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Kelly McNaughton

Title: Program Manager, Peer Support and Trauma Response Program
Designations: MSW, RSW, CTS, PhD Student
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 401683
Alternate Email:
Other Positions: Organizational Lead, Mental Health

Research Positions

Project Investigator, SickKids Research Institute


Kelly McNaughton is the Program Manager for the Peer Support and Trauma Response Program at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), where she led the development and implementation of the program which currently comprises over 100 peers. This is the first hospital-wide peer program in Canada, which includes physicians, providing individual support as well as trauma response following second victim events and critical incidents.

She has specialized training in critical incident stress and trauma response, holding certification as a trauma specialist with the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists, and is an instructor under the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. In addition, Kelly has a practice dedicated to first responders with PTSD, where she practices EMDR and Cognitive Processing Therapy.

As a trauma manager with an international EAP, she was responsible for oversight of national and global trauma services. She was a clinical lead for the company in New York following 9/11 as well as the mental health lead for a dedicated Peel Regional Police team dispatched to support the NYPD. In addition, she was the consultant to the Mississauga Fire Department for several years engaged in training and trauma response.

Kelly is active with research and publication. She was engaged in a study with the Faculty of Nursing at Memorial University to investigate the incidence of Occupational Stress Injury in nurses. Her PhD research focuses on attrition and mental health in novice nurses. She has further facilitated a quality improvement study at SickKids which includes both a mental health session for new nursing graduates, as well as a workshop for their families, which is delivered as a component of the nursing orientation.

Kelly holds a BA from Wilfrid Laurier in psychology, a BSW from the University of British Columbia, and an MSW from McGill. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Windsor with a specialized focus on health care, first responders and dimensions of mental health and trauma response.


Kelly engaged in a grant-funded study through the Faculty of Nursing at Memorial University to examine occupational stress injury in nursing. In addition, she collaborated with the Department of Nursing at SickKids in a quality improvement project to study the effectiveness of mental health training for new nurses during orientation and following their mental health trajectory across the first twelve months in their position. Under these auspices, Kelly developed a mental health session for new nurse hires as well as a family wellness workshop for their families. She facilitates these sessions for each new hire cohort.


  • 2021–Present: PhD, Social Work, University of Windsor
  • 1992: Master of Social Work, McGill University, Dean’s List, Myer Katz Fellowship
  • 1991: Bachelor of Social Work, University of British Columbia, First Class Standing
  • 1988: Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), Wilfrid Laurier University


  • 2022: Peer Support and Trauma Response Program, Designated Leading Practice (Accreditation Canada and Health Standards Ontario)
  • 2021: President Award (Peer Team), The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON
  • 2020: Grace Evelyn Simpson Reeves Award (Individual), Excellence in Nursing Innovation, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON
  • 2019: President’s Award (Individual), The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON


  1. Veder, Barb, Dunmarra, Karina, Beaudoin, Kelly, McNaughton, Kelly, Grier Sarah, Demeter, Steven,and Fasciano, Yolanda. (2016). Changing the landscape of mental health:  The new trauma assist program for first responders.  [White paper].  Morneau Shepell, June 2016.
  2. Draper, Michelle, and McNaughton, Kelly. (1995). Social Work:  A Critical Difference. [Abstract].  Journal of Palliative Care, Autumn 1995, 11(3), 64.


  • $10,000 Seed, Bridge, Multidisciplinary research grant from Memorial University
  • $4,000 grant from Eastern Health Authority Health Care Foundation
  • $2,000 University of Toronto, Faculty of Nursing and Toronto Hospital for Sick Children Nursing Endowment Award
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