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OUR VOLUNTEER FACILITATORS

Meet our wonderful team of volunteers who facilitate our Grief Support Groups.

Sarah S.

Hello! I am honoured to be one of your group facilitators. Over the course of my life, I have lost my father, my grandmother, and multiple pets. 

 

I look forward to pursuing graduate studies in Clinical or Counselling Psychology to enable me to provide private and group therapy to my community someday.

 

My research interests include: Early adversities/trauma, Polyvagal Theory, Psychoneuroimmunology, among others. 

 

In my free time, I love cooking and learning new recipes, yoga, reading, learning to sew, and snuggling with my kitty Nala. 

 

Social location acknowledgement: As a white university educated woman of European settler descent with English as my first language and roots in an upbringing characterized by limited financial resources, I recognize the biases, assumptions, and privilege that shape my perspective. I am committed to ongoing self-reflection and acknowledging the intersections of my identity to actively engage in allyship and advocate for equity and justice.

Nancy L.

I have been a volunteer with CFGH for two years, and have facilitated primarily mixed loss groups, as well as some closed suicide loss groups. 

 

After losing my 16 year-old nephew to suicide, I feel like I have an understanding of the unique and complex aspects of suicide loss and the special supports needed by survivors during their grief journeys. 

 

As an older individual with a wealth of life experience and further losses suffered along the way, I feel that I can contribute some wisdom and understanding to my group facilitations. 

 

I am passionate about providing a safe space for people to share their experiences freely and openly without the discomfort that so often accompanies discussions around death and dying. 

 

Mother to two grown children, a precious granddaughter and numerous pets, my family is what matters most to me.

Shontae C. (she/her)

I joined the Center for Grief and Healing as a volunteer support group facilitator in May of 2023. I was drawn to the organization based on its positive impact and its mission of the bereaved helping the bereaved. Having lost my father to suicide at the age of five, I have been dedicated to mental health advocacy and supporting others.

My experience with loss has profoundly shaped my life, fuelling my commitment to navigating the complexity of my grief and highlighting the impact of the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide.

I am currently completing my third year of an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with the goal of pursuing a master’s degree in counselling psychology. I am passionate about supporting individuals dealing with mental health issues, suicidal ideation, and grief. I feel honoured to be a part of an incredible organization that provides a welcoming environment for individuals to navigate the depths of their grief.

Amanda Y.

I've been facilitating groups with CFGH since March 2023 and it's been amazing. After losing my dad to cancer at a young age, the bereavement support I received transformed my grief journey, which led me to use my experience and facilitate support groups myself. It is truly a privilege for me to hold space for others to share their experiences and process their losses. My favourite thing about facilitating groups is supporting others to connect with each other and build community with people going through similar things.

 

I’m currently studying social work and am hoping to become a psychotherapist. When I’m not facilitating groups, you might find me taking photos of horses, writing short stories, at the gym or with my nose in a book! I also love to sing and play guitar.

Shyika M.

I briefly started accessing services through Centre for Grief and Healing (BFO-H/P) back in 2015 when my maternal great-grandmother "Mom" died of cancer. 

 

In 2020 I had lost my new partner Matthew and my maternal great-grandfather "Gramps".  I reconnected with Centre for Grief and Healing (BFO-H/P) where I received one-on-one peer support and participated in the weekly partner loss groups.  I have learned that grief is a unique experience for every individual. 

 

I honour my loved ones by supporting other grievers.  I enjoy facilitating groups because I understand that it is a safe space for grievers to share, connect, and be validated.  I recognise that sometimes we may not always feel these spaces are accessible in our personal/day to day life.  I am passionate about grief, because for me, grief is still love.

 

I have plans of obtaining a Masters Degree in Social Work, I hope to one day teach college students.

Haider A.

I lost grandpa at a young age due to a failed surgery and a mentor during his final year of university due to suicide. Both losses were complex in their own ways but motivated me to make an impact within my own community back home. I like facilitating all kinds of groups, from open to closed loss. I started off doing child loss group and currently I’m focused on leading groups around overdose and suicide. 

My time as a facilitator has encouraged me to push my limits and do as much as I can to support people. Some of which entail being a crisis responder for Kids Help Phone, joining the board, working my way up to Vice-chair, and being a part of the fundraising committee to ensure we can continue to provide free grief services for those who need it most.

I have an education in health science from the university of Ottawa. During my time, I worked in various labs, some of which focused on cancer research and AI implementation within surgical procedures.

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