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We are not a service provider. To access support services, please visit our directory. If you are in distress, call or text 9-8-8.

Atlas is one part of a much larger picture. Our mandate is to increase knowledge creation, knowledge sharing, and collaboration, and as such we are part of a wide-ranging, extended community – what we call our Network. We aim to maintain and grow our existing network groups and we encourage new relationships to form in response to system needs.

As an independent intermediary team, we proudly serve Canadian Veterans and their Families alongside other national organizations. Atlas also works with international organizations in a global effort to enhance the mental health of those who have served as well as their Families.

For more information about who we are and what we do, click on the video linked below.


We develop and maintain partnerships to advance research that is meaningful to Veterans and their Families. These partnerships create and mobilize practical resources across the country. No Veteran or Family member should be without supports, no matter where they are in Canada. By working with other groups across the country, we can reduce duplication and enhance alignment across the broader mental health and well-being system.

Lived experience team

Our work focuses amplifying the voices of Veterans and Families with lived experience, and those who study and support them. We have a team, who brings their personal experiences as a Veteran or Veteran Family member to Atlas Institute.

Strategic Reference Group

The Strategic Reference Group exchanges expertise and knowledge with the staff of Atlas. The reference group’s membership includes Veterans, Veteran Families, service providers and researchers.

Chair: Fardous Hosseiny, President and CEO, Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families


  • Candace Bell, MIS
  • Dani Alarie, Social Worker, Nova Scotia Operational Stress Injury Clinic
  • Deborah Norris, BHEc, MSc, PhD, Mount Saint Vincent University
  • J Don Richardson, MD, FRCPC, St. Joseph’s OSI Clinic/MacDonald Franklin OSI Research Centre
  • Jennifer Bourassa, Captain (Retired) RSW, MSW, British Columbia Operational Stress Injury Clinic
  • Lori Buchart , PhD
  • Oliver Thorne, Veterans Transition Network
  • Sydney Smee, PhD
  • Tanis Giczi
  • Tarik Kadri, Captain (Retired) RSW, MSW
  • Vicky Lavoie, PhD, Psychologist/Planning officer, Programs and Research, Quebec City Operational Stress Injury (OSI) Clinic
  • Walter Callaghan, PhD candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto

Note: The names listed include only the individuals who have provided explicit consent to be included on the Atlas website. The list is not comprehensive or inclusive of all current or past reference group members.

The Strategic Reference Group offers Atlas insight on specific initiatives and priority areas from their unique points of view, while also serving as ambassadors on behalf of our organization.

The purpose of the Strategic Reference Group is to:

  • Offer diverse forms of experience and expertise in Veteran mental health promotion, research, practice and policy to support the betterment of Veteran and first responder mental health.
  • Guide the work at Atlas by creating structures for input, feedback, and strategic advice from multi-disciplinary and diverse groups.
  • Hold dedicated space for knowledge exchange related to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related mental health conditions based on best practices and promising research evidence.
  • Encourage and support collaboration related to Veteran PTSD and mental health.
  • Expand the reach and presence of Atlas by acting as ambassadors across Canada.

Communities of practice

In addition to the Strategic Reference Group, we have established or belong to various communities of practice that bring together partners and stakeholders who are united by a common interest to share information and improve practice on specific topics (e.g. the Canadian Moral Injury Research Community of Practice, the Canadian Military Sexual Trauma Community of Practice) and/or population groups.

We strive to deliver stakeholder engagement well, and with purpose, based on best practices in engagement. We are guided by common principles, actions and implementation approaches that directly involve people with lived and living experience. We prioritize building these communities of Veterans, Families and mental health professionals into the governance and functioning of our network.


At the Atlas Institute, we engage in roundtables to better understand the needs of our communities, coordinate our efforts effectively and avoid duplication of work. In 2022, in partnership with the Canadian Institute on Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT), we launched a roundtable that aims to enhance our collective understanding of PTSD and related mental health conditions by tapping into the extensive expertise available across Canada.

Intended outcomes

Our common purpose is to improve the well-being of Canadian Veterans and their Families.

Through our networks we build pathways for developing new knowledge and sharing information with and between Veterans, Veteran Family Members, service providers, researchers and the public that will improve the mental wellness of Canadian Veterans and their Families.

Reference group intranet

Access our member-only space where reference group members can get relevant agendas, calendars and documents.

Available in English Only