Meet the Volunteers Behind the TBTB Executive Team
DILNAZ GARDA, PRESIDENT
Dilnaz Garda, a high school teacher with the York Regional District School Board, is dedicated to sharing her personal experience with mental illness in the hopes of encouraging others to share their stories and join in the movement of normalizing discussion around mental health. In 2016, tragedy struck her family when Toronto Police Constable Darius Garda, brother of Dilnaz, died by suicide while dealing with PTSD and other mental health issues. As the current President of TBTB, Dilnaz works to make a sustainable cultural shift in the area of mental health and well-being for TPS officers/members and their families.
KRISTAL JONES, VICE PRESIDENT
Kristal Jones is a Royal LePage Sales Representative in Stratford, On. Offering her education, experiences and resources to TBTB as the Vice President of this chapter,Kristal is determined to make a difference for the officers
and civilian members that generously make sacrifices to protect and support the well-being of others as well as the people who support them, their families. It was the many experiences Kristal’s husband an experienced Officer in his 23rd
year of service with the Toronto Police that inspired her to build a platform where
others could share their stories and have a network of support amongst other
Toronto police service families.
Dr. Vivien Lee, Clinical Advisor
Dr. Vivien Lee, C.Psych., earned her Ph.D. from Western University and has extensive experience with diverse client populations, including: adults, adolescents, depression, anxiety, trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, and substance use. Since completing her residency, Dr. Lee has worked in the Psychological Trauma Program and Work, Stress, Health Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
Dr. Lee also works with military veterans and first responders (e.g., police, paramedics, firefighters, dispatchers, correctional officers) and is a certified clinician trainer for the Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) program developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and Department of National Defense (DND) and adapted for first responder services. She is registered with Medavie Blue Cross to work with members of Veteran Affairs Canada (VAC) and the Department of National Defence (DND).
Dr. Lee works with adults and adolescents and is registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. She is a member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), as well as the Ontario Psychological Association (OPA), for which she served on the Board of Directors from 2008 to 2011.
JUDY SEBASTIAN, DIRECTOR OF EDUCATIONAL EVENTS
Judy Sebastian is a social worker for the Toronto Military Family Resource Centre where she supports military families who are experiencing deployment, separation, reunion and reintegration. Through her experience supporting military members and their families she has developed a wide range of skills, resources and connections within the military, first responder and mental health communities. She is the spouse of a military veteran and currently serving Toronto Police officer.
Judy reached out to Toronto Beyond The Blue when it first launched because she was looking to connect with a community that understands the unique life challenges of a first responder family. She began as a volunteer and was able to meet other families and spouses who bring a wide range of experiences, knowledge and connections to the TBTB family. As the Director of Educational Events she hopes to draw on her personal experiences and connections within the TBTB family to provide events that provide information, knowledge, resources and a sense of community.
CYNDI PELECH, DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL EVENTS
Cyndi Pelech had been a member of Toronto Beyond The Blue for one year when the Yonge Streetattack occurred. She reached out to the team and other group members to organize a gesture of
love and support to each of TPS's divisions, encouraging many members to participate and expresstheir gratitude. It was during that time she realized that her desire to support officers, their
families and to strengthen the connection between police families, could be met through such
initiatives and utilizing her love of organizing social events. Her previous work, specializing in
children’s mental health, autism and developmental disabilities has always made charitable work
and fundraising a priority for her, and joining Toronto Beyond The Blue has been a perfect fit.