If you are in distress, you can call or text 988 at any time. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency department.


Our People

Shane Silver, Vice-President of Social Enterprise

Shane Silver

Vice-President, MHCC and Opening Minds

Shane is an accomplished business executive who, for 25 years, has been inspiring teams to think outside the box and drive sustainable growth. His people-first approach, combined with his experience in strategy, sales, marketing, and innovation, has driven success in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.

Shane most recently served as the vice-president of social enterprise and strategic partnerships for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, where he established a business-to-business services division, leveraged technology-based innovation, and championed strategic partnerships to diversify revenue streams and drive growth.

He previously served as the vice-president of social enterprise for the Canadian Hearing Society, where he introduced a structured sales approach to drive growth of hearing health care and assistive technology. Prior to his not-for-profit work, Shane honed his skills in the consumer packaged goods (Kraft Foods, Borden, Georgia-Pacific) and pharmaceutical industries (Bristol-Myers Squibb, Mylan).

Shane holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Schulich school of business at York University and an undergraduate degree from Western University.

Passionate about helping people live the lives they choose; he believes that balance in life is critical for our physical and mental well-being. In his spare time, Shane enjoys playing sports (albeit, more recreational now), spending time with family and friends, volunteering at a large animal rescue facility, and (optimistically/naively) cheering for Toronto sports teams.

Micheal Pietrus

Micheal Pietrus

Director, Programs & Client Development

Micheal Pietrus is a Director with Opening Minds and Director of Mental Health First Aid Canada at the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). He has led the Commission’s anti-stigma initiative, Opening Minds, since its inception in 2009. Under his leadership, Opening Minds became the largest systematic effort to reduce the stigma of mental illness in Canadian history.

In 2015, Michael was recognized for his work when Opening Minds received the Innovator Award at the 7th Together Against Stigma Conference in San Francisco. He has presented on his team’s research and anti-stigma and training programs at conferences around the world, including Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Micheal is a co-founder and co-chair of the Global Anti-stigma Alliance, which is composed of more than 20 international organizations working to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.

He was appointed to the World Health Organization’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Mental Health, Brain Health and Substance Use. STAG reports directly to the Director-General of WHO. Its mandate is to advise WHO on overall global policies and strategies.

Julie Donaldson

Julie Donaldson

Director, Program Delivery

Julie Donaldson is a dynamic leader with a wealth of experience in the operations and quality improvement of mental health programming.  As the Director of Opening Minds, she supports the operations and program development team to ensure the effective delivery of numerous mental health programs that aid in the fight against stigma and discrimination towards people with mental illness.

Julie has held key roles within the Mental Health Commission for the past decade.  She has also held numerous coordinator positions in various industries.  This experience has allowed Julie to hone her operational and procedural development and efficacy expertise.

Julie holds a master’s degree in business administration from University Canada West and an undergraduate degree from Wilfrid Lauier University.

Outside of her professional career, Julie is known for her intense involvement with pet rescue organizations, volunteering for sporting events in various capacities and reaching the milestone of connecting and supporting over 800 youth who reached out to Kids Helps Phone via the Crisis Text Line.

Audrey Joyal

Audrey Joyal

Manager, Program Delivery (The Working Mind)

Audrey’s transformational leadership philosophy emphasizes a people-first approach, proactive care, challenging the status quo and driving collective change. In addition to operational excellence, she prioritizes employee wellbeing and workforce advancement through innovative frameworks and the cultivation of safe spaces for dialogue, critical thinking, and innovation.

She joined MHCC-Opening Minds in 2018. In her role as Manager of Program Delivery, Audrey holds a decade of operational experience and leads a values-driven team with expertise in project management, operations, and data evaluation. Audrey and her team have excelled in delivering a record number of TWM courses while upholding service excellence, both domestically and internationally, since The Program’s inception. She was selected to represent Opening Minds on MHCC’s Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee as a certified member.

She holds a Degree in Social Sciences Psychology, along with certifications in professional coaching, leadership, and program development. Prior to joining MHCC, she worked in the labor movement as an Education Officer with The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC). There, she facilitated steward training and designed national education programs in labor law and collective bargaining. She served on committees addressing human rights in the workplace and psychological health and safety, she initiated and developed The Institute’s first Stewards’ Mental Health Guidelines.

Audrey values equity, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of her life. She volunteers in under-resourced communities which included a posting with Management Sciences for Health (USAID) in Peru. Her international upbringing and biracial / multicultural background equip her to facilitate intercultural dialogue, eliminate stigma, and drive change through education. Audrey firmly believes that mental health is a human right, and she is proud to keep Opening Minds to this important cause.

Charles Boyer

Charles Boyer

Manager of Client Development for Opening Minds

Charles Boyer is a Co-Manager for Client Development with Opening Minds. He works with an amazing team to help our partners educate their team members with evidence-based mental health training. Our three main courses are Mental Health First Aid, The Working Mind, and The Inquiring Mind. To date our team has trained approximately a million Canadians in our programs.

Prior to joining MHCC, Charles worked within the Workplace Health knowledge area at The Conference Board of Canada. One of his main responsibilities was to manage Executive Networks focused on Health, Wellness and Safety. These Networks were represented by senior organizational health practitioners from organizations across Canada who meet regularly to discuss workplace health challenges, successes, and trends.

Sjors Reijers

Sjors Reijers

Manager, Research & Learning Design, Opening Minds

Sjors (pronounced Shores) loves nothing more than connecting people with new knowledge, skills, and attitudes that have a positive impact on their lives. Over a couple of decades, Sjors has worked with small community non-profits, national organizations, and international agencies to develop learner-focused, outcome-driven curriculums, courses, modules, sessions, and the like. Learners have been volunteers, staff, beneficiaries, stakeholders, and the general public.

With Opening Minds, Sjors gets to lead a team of learning and design professionals in our shared effort to build evidence-based, well grounded, engagingly designed, and timely courses that provide people with tools, resources, and approaches they can put to immediate use in their work, community, and family lives.

Teri-Lynne Belanger

Manager, Program Delivery (MHFA)

Teri-Lynne came to Opening Minds in January of 2021 bringing with her a diverse work background that spanned 25 years.  She has spent time working in Child Welfare with 10 years on the front line before moving into the sports arena as a National Sporting Organizations Event Manager running all National Championships for the sport of Ultimate. Her organization and respect for partnerships and relationships allowed her to accomplish significant growth in both the size of the events she was running and the experience for the athlete.

While child welfare, sports and mental health may seem worlds apart, they are all about helping to support growth, development, and positive change.  They have been very complimentary roles allowing Teri-Lynne to lead with empathy and a true investment in her colleague’s future.

In her personal life, Teri-Lynne is still very involved in Ultimate as a volunteer for the Provincial organization and the local Junior Competitive Program.  Her three children continue to play the sport and her husband also coaches, making it a family affair.  She is also very invested in her puppy, Koda, who provides her with unconditional love daily.

Interested in training for yourself? Need training for your Organization?