Traumatic Stress Section: Election

For Position of Chair-Elect of the Traumatic Stress Section

Jenna Boyd

Jenna Boyd is a PhD Candidate in the Research and Clinical Training Stream in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University and a Psychology Resident at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. Her doctoral work focused on researching cognitive functioning and the efficacy of cognitive remediation approaches among individuals with PTSD. Jenna has served on the CPA Traumatic Stress Section for two terms, including from 2017-2018 as the Student Representative and from 2018-2019 as an ad hoc student member. She has contributed to several initiatives for the section, including helping to increase the section’s presence to the membership by reinstating the section newsletter, consulting with the executive committee on reinstating section awards, including the student travel award and student poster award, and acting as a peer reviewer for abstracts submitted to the traumatic stress section for the annual CPA convention. Jenna has also authored or co-authored 8 peer-reviewed journal articles and two book chapters in the field of traumatic stress research and has presented at several national and international conferences in the field of traumatic stress since beginning her graduate studies in 2013. She serves as a peer-reviewer for several journals, including The Journal of Traumatic Stress and The European Journal of Psychotraumatology. Jenna will be completing her Psychology Residency in August 2019 and will begin a position as a Psychologist in Supervised Practice at the Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton where her clinical work will focus on the assessment and treatment of PTSD. She also plans to continue her research program aimed at improving our knowledge of, and ability to treat functional impairment and cognitive dysfunction among individuals with PTSD.

As the chair-elect Jenna hopes to continue the sections initiatives to increase our presence with the membership. She hopes to continue the section newsletter in order to update the membership on the executives current projects as well as to highlight Canadian contributions to the field of traumatic stress, including research highlights and opportunities for collaboration. Jenna also hopes to leverage her contacts in the traumatic stress clinical and research communities to provide high quality section sponsored workshops and presentations at the annual CPA convention. Jenna is also excited to liase with international traumatic stress researchers, acting as a representative for the CPA traumatic stress section at the annual International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies meeting.

Dr. Katy Kamkar, Ph.D., C. Psych.

Awareness and appreciation of trauma and stressor related disorders in particular Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder have increased in the past decade. We have also witnessed a reduction in stigma and change of attitudes related to mental illness. Increased communications and conversations, education, media, breakthrough research and evidence-based treatments, governments’ new PTSD presumptive legislation, and collaboration and networking among other factors, have all contributed to the positive changes to date.

As a senior clinical psychologist and scientist practitioner, I have had the privilege to work for over 15 years in the area of trauma both as a clinician and pursuing my passion in community work. My clinical work focuses on providing Evidence-Based Assessment services, Independent Medical Evaluation for workers who have sustained occupational injury and trauma, Disability Management services and Evidence Based Psychological Treatment for Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Trauma and PTSD, Occupational Stress Injuries to First Responders and on Psychological Distress in the Workplace. My community work specifically related to trauma ranges from being the director of Badge of Life Canada (BOLC), which is a peer-led national charitable organization for Police and Corrections/First Responders across Canada who are dealing with psychological injuries suffered in the line of duty; and director of Operation Lifesaver Canada focusing on National Action Plan for Railway Suicide Prevention – to providing education and workshops to Ministries and Organizations (Provincial, National and International), including First Responders Organizations on Operational Stress Injuries, PTSD and Resiliency – to extensive media work and writing for the public (I was a former CTV National News health blogger and presently among others I write for Canadian Occupational Health and Safety) on matters related to trauma to further mental health promotion, education, prevention and stigma reduction. I am within several national and international scientific and research advisory committees, including Law Enforcement and Public Health, specifically working with international researchers and practitioners on trauma in terms of building awareness through evidence-based education and prevention plan among first responders. I am presently working on identifying the various modifiable factors that continue to prolong trauma related disability and present barriers to care and recovery, for instance, moral injury, perception of injustice, burnout, compassion fatigue, and stigma. I am also presently part of the Federal PTSD Act Advisory Committee, Public Health Agency of Canada, to support the development of the PTSD Federal Framework.

I strongly believe that my extensive clinical and community experiences have prepared me for the position of CPA Chair-Elect Traumatic Stress Section and I consider this role a privilege. I would like to increase the visibility of the section and highlight the value of trauma-focused research, of increased access to such research for clinicians and policy makers; as well as helping researchers access clinically relevant populations. I plan to further our national and international collaborations and networking to crystalize our work in trauma from education, prevention (primary to tertiary), research, early intervention, and disability management and return to work. We have witnessed greater interest in improving and protecting the psychological health of individuals; in advancing mental health promotion and workplace mental health, prevention, and early intervention and reducing work disability; and of identifying and boosting protective factors, reducing or eliminating risk factors, and building proactive approach and strategies to health and building resiliency. Further evidence-based training, education and intervention are needed to build positive organizational culture, strategies and policies, healthy supportive work environments and people oriented culture and leadership. There is a need for the health care system, employers, workers, government, and compensation systems to engage in a collaborative approach to address the disability that accompany trauma. Taken together, I consider this role a privilege and would like to send you my heartfelt gratitude for considering me.

Dr. Katy Kamkar, Ph.D., C. Psych.
Clinical Psychologist
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
Director – Badge of Life Canada (BOLC)
Director – Operation Lifesaver Canada
Fellow & Member of the Collaborative Centre for Justice and Safety (CCJS) Advisory Council
Provincial Mental Health Advisor, St. John Ambulance Ontario’s Council
Editorial Board, Section “Trust”- The Journal of Community Safety & Well-Being (CSWB)       Twitter @DrKatyKamkar       Linkedln Dr. Katy Kamkar