with Ross Laird
Ross delivering a TEDx talk on the interconnections between mental health, trauma, and addictions.
I have been working with organizations and teams for 35 years. My teaching for professionals focuses on the deep interconnections between mental health, childhood development, addictions, and trauma. I speak frequently at schools, at conferences, in communities, and I offer workshops for a wide variety of organizations: social service agencies, professional organizations, community groups, parent groups, corporations, government agencies, and so on.
Mental health issues are the most common vulnerabilities we face, and it is impossible to separate our personal challenges from our professional environments. Consequently, my services for organizations address the continuity of personal and professional development, with a focus on current research and the many ways we can build resilience and wellbeing both for ourselves and our clients. In particular, I help professionals understand the complexities of the mental health landscape and I offer practical suggestions for how we might grapple (and help our employees or clients grapple) with mental illness, addictions, and trauma – which, for many people, are all aspects of one thing and not three different things.
I have worked extensively on complex problems and with vulnerable populations: homeless communities, refugees, vulnerable youth, gang-entrenched youth, international students and families, survivors of terrorism and war, and many others. I am a core member of a new First Responder mental health training program, co-developer of a new psychotherapeutic model for working with trauma and loss, and clinical supervisor for BC’s largest licensed program for residential addictions treatment.
My work has been recognized in various ways. I am the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Georgian Award, from St. George’s School, for my long-term contribution to, and advocacy for, mental health and wellness for youth in British Columbia. I am a recipient of the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors Communications Award, for my work in mental health education for the general public. And I am a recipient of the Union Institute’s Sussman Award, for the impact of my scholarship on the wider community.