Mission Statement:

To provide exemplary care through leading edge and specialized treatments in the field of mental health.

Vision Statement:

We strive to model an all-encompassing approach to recovery. We focus on people as a whole – mind, body, and spirit.

Values:

Creativity in a merge of leading edge, evidence based and holistic care interventions. We are responsive to the changing needs of our clients.
Acceptance of everyone’s existing struggles and obstacles. We know that people think and feel the way they do for very good reasons.
Compassion drives our highly skilled team to serve our clients with empathy, respect and dignity.
Innovation to improve engagement, integration, and quality of care.
Recovery in that each person can enter and experience the journey of healing and transformation.
Collaboration with each client, recognizing that all people can determine and achieve their goals.

Meet the Team!

Joe Ann Kortman B.A., B. Ed, Executive Director

Joe Ann Kortman has a keen interest in mental health and helping those around her. She started her career as a Secondary School Teacher and taught in Australia, England, South Africa and finally her home country, Canada. She then expanded her career working for the local government in her home town. After experiencing PTSD, she focused her career goals on giving back to people. Joe Ann shared that her goals are to reach as many people as possible and to provide them with the best quality of care. She is excited to be able to offer  EMDR Treatment as it successfully treated her PTSD, and also having a holistic approach to mental health issues. Joe Ann strongly believes you can get better.

Our Team

You can get better, and our professional team is here for you. Our staff includes a  Physician , Psychiatrist,  2 Registered Nurses, Registered Psychologist, Registered Psychotherapist, Register Master Social Worker, Registered Social Worker, and Registered Addiction Counsellors

Staff (Continued)

Roisin McIlwee MSW, RSW

Clinical Director

Roisin is a Master of Social Work, a Registered Clinical Social Worker (BA, Hons., MSW, RSW) and Psychotherapist. She is a member in good standing with Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, as well as the Ontario Association of Social Workers. Roisin is our trained EMDR therapist and our Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapist.

Her love for the magic of healing and recovery cultivated a long list of post graduate trainings, with hundreds of hours of post-Masters training in modalities such as Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Certified Sex Addiction Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Psychodynamic Theory and Body Work as well as the Gottman Method. Roisin also spends countless hours researching interventions such as Cognitive Processing Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Humanistic approaches – including Client Centred, Gestalt methods and Existential Therapy. She incorporates holistic or integrative methods when needed, and utilizes evidence based protocols when needed. The priority is always ensuring that Roisin delivers what would best help her client.

Roisin believes that the body holds all of our memories and pain – AND – it also holds the key to doors that appear to be closed. Once the mind has been trained to rest, Roisin’s passion is to facilitate the restorative connection between mind and body.

During her travels to the Himalaya’s of India, Roisin received over 60 hours of training in the art of yoga and meditation where she deepened her skills of restoring the mind and body – a practice she incorporates daily into her own life.

When people experience things such as trauma, loss, abuse, neglect, or invalidation of any form, it can have a tremendous impact on both the inside and the outside. It can seem as though things feel stuck somehow, confusing, disconnected, lonely or unfulfilled. It can also seem that the best attempts to make, improve or repair relationships don’t have the outcome one is striving towards.

Roisin works in a gentle, compassionate and non-judgmental way to help restore balance and connection to the mind and body. Once balance is restored, relationships – whether it be with self or others – begin to improve. Restoring connection creates a life of fulfilment and meaning.

Dr. Darren Ezer

M.D., M.B.A., C.C.F.P., D.A.A.P.M., F.R.C.P.C.

Ketamine Specialist

Dr. Ezer is board certified in Anesthesiology (FRCP) and family medicine (CCFP). He completed his medical education at the Ottawa University Medical Program in Canada. Dr. Ezer holds a staff position in Anesthesiology at the William Osler Health Centre. He has furthered his training in Interventional Pain Management and has been approved by the College of Physicians and Surgeons to treat chronic pain. Dr. Ezer has been working with Ketamine in drug resistant depression, PTSD, anxiety and addiction for over 2 years.

Laura Boyko – Clinical Social Work/Therapist, BA, MSW, MEd(c), ACC

 

For 20+ years Laura has worked with a variety of issues and concerns around mental health, relationships and challenging life circumstances. She enjoys working with individuals to manage life transitions and reaching goals, and couples to reignite their love for each other. Laura’s expertise is: mental health, addictions, youth, leadership, grief/loss and employment.

Whatever may be challenging you right now, know that you are not alone. Laura will help with this step to care for your mental health and be your very best version of you. Laura uses a variety of counselling methods (CBT/SFT/mindfulness) that matches clients needs. We are excited to have Laura onboard at Victoria Wellness.

Kelsey Phillips

Addictions Counsellor

Born and raised in Southwestern Ontario, Kelsey moved to the Peterborough area and graduated from the Drug and Alcohol Addictions Counsellor program at Sir Sandford Fleming College in 2014. As an addict living in recovery, Kelsey brings both an informative educational and lived experience background to VW. With her passionate ambition surrounding harm reduction and a client centred approach, she’s helped guide clients with their journey through recovery while demonstrating empathy, insight, and compassion.

Developed and facilitated by Kelsey, the 5-week Addiction Recovery Sponsorship Program at VW assists clients living in active addiction work through the recovery process by covering topics such as stages of addiction and harm reduction strategies, while helping individuals gain the necessary tools to transition home after program and establish a relapse prevention plan.

Her charismatic and lively sense of humor helps reassure clients of the comfort and warmth with their stay and progress at VW. When she’s not developing new ways to widen the recovery world, Kelsey’s interests include napping, hockey, and anything that’s loud, fast and with a motor.

Philip M. Leadbeater SB, ST. J, CD, BSc, OT Reg (Ont), BSc Pysch.

Philip holds a Bachelor of Science Degree, in Psychology, from Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a Gerontology Graduate Certificate, from Loyalist College, in Belleville, Ontario, and a Geriatric Certificate Accredited by McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario. Additionally, he served as a Medic in the Canadian Armed Forces Medical Services for 18 years.

Over the past nine (9) years, I have undergone advanced training in Biostimulation using microcurrent to treat my clients. I have training in Cranial Suture Release, Post-Concussion Therapy, Auricular Treatment, Certified Scar Release Therapy, Microcurrent Point Stimulation and Vagal Nerve Stimulation (Approved by Health Canada for Covid-19 ARDS). I am an Assistant Educator (4 years) with the Centre for Pain and Stress Research, in Toronto, who are the developers of the Dolphin Neurostim device.

At Victoria Wellness, we understand the importance of mental health. The use of microcurrent has been proven to aid in the successful treatment of anxiety, depression, PTSD, insomnia and substance abuse by encouraging the body to switch from the upregulated Sympathetic mode (Fight or Flight) to the healing parasympathetic mode (Rest and Digest). A low vagal tone indicates that your Vagus Nerve isn’t functioning as it should. This may lead to a heightened Stress Response which becomes chronic, possibly leading to depression, anxiety, gut issues and inflammation within the body. Researchers discovered a positive feedback loop between high vagal tone, positive emotions and good physical health. The more you increase your vagal tone, the more your physical and mental health will improve (and vice versa). The vagal response reduces STRESS!

I look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate the power of microcurrent and its positive affect on your body and mind to place you into a better frame of mind to absorb the teachings you’ll undertake at Victoria Wellness & Residential Mental Health Centre.

Trevor Fehr
After 18 years serving Trevor was medically released from the military after being diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Alcohol Addiction.
After several years of talk therapy and various prescriptions, he was introduced to neurofeedback training. He found the changes so dramatic and beneficial that he decided to train others to help them live full, happy lives free from anxiety, depression and many other mental health constraints. By training others in neurofeedback he hopes to spread joy and combat the issues that plague the human experience.
Caitlin Burkholder  – B.A
Caitlin is a recent psychology graduate from Trent University with a passion for working in the mental health field. Having most recently worked with adolescents in a group home setting, Caitlin is experienced in client support, crisis intervention, and group facilitation.
Caitlin provides support in the evenings and overnight to create a relaxed environment after days of treatment at Victoria Wellness. If clients wake up at night, Caitlin can be counted on to listen and talk to, and enjoys helping clients get the rest they need.
In her spare time Caitlin can be found enjoying the trails in the Kawarthas, curled up on the couch with a good book, playing with her cat, or watching reality television.

Andrea Connell, Eco Therapist

Andrea Connell has been practicing holistic earth-based therapies for over 30 years. Andrea is a certified Permaculturist, and 25-year Reiki Master. She has studied many natural healing therapies including herbalism, aromatherapy, cranial sacral therapy, polarity therapy, shamanism and meditation. Andrea’s healing approach is firmly rooted in a deep love of the natural world. Andrea believes that all healing paths will strongly benefit from building an intimate relationship with the natural world around us.

Andrea is a highly intuitive and compassionate therapist with a unique ability to bring together a wide bevy of information to co-create healing stories relevant to each individual. In partnership with the Clinical Team at Victoria Wellness, Andrea passionately offers a wide variety of options to engage the mind, heart, body and soul toward a well-balanced and stable healing outcome.

Patti White R.N., B.A. CPMHN(C) (specialty certification x 20 years)

Patti brings 35 years of mental health experience which consisted of all specialty areas. In the last 10 years she was employed as a Disability Specialist at the University of Toronto. This entailed working with students and faculty to facilitate accommodations for students with a mental health or physical disability in accordance to the AODA and the Human Rights Code.
Patti is looking forward to working with the staff and clients at Victoria Wellness.

Executive Chef Brien McGurgin

Brien, our Executive Chef, has an intensive background in the hospitality field, he has accumulated over 45 years of cooking and effectively running kitchens.

Brien has worked for over 22 years with the Holiday Inn’s of Canada, where he learned the trade at the young age of 16. He has worked all over Canada including Winnipeg, Toronto, Peterborough, Kingston, and now, Gores Landing.  While working in Peterborough he was the Head Chef at Viamede Resort for 10 years.

Brien is a Red Seal Chef who studied at George Brown College in Toronto. Some of the highlights of his career have been cooking for celebrities and Royalty. Brien makes amazing food and will create food suitable for any food restrictions or allergies.

John O’Leary, Red Seal Chef

John  is a Northumberland born and raised Red Seal Chef with over 25 years of experience in culinary management throughout the province.
John is the owner of Everyday Chef’s Best, a premier catering company located in Cobourg Ontario.
With a background in nutrition, Chef John’s fresh and healthy approach to cooking compliments the dietary needs and vision of Victoria Wellness.
A husband and father of three, John is an avid musician and an active member in local sports both as a player and coach in hockey and baseball