I have worked with people experiencing mental health and substance use challenges at various community agencies in Toronto, including a practicum placement supporting older adults with mental health and substance use issues. In addition, I have had employment experiences at drop-in centres and in housing access. From these experiences, I am bringing to this role an understanding of the centrality of formal and informal supports for people living with mental health and substance use issues. I am also bringing my experience with crisis support, solution-focused counselling, and assessment to work collaboratively with people in coordinating necessary supports and developing their own skills.
I am approaching this role with diverse perspectives on supporting people living with mental health and substance use issues. Of particular interest to me are models of mental health recovery, harm reduction, and peer support from strengths-based, trauma-informed perspectives. I developed an interest in these models through my personal experiences, my Social Service Worker diploma at George Brown, my Master of Social Work degree at York University, and my practice experiences. I appreciate the opportunity to continue to develop my understanding of these models and gain new perspective through my work with individuals and family members at MDAO.
What I do…
As a Family Matters Mental Health Counsellor I provide short term counselling to individuals and family members/supporters impacted by mental health issues related to mood. Working from a strengths based and solution focused counselling perspective I work with individuals and family members to develop goals, recognize their strengths and abilities, and develop new skills and tools necessary to achieve their goals. I work from a client/person-centred perspective which allows flexibility in my approach to work collaboratively to determine the most appropriate support for individuals and family members based on their needs and experiences.
In addition to one-on-one supports I also provide group supports to family members/supporters. The Open Family Forum is an open, registered, semi-structured group that aims to provide family members with the opportunity to access peer support as well as information and tools related to supporting someone who is struggling with their mental health. In my role as the Open Family Forum facilitator I aim to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and insights among family members/supportes as well as access to information and resources. I also facilitate recovery programs for individuals who are struggling with their mental health notably, Managing your Depression and Anxiety. Managing your Depression and Anxiety is a psychoeducation recovery program that aims to provide increased awareness and understanding of tools and strategies to support the management of one's mental health. As a facilitator I emphasize the importance of the knowledge and experiences of group members and aim to support the development of understanding and tools. As a safeTALK trainer, I am able to provide trainings to MDAO staff, volunteers and affiliate groups to increase overall awareness of signs that individuals may be experiencing thoughts of suicide and steps to get connected with a suicide intervention resource. These trainings aim to increase the overall safety of staff, volunteers and participants at MDAO.
Phone: (416) 486-8046 ext 240