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Brasch, Jennifer 1


Dr. Brasch is the Lead, Addiction Psychiatry, for the Mental Health & Addictions Program at St. Joseph’s Healthcare. She joined the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences and St. Joseph's Healthcare in July 1997 after completing a fellowship in Emergency Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She was Director of the Psychiatric Emergency Service (PES) from 2000 to 2014 and worked to develop the PES as a Clinical Teaching Unit for residents and medical students.

Dr. Brasch developed an interest in Concurrent Disorders while working in the PES, as she recognized the ever-increasing percentage of patients with both addiction and mental health issues. Her clinical work includes providing psychiatric care for clients in the Concurrent Disorders Clinic at St. Joe’s, working in an opioid agonist therapy clinic weekly and in the Rapid Access Addiction Medicine Clinic.

Dr. Brasch offers electives to medical students and residents interested in addictions and mental health. Dr. Brasch enjoys giving presentations and speaks frequently on various topics in addictions, mental illness, and suicide prevention.

Dr. Brasch is the President of the Canadian Society for Addiction Medicine (2020-2022). She is a member of the Peter Boris Centre for Addiction Research and involved in projects including an evaluation of the Concurrent Disorders Clinic and an examination of reports of head injuries by clients of the CD program.  She is also the Co-Chair of the Medical Advisory Committee for the Centre for Medical Cannabis Research at McMaster University.

Dr. Brasch’s work with suicidal patients in the PES led her to become interested in the recovery process after a suicide attempt.  She developed the Reasons to go on Living Project ( which seeks to better understand factors important in recovery after suicidal ideation or a suicide attempt.

Dr. Brasch became a Fellow of the Canadian Psychiatric Association in 2017.

Featured Publications

Sandhu HS; Arora A; Brasch J; Streiner DL. “Mental Health Stigma: Explicit and Implicit Attitudes of Canadian Undergraduate Students, Medical School Students, and Psychitrists.” The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 2018 July;1:1-9,

Chan, KJ; Kirkpatrick, HB; Brasch JS. “The Reasons to Go On Living Project:  Stories of Recovery after a Suicide Attempt.” Qualitative Research in Psychology, 14:3, 350-373. Apr 26, 2017. 

Kirkpatrick, HB; Brasch, JS; Chan, KJ; Singh Kang, S. “A Narrative Web-Based Study of Reasons to Go on Living after a Suicide Attempt:  Positive Impacts of the Mental Health System.” J Mental Health Addiction Nursing Vol 1(1):e3-e9;February 2, 2017.

Boursiquot, P., Brasch, JS. Depression, Euphoria and Anger in the Emergency Department. Clinical Manual of Emergency Psychiatry 2nd edition edited by Riba M., American Psychiatric Press Inc., Washington DC. pg 83-104, 2016. 


  • BSc, Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, 1987
  • MD, Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, 1991
  • PGY1, University of Toronto, 1991-1992
  • PGY2-5, McMaster University, 1992-1996
  • Fellowship, Medical University of South Carolina, 1996-1997
  • FRCPC, Psychiatry, Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada, 1996
  • Certificate in Opioid Dependence Treatment, CAMH, Toronto, 2013

Research Areas

  • Qualitative research into the recovery process after a suicide attempt
  • Improving care for persons with Concurrent Disorders

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