qualifications

I am a registered social worker (RSW), and have been a member in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers since 2014.

I have received my BSc.Hons. (Psychology Specialist) in 2010 from the University of Toronto and my Master’s of Social Work (Specialization: Health and Mental Health) in 2014 from the University of Toronto.

I have received my Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Qualification from Centre for Mindfulness Studies/University of Toronto in 2017.

EXPERIENCE

Since 2007 I have been involved in various mental health and health areas (specifically in mood disorders, addictions, complex mental health and cancer survivorship) including in community and hospital settings (e.g. CAMH, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Salvation Army, Toronto Distress Centre, Headway House, START Clinic for Mood and Anxiety Disorders).

Highlights of my my work as a mindfulness instructor, include leading mindfulness programs in partnership with the Ontario Government/Mindfulness in Public Safety, University of Toronto, Central LHIN, Princess Margaret Cancer Center, and the Law Union of Ontario.

Since 2010 I have been part of various research endeavours both in the areas of mood and anxiety disorders as well as psychosocial oncology. Please read further for a list of my selected publications.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS & POSTERS

2018 Abstract     Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology Flora P, Milosevic E, Soheilipour S, Maharaj N, Dirlea M, Parvin L, Matthew A, Kazanjian A, Bender JL. “I know how difficult it can be”: A closer look at characteristics and motivations of volunteer prostate cancer peer navigators. Oral Presentation at CAPO, May 30 –June 2, 2018, Toronto, Ontario.

2018 Abstract     Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology 

Bender JL, Flora PK, Milosevic E, Soheilipour S, Maharj N, Dirlea M, Pavin L, Matthew A, Kazanjian A. Using Digital Media to Increase the Reach of Volunteer Training: Outcomes and Lessons Learned from Implementing an Online/In-Person Training Program for Prostate Cancer Peer Navigators. Oral Presentation at CAPO, May 30 –June 2, 2018, Toronto, Ontario.

2018 Abstract     Centre for Behaivour Change Digital Health Conference

Bender JL, Flora PK, Milosevic E, Soheilipour S, Maharaj N, Dirlea M, Matthew A, Kazanjian. Training Older Adults to be Peer Navigators Using Digital Media: Evaluation of an Online Forum in a Peer Navigator Training Program. Centre for Behaivour Change Digital Health Conference, Feb 21-23, 2018, London, UK.

2018 Abstract      Society of Behavioural Medicine. Bender JL, Flora PK, Milosevic E, Soheilipour S, Maharaj N, Dirlea M, Parvin L, Matthew A, Kazanjian A. Acceptability and Effectiveness of an Online and In-Person Peer Navigator Training Program for Prostate Cancer Survivors and their Partners/Caregivers.

2017     Abstract       Canadian Cancer Research Conference

Kazanjian A, Soheilipour S, Flora P, Parvin L, Dirlea M, Maharaj N, Bender J. Navigating the prostate cancer journey with support from a trained peer navigator. 

2013    Peer-reviewed article     Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders & Treatment

Carter JJ, Gerbarg PL, Brown RP, Ware RS, D’ambrosio C, Anand L, Dirlea M,  Vermani M, Katzman MA. Multi-Component Yoga Breath Program for Vietnam Veteran Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Randomized Controlled Trial. 2(3):1-10

2012     Abstract        Support Care Cancer  

Jones MJ, Howell D, Olson KL,  Jiang H,  Catton CN, Catton P, Fleshner NE, McCready DR, Wong R, Pintilie M, Dirlea M, Krzyzanowska MK. Cancer-related fatigue in colorectal, breast and prostate cancer survivors.  Supportive Care Cancer (2012) 20 (Suppl 1):S1–S283

2012      Abstract          Current Oncology          

Jones MJ, Howell D, Olson KL,  Jiang H,  Catton CN, Catton P, Fleshner NE, McCready DR, Wong R, Pintilie M, Dirlea M, Krzyzanowska MK Persistent Fatigue in Post-Treatment Survivors: Are Fatigue Perceptions an Important Central Etiology. Current Oncology (2012) 19 (5): P004

2012     Conference Poster        American Society of Clinical Oncology

Jones MJ, Howell D, Olson KL, Jiang H, Catton CN, Catton P, Fleshner NE, McCready DR, Wong R, Pintilie M, Dirlea M, Krzyzanowska MK. Prevalence of cancer-related fatigue in a population-based sample of colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer survivors.

2011     Conference Poster        Canadian Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapies

Katzman M, Tsirgielis D, Mohamed M, Dirlea M, Copeland A, Vermani M, Cameron C, Khamba B, Szpindel I, Laidlaw B, Epstein I. Presentation of Anxiety Disorders and Their Relationship to Marital Dissatisfaction, Intolerance to Uncertainty, Anxiety Sensitivity and Anxiety Severity

2010     Conference Poster        Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Dirlea M , Tsirgielis D, Mohamed M, Vermani M, Cameron C, Epstein I, Iorio C, Katzman M. Relationships Between Perfectionism and Coping Strategies as Seen Through Measures of Anxiety Sensitivity, and Intolerance of Uncertainty

2010     Conference Poster        Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada

Dirlea M , Mohamed M, Tsirgielis D, Vermani M, Cameron C, Epstein I, Iorio C, Katzman M. The development of anxiety disorders: perfectionism, coping and intolerance of uncertainty

SELECTED AWARDS / SCHOLARSHIPS

2013     SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship

2012     FIFSW Master’s Level Entrance Scholarship

2012     Ontario Graduate Scholarship

2008     Queen Elizabeth II Aiming for the Top Scholarship (4 consecutive years)