Our Mental Health Forum is an open and honest discussion about mental health. It is important to increase awareness and facilitate discussions surrounding Mental Health within our communities. This year’s theme is Family Stressors featuring Speakers, including Jim VanDusen, Cordelia Clarke Julien, Rene Soetens and Elise Arbic from Lakeridge Health as well as Community Organizations, including META Vocational Services Inc., Authentic Self Counselling Services, Durham Mental Health Services, After Breast Cancer, AIDS Committee of Durham Region and other organizations, showcasing Resources available to the public.

Our speakers will focus on day-to-day stressors affecting families and teach community Members ways to cope and overcome challenges. Community Members can listen to our speakers, ask questions, interact with our exhibitors and enjoy light refreshments. After visiting our exhibitors attendees can fill out an entry ballot to win some great prizes.

Elise has worked at Lakeridge Health for the last six years with a passion for promotion health and well-being amongst team members. She completed her Bachelor of Kinesiology from McMaster University before going on to complete a post-graduate certificate in Workplace Wellness and Health Promotion from Centennial College. Elise believes in continued professional development, so achieved her Masters of Health Studies from Athabasca University and is currently working towards a Teaching and Training Adults Certificate from Durham College. 

Jim has lived in Ajax since 2006 with his wife and 3 daughters. Jim owns and operates the automotive dealership VanDusen Chevrolet Buick GMC in Ajax. Graduating from the University of Toronto with an Economics Degree, he worked with General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) for 18 years and moved to the retail automotive space in 2008. Jim has always had a strong community focus. He truly believes that “giving back” to our local community is an obligation on part of businesses and enjoys striving to make our community better every day. He is known for his various levels of community support. He is a Director on the Ajax Pickering Hospital Foundation Board and is an active member of the Ajax Pickering Board of Trade’s Government Relations Committee. In 2015, VanDusen Chevrolet Buick GMC proudly was awarded the Board of Trade – Business Excellence Award – Large Business of the Year (50+ Employees). In 2017, while maintaining his dealership in Ajax, Jim assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer for the NewRoads Automotive Group in York Region, where he is responsible for the overall operations of 7 additional dealership.

Cordelia Clarke - Julien

Change Management Specialist


How to identify & manage family stressors

55 Harwood Avenue South Ajax ON L1S 2H8

Main Branch, Rotary Room

Jim VanDusen
Chief Operating Officer

New Roads Automotive Group & VanDusen Chevrolet Buick GMC

Impact of your health on a family


Rene Soetens was born in the Netherlands and immigrated here in 1953 with his parents. He has resided in Ajax since 1956. He was a member of Ajax Municipal Council 1980-1988. Member of Parliament 1988-1993. Member of Rotary Club of Ajax and a director since 1977. A boy scout Leader and district commissioner for 15 years. Chair and board member of Ajax Municipal Housing Corporation 12 years. Member and chair of Rouge Valley Ajax Health Centre Foundation 8 years.

He is the President of Con-Test, a company that employs 45 people across Canada and travels to various international locations to assist companies and health research facilities in meeting their regulatory requirements. Served on the board and President of US based Controlled Environmental Testing Assoc. Rene is married with June and together they have 3 daughters, 5 grandchildren and 3 great grandchild. In January of this year they lost their daughter Emily to the Fentanyl opioid crisis rampant throughout North America.

Change is good.  Change is grief. Change is growth.  That is the mantra of Cordelia Clarke Julien, a Change Management Specialist with over 20+ years of change and transformation experience.  As a self-profess change agent, Cordelia is well-known for her enthusiastic embrace of life changes. Whether as a professional public speaker, or through her life-change coaching sessions, Cordelia helps people to find the change and transformation they desperately seek. Using change enhancement techniques, Cordelia through Elevasyon successfully works with people to change and transform their respective worlds by providing strategic pathways to achieve goals and objectives.  

Grounded in a growth mindset principle, her work has resulted in personal and professional transformations that promote the self in awareness, assessment and advancement.  Through the application of a solutions focused lens, she has helped many rise to relevance. If you are ready for that change, DM her on twitter at @myelevasyon.

Elise Arbic
Healthy Workplace Manager

​​Lakeridge Health

Familial Stress

Rene Soetens

Former Ajax MP & Rotary Club Director

President, CON-TEST

Impact of Opioid Addiction on a family

(The Emily Soetens Story)

Forum Speakers:

Together We Are Stronger®

Charity # 802775791RR0001