Health Minister Maureen MacDonald announced today, June 1, the co-chairs for an oversight committee which will guide the right decisions in developing a mental health strategy for the province. “I am pleased that Dr. Michael Ungar and Joyce McDonald have agreed to co-chair this committee and use their experience and expertise to provide direction for a mental health strategy for Nova Scotia,” said Ms. MacDonald. “The development of this strategy helps fulfill a commitment by government to revamp mental health and addictions services across the province. This is an important part of our plan to provide better health care for families in every region.” Mr. Ungar has been a social worker and family therapist for more than 25 years, working with children and families in child welfare, mental health, educational and correctional settings. As professor at the School of Social Work, at Dalhousie University in Halifax, he leads an international team of resilience researchers that spans more than a dozen countries on six continents. In addition to his research and writing interests, Mr. Ungar maintains a small family therapy practice and participates in a committee working on a national mental health strategy. Joyce McDonald worked for the Colchester East branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association for 24 years, including as executive director. She has a background in psychiatric nursing and is working as patient rights advisor for the Empowerment Connection. Ms. McDonald has developed supportive housing programs, social and recreational programs, employment programs and peer led groups. The committee will develop a strategy, a consultation process and monitor progress. The co-chair positions are voluntary and the remainder of the committee members will be named over the next few weeks.