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About Dr. Pauline Lysak

Hi, I'm Dr. Pauline Lysak

I offer people tools to improve their own mental health, on their own terms

I've been at this a while…

I obtained my medical degree with honors in research at the University of Alberta. I completed my psychiatry residency at McMaster University with additional work at the University of Toronto. I later completed the prestigious Advanced Health Leadership Executive Program at Rotman. A few things I've done:

  • I headed the psycho-oncology service at the Grand River Cancer Centre in Kitchener, ON.
  • I redeveloped and ran a program for complex psychiatric inpatients at Homewood Health Centre, a nationally renowned mental health and addiction facility in Guelph, ON.
  • I was Site Lead for Mental Health at the Sturgeon Community Hospital in St. Albert, AB and¬†worked with the St. Albert & Sturgeon Primary Care Network.
  • I was Division Chief of General Outpatient Psychiatry at Victoria Mental Health Centre.
  • I've been active in medical student and resident training, and given many presentations to a wide range of public and professional audiences.

For over 10 years, I've also had a thriving outpatient general psychiatry private practice, treating patients with a range of mood, anxiety, trauma, and comorbid physical illnesses. 

Psychiatry is not just about medications

What makes this such an exciting area to work in is the breadth of tools available to patients. Sure, psychiatric medications are a part of my practice. And as a physician, I rely on a broad knowledge of physical health conditions, e.g., vitamin deficiencies, effects of other illnesses, and medications used to treat them. 

But it's so much more. I was trained in over a dozen types of psychotherapy and continue to incorporate new techniques. I love to help people learn new coping and problem-solving skills, and different ways of seeing themselves and their world.

Better mental health is not about a magic pill but building a strong, multi-faceted foundation for each individual as a whole.

I don't have all the answers. But I can listen and use what I know to better understand what you're experiencing and why. Once I know that, I have many tools I can offer you. I can explain why each tool may help and how to apply it. But only you can decide to use it.

I can't fix the mental health system.

I can help you find what you need.

In BC, tens of thousands don't get the mental health help they need and deserve.

We don't have nearly enough mental health resources. We also use those we have poorly. I can't help with the first problem. But I can help with the second.

Some people are too sick or overwhelmed to actively participate in their own care. But many can. I know that with a modest amount of education and time, it can make a real difference. System resources are used more effectively. You get better faster. Your family, friends, and colleagues benefit. Everyone wins.

I spend most of my time providing care for patients of my practice. But that only helps so many people. That's why I create tools and resources like those found on this website to share with a wider audience. And why I keep fighting for a more fair, effective, and compassionate mental health system in BC.

Very Important: Do not try to treat yourself!

This website contains general information about mental health problems and treatments.

It will not necessarily apply to your unique circumstances.

This information is intended to help you start a conversation with your physician or other members of your care team, so that together you can come up with a treatment plan that is right for you.

Do not, under any circumstances, start any new treatment, or discontinue an existing one, based just on what you read on any website, including this one!

You should know...

This is the only couch in my office. It holds Kleenex.

And yes, my husband made a bobblehead of me. And I have a "Tickle Me Freud."

Let's figure out your next step...

It's time for better mental health.