Year Two: Exploring the Intersections of Mental Health, Addictions, and Brain Injury with a focus on Intimate Partner Violence and Brain Injury.

Watch the recordings



Our Speakers

Dr. John Higenbottam

Dr. John Higenbottam is a neuropsychologist who, for most of his career, has held senior clinical management positions in the British Columbia health care system, including Vice President, Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre, Vice President, BC Rehab and Vice President, Riverview Hospital.

John is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, UBC and teaches in the medical undergraduate and psychiatry residency programs. He is also the Editor in Chief of the Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health andPresident of BC’s Brain Injury Alliance which funds community services for people with brain injury.

John is a former Chair, Psychosocial Rehabilitation Canada and Co-Chair, Canadian Alliance for Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH), Canada’s major alliance of 18 mental health professional and stakeholder organizations.

Karen Mason & Paul van Donkelaar

Karen & Paul are co-founders for Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research (SOAR).

You can read more about them below.

Paul van Donkelaar

Paul van Donkelaar (he/him) is co-founder and scientific advisor for Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research (SOAR). He is also a professor in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences and Associate Vice Principal, Research at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, B.C., Canada. His research focusses on the basic mechanisms of sensorimotor control and the cerebrovascular, neurocognitive, and sensorimotor aspects of brain dysfunction resulting from traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Since 2016, he has focused much of his research on better understanding brain dysfunction in women who have experienced intimate partner violence-related BI through the SOAR project.

Karen Mason

Karen Mason (she/her) is co-founder and executive director for Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research (SOAR), and former executive director of Kelowna Women’s Shelter in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. A seasoned non-profit leader, communicator, and community collaborator, Mason brings 30+ years of career experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors to her work advocating for survivors of IPV, conducting knowledge translation and mobilization activities, and supporting research, development, and dissemination of promising practices. Mason has training in advanced strangulation prevention, and is a member of the Pink Concussions Partner-Inflicted Brain Injury Task Force, and the ENIGMA International Consortium Working Group on Brain Injury in Intimate Partner Violence.

Visual Facilitation Drawings

We had Lisa Arora there as our visual facilitator and here are her drawings:

Click through to see all four images below from Lisa’s Year Two Consensus Drawings to enlarge. 

Some photos of the day


I enjoyed participating in this event.  I think the dialogue was effective and I did feel comfortable sharing when appropriate.  More so, I think that voices from communities that may not typically be given the platform, had the opportunity to speak and for myself, I had the privilege to listen.  This contributed significantly to my learning, and I think the effectiveness of the overall conversation.”

The format worked really well and it was incredibly well organized.  Speakers were insightful, concise, and engaging.”

I thought this year’s event was an improvement over last year’s event.  Last year was great but this year there were some improvements and I’m sure there will be some more next year!  It was a good use of time to attend.”


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