My name is Shelley Braun, I am a mother, a daughter, an aunt, a sister, a friend, and am the brand new Regional Educator on Haida Gwaii. I am new to the island—and to British Columbia, actually—so I have much to learn professionally and personally.

Before moving to Daajing Giids (Queen Charlotte) to be closer to my eldest daughter, I had the good fortune to spend the past five years living and working in Regina, Saskatchewan. My time was well spent exploring the flatlands and connecting with the community.

Through outreach, home visits and group facilitation I provided family support, specifically to teen parents in the North Central neighbourhood. Prior to the slow move back west, I lived a full life exploring, studying, and working in Ottawa—a city that offers much more than what it seems. It was there that I met my partner and raised our two daughters. 

While being a westerner by birth, Ottawa was my base for over thirty years. I may have worked in various sectors from academia to tending bar; but the one constant was that regardless of what I was doing, the role of a helper gave me the most satisfaction. I was known for the supporting individuals and families in their efforts to achieve the life they were looking for—respectful of their humanity and in awe of their strength—my reputation provided many opportunities to work with diverse communities both locally and abroad.

We all have a story, and now you have a tiny tidbit of mine. And like the people we serve and our organization that supports the journey, I am much more than what I may seem. But please be rest assured that what I do bring to my new role is curiosity and compassion for people living with and supporting those with a serious mental illness. 

My aim is to continue to walk alongside those looking for support, an advocate, or just an ear. But first, my goal is to get the word out that BSCC is an organization that has much to offer; and that we are here and are ready to help.

With gratitude I thank BCSS for giving me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and to extend my reach.

It is my belief that our work as educators lighten the load of the unknown, while helping to alleviate the stigma responsible for hindering the healing process. I will strive to provide my community with the supports needed to breathe easier and continue our journey with the confidence that hope does have a plan.

And that’s why I’m here—to help with that.

(Written by Shelley Braun)

You can reach Shelley Braun through email at haidagwaii@bcss.org or phone at 778-361-0260.