Distress Centres leadership and volunteers have a wealth of knowledge and in-depth personal stories that provide insights which are relevant on a variety of mental health, risk and crisis support, suicide prevention/postvention topics. We would be pleased to reserve a speaker for you or provide resources!



Alison is our Executive Director at Distress Centres and has dedicated her career to the non-profit and public sectors beginning as a literacy coordinator with the North York Public Library and the Children's Aid Society. 

She has held progressively senior positions in volunteer management with the University Health Network (i.e. Toronto General, Toronto Western, and Toronto Rehab hospitals).

She has been the Executive director of Serve (a charity that worked with marginalized youth from the priority neighbourhoods of Toronto), and Spectra Community Support Services (a 24/7 anonymous and confidential multilingual Distress and Crisis line service).

Alison is also currently President of the Board for the Canadian Suicide Prevention Service, and sits on the board for Distress Centres of Ontario.



Alex is our Survivor of Suicide Loss & Survivor of Homicide Loss Programs Lead for Distress Centres. 

A survivor of suicide loss himself, Alex has spent the last thirteen years building a community of support for those who have experienced a similar loss. He has spoken on a variety of topics pertaining to suicide and homicide loss as well as mental health for a wide range of highly acclaimed and grassroots organizations.

As personable as he is knowledgeable, Alex is personally invested in helping each program member find their personal pathway forward.




Melissa is a leader in crisis response and suicide prevention with 18 years of experience in program management.  She regularly shares her passion, expertise and knowledge of leading practice with community partners and stakeholders by supporting program development, training and providing consultation in crisis response and suicide prevention. 

Melissa sits on several advisory groups, including the TTC Suicide Advisory Group and The City of Toronto Department of Public Health Bridge Suicide Prevention Advisory Group.  During the past few years, Melissa also made an invaluable contribution to the formation of the Canada Suicide Prevention Service where she continues to contribute to the operations of the service, and is a member of the Clinical Advisory Committee.



Tanja is our Manager, ONTX and Caller Reassurance Programs at Distress Centres. She began her tenure with us in September 2010 as one of our compassionate & dedicated volunteers wanting to put her passion to support those in need into action, and over the years her positivity & genuine kindness has radiated throughout the halls in each of our offices.

Tanja has obtained both a Honours Bachelor of Science with a Specialist in Mental Health and a Masters in Social Work.  She's invested in making sure that no one struggles alone and is driven to make sure that everyone feels supported and cared for. 


To book a speaker please submit a request to Talia by filling out the form below and including:

  • Specifics of your event (short summary, location, date and audience details)

  • The topic(s) you're interested in exploring together

  • Your contact information

Name *