South Vancouver Island Regional Educator
I am the new South Island Regional Educator, working primarily in the Capital Region including Colwood, Esquimalt, Highlands, Jordan River, Langford, Metchosin, Oak Bay, Port Renfrew, Saanich, Sooke, Victoria and View Royal.
Originally from Cumberland in the Comox Valley, I spent many years in the Toronto area where my two daughters were born. I have spent over 30 years in BC and Ontario navigating and advocating in both mental healthcare systems.
In the early 90’s I was discouraged from speaking to other parents on the pediatric ward where my 12 year daughter was admitted for anorexia. The thinking at the time was that the parents, especially mothers, were responsible for their daughters/sons eating disorders and if the parents spoke we would share ideas of how our loved ones could lose weight.
I know, from lived experience, that families are a crucial member of the healthcare team supporting their loved ones with mental health challenges. As a regional educator, I will partner with families to seek out and liaise with community resources, provide families compassion and empathy through support groups and educate the public to help eliminate the stigma around mental illness.
I am looking forward to offering what I wish I had had so many years ago on my early journey through mental illness with my loved ones. My aunt and uncle would not have had to walk the path alone and in anguish with my cousin with Schizophrenia in the 1960’s. So much pain for so many. I am committed to lend my ear, my heart and my lived experience to help families find hope.
In my time away from my educator role, I am a visual artist and a Postpartum Doula. I love playing tennis and am writing and illustrating my first children’s picture book called Clementine is NOT Fine, about a little girl with anxiety.