education, Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto, 2002-2012; private marriage and family therapy practice serving individuals, couples and families and offering clinical supervision to therapists in individual, dyadic and group formats, 1995 to present; Director of Tyndale Counselling Services where she gives administrative and clinical oversight to a staff of about 30 which offers individual, couple and family counselling as well as seminars to Tyndale’s undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students, 1996 to present; and a supervisor and therapist with the (Tyndale) Family Life Centre which offers individual, couple and family counselling and seminars, 2015 to present.
Matthew is an occupational therapist/case manager at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and is currently working with adults with complex mental illness. Matthew also has a Status Appointment at the rank of Lecturer at the University of Toronto. Further, he is a licensed Ontario teacher, and enjoys incorporating his education skills into his clinical practice.
Matthew holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Psychology (Queen’s University), a Bachelor of Education degree (Queen’s University), and a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy (University of Toronto). He has worked with people from all walks of life with a variety of disabilities, both locally and internationally. He has received additional training in modalities such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Adaptation Therapy, Trauma Informed Care and Concurrent Disorders treatment. Matthew has ample experience in developing and facilitating a variety of psychosocial groups and programs within hospital and community settings.
At the University of Toronto, Matthew has designed and led many mental health labs for Master’s-level students within the Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy. Matthew has presented about Recovery Oriented Practice at mental health conferences, universities, church events and hospital Grand Rounds. At CAMH, Matthew is involved in many additional educational initiatives, such as becoming a Best Practice Champion and Social Determinants of Health Champion, and being trained as an Interprofessional Education Facilitator for student learners. He has been the recipient of both clinical and teaching awards at CAMH and U of T, respectively. Recently, Matthew was featured on CBC’s Keeping Canada Alive program to promote mental health awareness, specifically around psychotic disorders. Matthew is passionate about providing recovery-focused support to people with complex mental illnesses, facilitating group programming, and promoting education about mental health issues to the broader population.
Allyson is a sociolinguist and an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. She also teaches Sociolinguistics and Research Methods at Tyndale University. She has presented on the topic of mental illness and immigrants at international conferences. She worships at St Paul’s Bloor Street where she facilitates the Dealing with Depression series.
Tony is an Application Developer at Tyndale University College and Seminary, and founder of Ideamato. He worships at Richmond Hill Christian Community Church.