Gillian Gray??(MSW, RSW) is FOR???s Executive Director. Gillian??was an MSW student at??FOR years ago and has remained connected with the program ever since.
Gillian has worked in the mental health field in community programming, research and policy. She believes strongly in offering innovative, recovery-based programming to youth and families.??Gillian is extremely grateful to be leading the skilled and passionate staff of FOR.
??Karyn Baker??(MSW, RSW) has been with the FOR program since its beginning days. Karyn was the Executive Director of FOR for the past 17 years, developing an innovative program that is known for its leadership in recovery.
As of June 30th, 2015 Karyn has officially resigned as Executive Director but will continue to advise the program on its development in a consulting capacity. While Karyn is sad to be leaving FOR in her capacity as Executive Director, she is leaving the program in very capable hands.
Emily draws upon her own lived experiences with mental health challenges in combination with a Master’s of Social Work and additional training in mindfulness based therapies including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT). Emily has also worked at FOR as the Director of Talk to Youth Lately (TTYL) – a youth engagement and social circus program from 2008-2013.
Emily is currently on maternity leave, returning in September 2016.
Marian Dalal is an Early Intervention Family Worker, primarily working with ethno-racial families in the Scarborough area, offering services in both English and Somali. ??Marian is committed to helping, supporting, and empowering families who have relatives with mental health issues.
Shortly after immigrating to Canada in the late 1980???s, Marian???s brother became unwell and was later diagnosed with Schizophrenia. In the midst of l the limitations and barriers faced by new immigrants, Maria empowered herself with the education and skills that further enhanced her ability to advocate for her brother and to help him recover. ??Marian enrolled herself into Centennial College and graduated with a Diploma and later completed a bachelor???s degree in Sociology from York University.
Calista Rajakariar (M.B.B.S.) is primarily working at the Scarborough office as an early intervention family support coordinator offering services in both Tamil and English. Calista is a Sri Lankan Tamil who obtained a Bachelor???s degree in Medicine and Surgery (M.B.B.S) and practiced as a General Practitioner in India. She underwent a special training in Psychiatry due to helping people with mental health problems.
After migrating to Canada, Calista volunteered helping people with mental health problems and understanding the effects of racial discrimination and cultural issues. Being a family member, she is able to support the families and friends of those with mental health issues with her past work experience and vast knowledge in psychiatry including Anger Management, ??Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Family Wellness Recovery Action Plan (FWRAP) and Mindfulness.
Elly Litvak is the Family Mental Health Navigation Co-ordinator??at FOR in partnership with St. Joseph???s Health Centre. Elly is a wellness and recovery specialist with over 20 years experience in mental health. She has managed a variety of recovery programs within the Canadian mental health system.
Her highly acclaimed one woman show Now Who???s Crazy Now?, chronicling her experiences living with and recovering from serious mental health issues, has played to audiences across North America. ??She is delighted to share her passion and mental health expertise with the FOR team.
Justean Lebel??is excited to join the partnership between FOR and St. Joseph???s Health Care Center as the Family Mental Health Recovery Navigator. Justean???s practice in providing individual and group support is enriched by her own lived experience as a daughter of a survivor???it drives her passion for supporting mothers, fathers, siblings and involved friends. Her therapeutic work is grounded by recovery principles as well as anti-oppressive values gained through professional experience in community mental health services.
??Sharon (Elliston) Barrett (MSW, RSW) is currently the Early Intervention Family Recovery Coordinator at FOR???s downtown office. Along with a Master???s degree in social work from U of T, Sharon???s background also includes experience in Community Mental Health and Community Health. Sharon???s personal interest in mental health awareness and advocacy inspired a mid-career change to mental health social work. She brings a strengths-based approach to provide counselling, education and group support services to families who are supporting a loved-one experiencing mental distress.
Sharon draws on core social work values such as self-determination, inclusion and collaboration to inspire hope and healing in others. Sharon says, ???The recovery framework in mental health speaks to my core values, both on a personal and professional level. I choose to focus on the innate strengths we embody ??? we are so much greater than our circumstances.???
Tobie Marven comes to FOR with over ten years??? experience working in Community Mental Health.?? They bring personal experiences of mental health challenges along with supporting friends and family within the system. Tobies??? experience includes DBT, Addiction counseling, group and individual work. ??They work from a??Strength and Solution model within a??Recovery and Trauma informed framework.
They are passionate about the DBT model and working families supporting those struggling with emotional dysregulation.
Liam Skinner has joined the FOR team as the Family Recovery Coordinator.?? He brings a background of working in Community Mental Health, Social Work, and Substance Use with Toronto???s homeless and street involved population for a number of years. Liam works from a trauma informed, humanistic, social justice, and anti-oppressive framework. He is currently studying Psychotherapy in Toronto as well. Liam also draws on his lived experience of personal growth and recovery. He is very passionate about fostering the empowerment and growth within families through recovery education, counselling and non-judgmental support.
??Josie Parisi is the youth peer support facilitator at FOR. For the past few years Josie has run the Talk to Youth Now (TTYN) peer drop in group. FOR appreciates her ongoing contributions to our youth programming.