Jasna Sonicki’s journey in life is marked by profound compassion, unwavering dedication, and a steadfast commitment to advancing understanding and support for individuals living with substance use disorder. From the inception of CAPSA, a national not-for-profit organization with a goal of dismantling systemic stigma and promote Substance Use Health for all people on all pathways to wellness, Jasna’s influence and dedication have been pivotal in supporting its mission and impact.

As an ally and partner to Gord Garner, of CAPSA, Jasna played an integral role in the establishment of CAPSA. Her support, emotionally and financially, during the formative years of CAPSA exemplifies her unwavering dedication to the cause. From providing financial assistance for initiatives like Recovery Day Ottawa to actively participating in its foundational campaigns, Jasna’s contributions were instrumental in laying the groundwork for CAPSA’s success.

Jasna’s personal journey intertwines with her advocacy. Her own experiences, growing up with a parent living with substance use disorder, roused her curiosity and drive to understand the neuroscientific underpinnings of their behaviour. This exploration not only provided insight into her own upbringing but also equipped her with knowledge to contribute meaningfully to supporting the advancement of the study of neuroscience and mental health.

In recognition of Jasna’s impact and commitment to advancing understanding and support for individuals affected by substance use disorder, a bursary at Carleton University has been established in honour of Jasna and CAPSA. This bursary will support graduate students pursuing studies in neuroscience and mental health, particularly focusing on the intersection with Substance Use Health. Preference will be given to students who, like Jasna, bring family experience and allyship to their work.  Endowed in 2024 by CAPSA in memory of Jasna Sonicki who demonstrated empathic leadership in her advocacy.

Jasna Sonicki’s legacy is one of leadership and compassion to making a difference in the lives of those affected by substance use disorder. Through her support, advocacy, and commitment to supporting and advancing a broader understanding of Substance Use Health, her memory will continue to inspire positive change and transformation.