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How Can UBC Reduce Men’s Suicide?

June 13, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm


In Canada, men are 3x more likely to die by suicide than women. How can we help to improve suicide prevention among our friends and peers? Hosted by our very own member of the Men’s Health Research team, Matt Sha will guide our event along with our expert panelists to open up discussions on how we can break down barriers for men’s mental health challenges!

Brunch will also be included!

Event Agenda:

10:00am – Land Acknowledgement, Welcome, & Brunch

10:30am – Discussion with Panelists

11:30am – Q&A with Panelists and Closing


Freeman Woolnough has been supporting student mental health at post-secondary institutions for 15 years, through one-on-one counselling, workshops, and trainings. As somebody who is passionate about men’s mental health, Freeman developed the CHAMP (Connecting Health Attitudes about Masculinity) Program at Queen’s University, and is very excited to take part in this panel. Outside of his work as a Counsellor in Residence at UBC, Freeman enjoys singing in a choir, hiking, competing in triathlons, and spending time with his partner.

Dr. Marv Westwood is Professor Emeritus, Counselling Psychology, UBC. His major areas of teaching and research focused on development, teaching and delivery of group-based approaches for counselling clients, and men’s psychological health. He developed the UBC Veterans Transition Program (VTP) to help promote recovery from war related stress injuries for which he received both the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals in 2005 and 2013. In 2012 he established the Centre for Group Counselling and Trauma and is currently Senior Consultant to the Centre).

Tim Laidler participated in a tour of duty in the Kandahar area of Afghanistan as a convoy escort troop, crew commander, acting station second-in-command, an RWS gunner, and an RG-31 driver. After he returned to Canada he eventually discovered the VTP and was blown away by the change it made in his life. It spurred him to complete a Masters of Counselling at UBC, during which time he spent thousands of volunteer hours creating the VTN, a non-profit organization helping Canadian Veterans nationwide. Today, Tim is the Executive Director of the Centre for Group Counselling & Trauma and focuses his work on supporting the needs of veterans in the community.

Elliott Gee is a 5th year undergraduate student at UBC and has worked in several different capacities interacting with suicidality. Elliott has worked on the education-side of mental health, by developing and running programs relating to suicide intervention through the Alma Mater Society’s Peer Support service. In addition to this, Elliott has worked as a Senior Residence Advisor for UBC, coordinates a 2SLGBTQ+ youth peer support service, and is an active crisis service responder for the Crisis Centre of BC. All roles in which he responds to individuals experiencing suicide at varying levels of risk. Elliott comes to the panel to speak about reducing male suicide from both a front-line responder perspective and male student perspective.


Matt Sha is a Research Assistant at the UBC Men’s Health Research Program with a BSc in Integrated Sciences (Human Diseases & Data Analysis) from the University of British Columbia. His research interests include men’s mental health, health promotion, and photovoice. He is committed to advancing men’s health outcomes through innovative and collaborative research.

Link to Register: