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HSJCC Webinar: Engaging People With Lived Experience

Enhancing Engagement of People With Lived Experience Across the HSJCC Network

The HSJCC Network has recognized the essential value of engaging people with lived experience in the human services and justice sectors for many years. As a cross-sectoral, collaborative network, the expertise and dedication of people with lived experience has enhanced the impact of our work in countless ways. For committees to improve this engagement in a meaningful way, it is important that members with lived experience are recognized as experts alongside all other committee members. This requires moving beyond a focus on representation to addressing power imbalances and removing barriers to participation.

In November, the Provincial HSJCC released the Guidelines for Enhancing the Engagement of People With Lived Experience Across the HSJCC Network, a resource developed to provide guidance to Local and Regional HSJCCs, and other partners, on engaging people with lived experience in a meaningful and effective way. This resource was developed by the Persons With Lived Experience (PWLE) Advisory Committee.

This webinar will provide an overview of the resource and explore key strategies for improving engagement. Presenters will discuss the importance of meaningful engagement at the committee level, understanding meaningful engagement vs. tokenism, and addressing common fears and concerns. Participants have the opportunity to ask questions and raise issues they may have faced at a committee level.

Steven Torresan, PWLE Advisory Committee
Trevor Tymchuk, PWLE Advisory Committee
Valerie Danieli, PWLE Advisory Committee
Tasha Rennie, HSJCC Secretariat

Presenter Bios:
Steven Torresan
is currently Vice President with Habitat Housing, a major non-profit housing corporation. Steven has served as a director on various advocacy and non-profit boards, and he co-chairs the Persons With Lived Experience Advisory Committee.  Currently, he is pursuing his passion in public speaking with the organization the Dream Team. He has spoken at CAMH employee training as well as the Ontario Human Rights Commission. He is also involved in various service user education programs.

Steven was amongst the lead researchers in the At Home Unit Takeover project inducted by the Dream Team, where he interviewed people, compiled data, and led town halls with various community stakeholders such as the police, housing providers, politicians, and service users.

Trevor Tymchuk is a person with lived experience of the mental health and justice systems. He first became involved with the HSJCC in 2000 while living in the Northeast Region. He is currently a member of the South West Regional HSJCC. Actively involved with the Provincial HSJCC, Trevor chairs the Communications & Knowledge Exchange Committee, and co-chairs the Conference Planning and Persons with Lived Experience Advisory Committees. He also provides advice to the Cannabis and Drug Treatment Court Research Project. Trevor maintains a library of research resources at

Valerie Danieli completed a master’s in history specializing in racism and sexism in turn of the century Latin America as well as the use of media in propagating these systems. Her lived experience with the mental health system, along with growing up in a subsidized housing community, were invaluable to her role as a front-line representative for Toronto Community Housing. Valerie currently devotes her time to transitioning mothers out of the shelter system and into their new homes in Scarborough. She is a contributing member of the Downtown HSJCC, the Scarborough HSJCC, the Persons with Lived Experience Advisory Committee, and she co-chairs the Anti-Racism Advisory Committee.

Tasha Rennie is the Network Engagement and Communications Officer for the HSJCC Secretariat. In this role, Tasha has been the lead support for the work of the PWLE Advisory Committee since its inception. Tasha has a background in digital communications and international development.

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