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About Us

EmotionsBC (EMOTIONS Health and Wellness Society of British Columbia Inc.) was formed in 2018 as a non-profit society to provide and deliver supports and services to people who have loved ones dealing with mental health challenges, or are themselves finding it hard to find “their people” who understand what they are going through.

“We exist to provide accessible supports and mental health and wellness resources in all communities.”

EmotionsBC was created to be able to support people immediately and on an ongoing basis without there being multiple barriers to face. Dealing with mental health challenges is hard enough and having barriers such as waitlists, unaffordable services, referrals required, or services that are advertised but not being delivered due to lack of funding or manpower. We believe that everyone deserves the right to be well and find that connection to others who can relate. This alone brings a sense of relief and validation. This is also why everyone in our organization has lived or living experience – whether it’s a loved one of ours who’s struggled/struggling with mental health challenges, or ourselves, this is where we lead by – our “lived experience”. We “get it” and can understand first hand and that experience is worth a lot!

Everything we do is based on these and the IMPACT they have on everyone’s mental and physical well-being.

I’m feeling heard EMPATHY
My experiences are valid VALIDATION + PERSPECTIVE
Powerful skill building EMPOWERMENT + HOPE
Ask for help COURAGE + VULNERABILITY
Community is key “YOU’RE NOT ALONE”
Thanks + gratitude MINDFULNESS

EmotionsBC is unique because of our commitment to supporting and delivering quality services which include the following in a comprehensive way:

  • Program and supports for those seeking education, skill-building and emotional support to support their loved one/themselves with a mental illness or emotional difficulty
  • Programs are delivered at no cost
  • No waitlists to ensure there’s immediate support available
  • Facilitators are trained and lead with their “lived experience” having a loved one experiencing mental health challenges enabling people to connect on a much deeper level
  • Participants learn practical, evidence-based skills based on EFT (emotion-focused therapy) and DBT (dialectical behavioural therapy) that can help people communicate effectively and improve interactions — immediately
  • Builds a unique and incredible community connection, which is vital in gaining validation that you are not alone
  • Providing continuation of care and support which seems quite limited in today’s health care system

Downloadable Emotions BC Annual Reports

Our mission

Striving for Connection + Well-Being

Through the delivery of wellness programs and support, EmotionsBC provides actionable skills and community connection that is proven to reduce suffering, build hope and transform relationships in all areas of life.

Nicole Taylor

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.

Board of Directors

This amazing, passionate team is responsible for making all of the important decisions and ensuring that we are always in alignment with our Ethics + Values. They also oversee the governance, developing, implementing and monitoring policies that will allow the organization to carry out its work effectively.

Art Claxton

President (Chairman)

After two years of post-graduate work at the U of Manitoba I worked successfully for two provincial governments specializing in communications and adult education for 10 years. I was concerned with the lack of public education regarding finance and decided to move into the private sector.

I began work in the financial services industry in 1981. Currently I am excited about my work as a Cash Flow Specialist™ which is the latest knowledge I enjoy sharing with my clients. I take my role as a “Personal Economic Strategist” seriously as I was taught financial planning at BCIT and ran public seminars through the Dept. of Continuing Education. I also produced and directed my own television program called the Money Masters for two seasons. I am currently the President of Ayoba Financial Services which allows me to teach people concepts which help when they reach their “play years”.

I am married with four children and eight grandchildren. I am also the Executive Director of the Fraser Valley Executive Association and am active Rotarian and am currently the Foundation Chairperson. I have been a member of Advocis, the Financial Advisors Association of Canada for 29 years.

A world traveler, my goal for clients is for them to have financial freedom to travel the world, achieve their financial goals and have peace of mind at home.

Patrick Burke

Vice-President

I appreciate the invitation to work with EmotionsBC and support the important work they are doing in our community. Let me introduce myself.

I prefer to believe that “young 64” is not an oxymoron. I have been married for almost 40 years with two grown sons who are making their way in the world despite my significant liabilities as a parent.

My engagement with mindfulness and meditation goes back to a patchouli oil infused introduction to TM in the early 70’s. I have practiced yoga for a dozen years or so. Together they are my keel.

I am a lawyer and mediator and have practiced family, estate and elder law for over 30 years. I believe I have honed a good instinct for when to stand up and fight and when to sit down and talk. Experience has taught me, regardless of the process, that solutions are most commonly rendered from sound knowledge and mindful communication.

I am a member the Access Pro Bono Society of BC, the CORE Conflict Resolution Society and the Elder Law subcommittee of the Canadian Bar Association. I have a particular and developing interest in estate mediation, capacity issues and end of life planning.

Fortunate enough to be born in here our blessed corner of the globe, I have an abiding interest in being on and in the ocean, on top of mountains and preserving what we have for future generations.

Cathy Morris

Treasurer

My background is in Business Administration, Bookkeeping and Office Management as well as Customer Service.  I joined the Board of EmotionsBC after hearing first-hand how much it helped a family near and dear to my heart.  Mental health has always been a subject that has interested me, and I have family members as well as several friends that struggle with getting help with these ‘invisible and stigmatized’ illnesses.

My sister struggles with anxiety and depression, and my father had Alzheimer’s near the end of his life. I know that I’m not alone in saying that, “having a sibling with mental health issues is like walking on a tightrope sometimes. You never know when you are going to say the wrong thing, even if you’ve said it previously.”
In my earlier years, I ran a childcare business for over 18 years that allowed me to be home while my daughter was growing up.  After re-entering an office-based workforce in 2008, I updated my skills and currently work as the bookkeeper for three small businesses as well as assuming various volunteer positions in my community.

I am married with three children and four grandchildren. My husband and I enjoy travelling and spending as much time as possible with family and friends.

Lynne Griffin

Secretary

I am a semi-retired professional and still find myself extremely busy picking up odd contract jobs here and there as well as volunteering for organizations whose mission and vision remains close to my heart. I decided to volunteer with EmotionsBC after benefiting greatly from participating in the six-week Mindfulness Program and the eight-week Essential Skills Program. I love to continuously learn new things and find myself wanting to teach others what I’ve learned.

My volunteer history includes serving on the Board of Directors of two different Family Place Programs and a Group Daycare Board as well as a Child Care Grants Committee for a Municipal Government.

I have worked in the childcare field for over 25 years in many different roles – working directly “on the floor” with infants and toddlers; managing a specialized child care program; operating a toy lending library; supervising family child care programs, and delivering workshops for parents and caregivers.

My hobbies and leisure activities include taking psychology-type courses, yoga, meditation, cooking and taking long walks in nature.

Leeann Noye

Director

I found the EmotionsBC support group in early 2018 after my 20-year-old daughter was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. I came to the group feeling drained and desperate for help. The support group allowed me to talk about things I’ve never been able to talk about before, and it drastically improved my relationship with my daughter using the skills we’d learned and having the support to help sustain my own self-care. The impact of this group resulted in my active involvement, as a volunteer facilitator and Programs Director overseeing the development and delivery of all EmotionsBC groups and programs. I joined the EmotionsBC team in 2018 and honestly, I haven’t looked back since.

I am so passionate and committed to EmotionsBC and the programs they offer, believing that they must be shared with all that need them. My 19 years’ experience in the financial services industry and corporate environment includes facilitation, day to day operations and large-scale project implementation. I am also a certified Lean Blackbelt which includes a broad depth of process improvement skills that translate into any industry.

Kyle Grant

Director

Based in Langley, I run a successful real estate business with a very broad client base. I am passionate about real estate and aim to share that passion with my clients by delivering an experience that they’ll love and appreciate. I am always up to date with the latest changes and developments in the market and rely on my of experience and learning to help my clients achieve their goals.

Along with my dedication for my business, I also have great passion for helping those in the community by volunteering my time with well-positioned organizations.  One of my main focuses is helping families who have loved ones struggling with mental health challenges.  Having close friends who need this kind of support, I know first-hand how important it for these families to have “immediate” and “ongoing” support to improve their own well-being and in turn, the well-being of their loved ones.

Sam Sarophim

Director

My background is in Engineering, Finance, Business development and Marketing. As a professional Engineer, I worked in the Oil and Telecommunications industry for over 42 years, managing various Engineering groups in a planning and strategic role and deploying new technologies. I also facilitated regulatory filings, and formulated business strategies that helped introduce new services and products to launch in the marketplace. Globally, I was successful in negotiations with companies in the US, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan, resulting in signed contracts.

Upon completing my MBA, I started advising for the MBA and Executive MBA programs at Queens University in Kingston, Ont. and Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. To date, I have advised and evaluated business pitch presentation for over 400 projects.

In 1995, I was one of the founding members to launch a national personal and life-coaching network for our company, with over 100 coaches across Canada, providing for their training as well as guiding the coaches residing in BC.

I am one of the founders and current Board member / treasurer for Global Outreach Medical and Educational Destination (www.Go-Med.ca), a group engaged in charitable health and education missions in underdeveloped countries and participated in two missions to the Philippines in 2011 and 2012. I support in fundraising activities and provide an ongoing business advise role. I also volunteer with our church, helping newcomers from Egypt adapt to their new life and surroundings in Canada.

My main reasons to join EmotionsBC is to continue my passion for helping people that need support. EmotionsBC embraces the values that I believe in, reducing stress, dealing with unknowns, providing avenues/hope for support, being mindful, and generally making a positive difference.

My wife and I enjoy travel and ballroom dancing. I am also a certified Ballroom and Latin dance instructor.
I have two adult children, and recently became a grandfather to a one-year-old grandson.

Professional Advisory Board

We look to this team for their consultation and professional expertise that guides us in all groups and programs we offer. We are grateful for their confidence and for standing behind the work we do.

Andrew Neufeld, MC RCC

Clinical Advisor Andrew Neufeld is the Co-Founder and the Executive Director of Alongside You and Principal at Immerse Consulting, and Clinical Faculty at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Psychiatry. He is a Registered Clinical Counsellor, Certified Birkman© Consultant and Executive Coach, with over a decade of experience working with individuals, couples, families, and professionals. His passion is in helping clients to clarify their goals and passions and design plans on how to get to where they want to be. His background working in business, health organizations and non-profit work as well as being an entrepreneur give him practical insight into the challenges that individuals and organizations face. He combines this with his clinical insight into interpersonal psychology and the functioning of team environments to come alongside clients to establish goals, find solutions, and ultimately, help clients come to a deeper understanding of themselves and how they can increase their resilience so they can function at their best.

Since 2015, Andrew and his wife, Meg have built Alongside You, an evidence-based integrated health clinic that offers integrated mental and physical health services to the community. With a growing team and multiple offices, their innovative practice serves the needs of the Greater Vancouver with in person visits, as well as clients across North America via online services. They are unique in that their services are designed to fill the gaps in the public system, and all of their services are provided on a sliding fee scale based on income because their belief is that everyone deserves excellent care, regardless of income level. Their own Step Forward Program subsidizes their services and has provided over $200,000 in care in their 3 years of operation, something that they are very proud of. Andrew looks forward to working with EmotionsBC to find similar, unique ways to help others through the services EmotionsBC offers.

Jenn Cusick, CPRP

Founder, of Luminate Wellness, Jenn has over 25 years experience in community mental health. In 2014 she started Luminate Wellness and offers trainings and workshops. She trains WRAP facilitators, and workshops on: WRAP, self determination, self-nourishment & Appreciative Inquiry, and self-compassion. Recently she completed writing a Peer Support Training curriculum for Alberta Health Services. Currently she is the curriculum developer and writer for the BC Peer Support Training Curriculum project. She also works with PSR Advanced Practice out of Douglas College to support education to mental health and substance use practitioners across Canada.

Samuel Vijayan, MD CCFP

General Practitioner Dr. Sam (as most people affectionately call him) spent most of his young life living in Ontario, but after coming to Vancouver to attend UBC to do his training in family practice, he fell in love with the mountains and ocean and decided to start his married life here in BC. He is now living and working as a full time family physician in the Langley community and calls Murals Medical Clinic his second home where he’s been practicing medicine for over five years. Dr. Sam was drawn to working with EmotionsBC as he recognizes that mental health plays a very important part in a person’s well-being and the need for barrier free, accessible mental health supports and services in communities.

As he works with many families, he understands the benefit of being able to offer holistic supports as part of his treatment plan, so that they don’t feel so isolated and can gain education and learn skills from others going through similar experiences. As part of his main psychiatry training at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Detroit, Michigan where PTSD and trauma were his main areas of focus, Dr. Sam got a good feel for what it was like to struggle with mental health challenges and the impacts of trauma on the brain. He feels certain that families and caregivers who are supported and skilled can attribute to the wellness of these suffering people as well as the caregivers themselves. He is also a father to two young boys, and when there is time, Dr. Sam enjoys biking, photography, and playing tennis.

Shefali Raja

Shefali is a graduate from the University of Toronto and completed her Dietetics program at VGH in 1988. She started her career at Vancouver Coastal Health and is currently working with Fraser Health. Her roles have spanned from Chairing committees at the National level, to advocating for vulnerable populations for healthy food policy at the Provincial and Municipal level including authoring the annual Cost of Eating in BC report. She has worked in the media doing Meal Solutions segments on Global TV as well as writing monthly articles for a South Asian magazine for over 20 years. She facilitated the Langley Healthier Community Partnership Table for 4 years, which brought together Community Leaders including the Mayors of the City and Township of Langley. These collaborative partnerships led to much success; Good Food Bag program to support vulnerable Seniors and also those dealing with Mental Health challenges was established; the first Farm to School Program implemented at a local high school; the Canadian Diabetes Association’s Food Skills for Families Program and also the University of Victoria’s Chronic Self-Management Program were embedded into the community.

Shefali’s current leadership role is working with a program funded through the Doctors of BC which provides clinical and office efficiency, data informed quality improvement coaching/change management support to family physicians and their staff in Fraser Health communities. She learned about the Family Connections Program when she invited Nicole to speak at Mental Health learning module she was facilitating and then attended the family connections program shortly thereafter. The program has had a huge positive impact in her family life. Family is important to Shefali, when she is not working she is spending time together with her loving husband and their three adult boys. With her key values of helping, collaborating, wellness and making a difference, she looks forward to supporting EmotionsBC and it’s vision.

Paul Taylor

Paul’s tenacity and dedication, as well as possessing a calm and focused demeanor, have made him very a successful business owner for over a decade as President of Taylor Restoration. His passion lies in helping people through tough situations – whether it’s in his own business, or personal life, volunteering as the “mindfulness guru” with EmotionsBC. The Mindfulness Program that Paul delivers helps participants learn how to integrate techniques into their daily lives with the ultimate goal of reducing stress and the ability to cope easier with the curve balls of life. Paul has made mindfulness a daily practice since he was a young boy where his father was a huge influence in this area of his life.

He has maintained this practice through adulthood where he has now become more involved in learning about more specific based practices such as the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course as well as partaking in silent retreats and experiencing the true power of mindfulness and being “in the moment”. Paul has many loves, but his first and foremost is his family. He is lucky enough to be married to his soul mate and has a blended family of four children and five grandchildren. He loves learning about new things, playing the guitar, renovating or project building and let’s not forget the love that he has for watching movies (especially anything 007).

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