Our Teams

About the YMHC Directors

All names are listed in alphabetical order.

Colin Lyons

Hi my name is Colin. Born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, I am a recent graduate of McMaster University’s Sociology (Specialist Option) program with minors in Mental Health and Addictions and History. Currently, I am working in retail branch banking as well as pursuing enrolment in a Consecutive Teacher Education program. My role with YMHC is Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors. 

Sheryl Boswell

Sheryl Boswell is the Executive Director and Founder of Youth Mental Health Canada, a registered charitable nonprofit organization focused on youth, family, and community engagement for mental health education, support, advocacy, and change. 

Sheryl’s journey to YMHC began in her hometown of Hamilton. As a teenager, she worked with young people with disabilities, went to university to continue her studies in the field, and after university, lived in Zimbabwe for three years and worked as a Special Education teacher.

In Canada, Sheryl has taught elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and adult education students. She is also a trained Life Skills Coach and a Career Counselor. 

Sheryl has been a mental health advocate for almost 20 years. She has contributed to change in education to support students with mental health disabilities. She has provided advocacy support for students across Canada. 

Sheryl has written five mental wellness workbooks, produced a national youth mental health documentary film with 150 students from three provinces and a national youth mental health film contest, Directing Change Canada, created the largest online mental health platform in Canada and the largest youth mental health social media platforms internationally. Sheryl works with many international suicidologists, experts, and organizations, and is a well-regarded expert and collaborator in the field. 

Sheryl has been an active member of the American Association of Suicidology, International Coalition for Addressing and Understanding Suicide Experiences, and the International Association of Youth Mental Health. She has presented at numerous conferences across Canada and internationally and provided youth mental health workshops and training courses on a wide variety of topics for schools, community organizations, professionals, and families. 

Sheryl is a suicide loss survivor. The experience of loss has informed her understanding of suicide experiences and suicide prevention. 

About the YMHC Staff Members

All names are listed in alphabetical order.

Kaitlyn Boudreault

Kaitlyn joined YMHC in October 2023 and has made a significant impact to the team since. During the past several months, she has coordinated the donation of over 100k worth of mental health resources to libraries, school boards, universities, Indigenous organizations and local GTHA community organizations. She supports YMHC with the coordination of content for YMHC’s social media pages and website. She graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and is the proud recipient of the Matthew Helmer Community Award for her significant advocacy and community work in the mental health field. Having previously worked in administrative and marketing roles for educational and wellness organizations, she hopes to use her educational background, work experience, and knowledge in the fields of mental health, psychology, and education, to help further YMHC’s mission.

Lauryn Bruzzese

My name is Lauryn Bruzzese. I am a passionate individual dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of others. I hold an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from McMaster University, which reflects my academic commitment to understanding human behaviour and societal dynamics. Currently, I'm on track to graduate in 2024 with a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University. I am focused and motivated in my pursuit of a career in counselling.

My journey with Youth Mental Health Canada (YMHC) began in 2022 when I started as a volunteer. Since then, I've actively contributed my time and skills, taking on various roles within this organization. This experience has deepened my understanding of mental health issues and fueled my commitment to creating positive change on both individual and community levels.

In addition to my academic and volunteer pursuits, I hold two certifications in Yoga Therapy for depression and anxiety, showcasing my holistic approach to mental well-being. I believe in the power of integrating mind and body for comprehensive mental health support.

Beyond my professional and academic commitments, I find joy in outdoor activities, particularly hiking with my dog, practicing yoga as a means of self-care, as well as cooking and trying different cuisines.

As a member of the board, I contribute my empathetic nature and enthusiasm to support individuals in overcoming their struggles and helping them grow and evolve into a place of hope.

Rita Bruno-Gallo

Hi! I’m Rita, owner, graphic designer and print manager for Rita B Designs. I have over 16 years of experience in graphic design and print.

I have a passion for design, print and paper, foods of the world, travel, coffee, oh and cats, I love cats! 🙂

Before venturing into the world of freelance, I worked for printing companies both big and small in Hamilton and Toronto.

There I learned everything from working in reception, customer service, accounting, designing, pre-press, printing, finishing and delivery. I became an experienced user in Adobe Lightroom, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat, creating anything from logos, to postcards and colour correcting and retouching. In addition to design capabilities, I gained expertise in pre-press, production and finishing of various types of printing projects.

Years later, I decided to take my business on the road to travel, meet new people and get inspired! I travelled from Canada, to the US, to Europe and South East Asia for 13 months before returning to Hamilton, where I call home.

Now I dedicate my work to connecting to my community and help businesses and entrepreneurs get the designs and materials they need to thrive on an ongoing bases.
I can be found working on my lap-top in my little corner home office with a garden view, a quaint coffee shop downtown, or visiting my friends and clients in Niagara, Toronto, or anywhere in between.
I continue to grow my skills and knowledge in graphic design and I work closely with my print partners to get great quality at the best value.

Tracey Bazso

My name is Tracey Bazso (she/they), and I have been with YMCH since 2020. I am a Master’s Degree student in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University, and I am a C.C.C-Q. I graduated from university with a dual degree in Biblical and Theological studies, and Honours Social Work, and a certificate in Addiction Counselling. Trauma-informed care is a passion of mine for those dealing with mental health challenges. Growing up I struggled with my own mental health challenges and did not feel like I had anyone to talk to, which is where my passion for youth mental health came from. Having lived experience with mental illness has given me a unique perspective in my professional role in the mental health field. I am also queer, hard of hearing and have multiple disabilities, which gives me an additional perspective on why a wraparound and holistic approach to mental health is so important.

About the YMHC Contactors

All names are listed in alphabetical order.

Alstra Solutions Ltd.

We at Youth Mental Health Canada (YMHC) are immensely grateful for the exceptional support and pro bono hours contributed by Alstra Solutions. Their dedication to helping us embrace the digital era has been invaluable, enhancing our website, IT systems, and automating our processes.

Alstra Solutions offers a comprehensive range of online solutions that extend beyond website design. They specialize in corporate website design, search engine optimization, online advertising, and traffic intelligence data analysis.

For charities, nonprofit organizations and public service projects, Alstra provides substantial discounts and even free website hosting for extended periods. Visit Alstra's website https://alstra.ca for more details.

Thank you, Alstra Solutions, for being a part of our journey and helping us make a significant impact in youth mental health.