Founder + Executive Director
Have you ever watched someone you love struggle daily with the challenges of their mental health? Have you ever tried to access timely mental health services on their behalf only to be told that it was next to impossible as the waiting list was unbearably long? Have you ever spun your wheels in circles trying to help them and felt so completely alone and defeated when it only made things worse? Did your home become a battle ground? Believe me when I say I know how you feel – because I have lived this story too.
For most of my professional life, I have worked with families. Early on, I worked closely with families with young children and more recently with families who have children, youth or adult children facing mental health challenges. Working in these varied environments has taught me what is effective and what is not when communicating with people. In my role as Executive Director, I strive to share my passion for learning and teaching while embodying the attributes that a good leader should possess every day – vulnerability, courage, compassion, and self-awareness. I am incredibly fortunate to have two adult children, two stepchildren, five grandchildren and to be married to someone who truly “gets me” and allows me to be who I am and walk alongside me as I journey through life.
For those living with, or caring for, a loved one facing mental health challenges, it is the hardest, most difficult thing to go through. Trying desperately to find and then access proper supports seems impossible as every time a resource is suggested, there is some reason or another it doesn’t seem to work out. There was either a long waitlist, referrals or formal diagnoses needed, high costs, and the list goes on. There seems to be no end in sight and if you’re already experiencing mental health challenges, it become very overwhelming very quickly and if you’re a caregiver, it’s extremely frustrating. Everyone’s mental health starts to suffer at that point.
Feeling powerless, I felt myself spiraling into a dark hole as I became consumed with finding answers and treatments. It was only then, at a very low point, when I discovered that the best thing that I could possibly do – and that I had any control over – was to learn how to increase my own self-awareness and become more effective in communicating with my loved one. Learning skills was a true blessing and they literally changed my life. I felt a renewed sense of calm and clarity that helped myself and my family member manage the “tough times” as we continued to wait for adequate help.
Once I started applying these lessons, I found myself thinking, “I know I am not the only one going through this”. I started looking for an organization that would understand the challenges our family had been through and came up empty. Out of a desire to share my lived experience and to help others facing the same challenges, and situation, the idea of EmotionsBC was born.
It is my firm belief that everyone is entitled to accessible, timely and impactful support to achieve ultimate mental, emotional, and physical health and wellness for themselves, loved ones, and entire family systems. This advocacy will always be a top priority for me and EmotionsBC. Our focus is to build strong connections and meaningful relationships by sharing lived experiences from those who have “gone and going through it” and come out the other side. Teaching skills of mindful communication and self-awareness gives us hope and a sense of community that impacts the overall well-being of everyone collectively.