Mary Lee Felder MSc., RP.,CT.
Life after Loss Transition Specialist and Therapeutic Bereavement Counsellor
In the position of Bereavement Counsellor for Chatham Kent Hospice, support is provided to individuals and their families who have experienced a loss that has become complex by interfering with natural coping and resilience responses. As a part of the new “Wellness Within” programming at Hospice, alongside our growing team (Coordinator, Recreational and Music Therapists ) and CKH volunteers and Staff , we are connecting our ‘ Hospice Hub’ to associated community agency partners/organizations (The Hive), as we endeavor to work together with them to deliver services, according to the mandates outlined for “Compassionate Communities” of care: by providing coordinated assistance and resources to those individual’s impacted by grief, transition or change that has overwhelmed their natural capacity to participate fully in daily life. In addition to my CKH counselling role, I am available to also provide independent consulting, counselling and companioning education and supports, as a Registered Psychotherapist (RP), internationally Certified Thanatologist (CT) and a MSc. in Bereavement Studies, (conferred by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland), as requested or required.
Darcy L. Harris, Ph.D., FT
Darcy Harris is the Thanatology Coordinator at King’s University College at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. She also maintains a clinical practice with a specialization in issues related to change, loss, and transition. Dr. Harris is an author and lecturer on topics related to grief and loss, and she has published many articles, book chapters, and books including, Counting Our Losses: Reflecting on Change, Loss, and transition in Everyday Life (Routledge), Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society: Bridging Research and Practice (Routledge), and Principles and Practice of Grief Counseling (Springer).
Brad began his career in cemeteries and crematoria in the early 1970’s, coinciding with the beginning of formal meditation practices. Over the last ten years he has also been certified as a hypnotherapist specializing in anxiety, grief and trauma. At the same time, Brad has begun to assist others with their meditation practices. Besides facilitating bereavement support groups, individual counselling and group meditations, he is also published in psychological and spiritual journals, while presenting workshops and brief retreats around death, dying & bereavement.
Daniel is the newly elected chair of the Grief & Loss Resource Committee. For the past 12 years, Daniel has worked as the Director of Programming and Operations for Wellspring London and Region Cancer Support Centre specializing in the development of programs and services which focus on coping skills and emotional supports for those affected by cancer. In addition, he is a guest lecturer, facilitator of a long standing community-based bereavement support group and has worked extensively with individuals and families dealing with issues of loss and bereavement due to cancer.
Rebecca Machado, M.Ed., RP, CCC
Rebecca is the Executive Director at Daya Counselling Centre. She joined Daya in 2007, and has served as volunteer, intake coordinator, and psychotherapist before moving into her current role in April 2016. She also teaches in the Thanatology program at King’s University College. Rebecca is passionate about inviting open discussion about difficult topics, and believes in the power of each individual to find healing and hope even in the most painful circumstances.
“When Carolyn Nixon received her funeral directors license over 25 years ago, in May 1987, there were not many females working in this male-dominated profession. Over the years she has assisted numerous families during this difficult and emotional time in their lives, while working in many cities throughout Ontario and currently assists families at Westview Funeral Chapel in London. Since then, she has received her certificate from the “Life Threatening Illness, Death & Bereavement” program in Toronto which assists her greatly when dealing with people with terminal illnesses while prearranging their own funeral. Carolyn believes in community involvement and is proud to have been on the Board of Directors for Bereaved Families of Ontario and Mothers Against Drunk Drivers in recent years as well as many other groups and organizations over the years. Most importantly, she loves spending time with her two children, both of whom she is very proud and making memories with them every minute possible. Probably because of her chosen career, her motto is “Live Every Day To It’s fullest.”
Michele Paddon has been involved in the Violence against Women Sector in London, Canada for 22 years as counsellor, advocate, program developer and educator. This includes Women’s Community House Abused Women’s Shelter, The Community Group Program for Children Exposed to Woman Abuse, Shelternet Canada, and the London Abused Women’s Centre. Michele’s work with mothers of children exposed to abuse has been adopted internationally, and she has provided training and consultation in England, Scotland, and Japan. Currently Ms. Paddon is a Women’s Counsellor with the Partner Abuse Response Program at Changing Ways. In her work Michele supports women and children in recognizing, honouring, and coping with life losses associated with abuse, trauma, and family relationship transitions.
Cathy is one of the founding members of Bereaved Families of London, Ontario Southwest Region where she has served as executive director from 1984 until 2016. She continues to serve as Associate Director. Cathy is past chair of the Grief & Loss Resource Committee of which she has been a member since 1983. She is a graduate of King’s University College, UWO in Palliative Care and Thanatology and continues to pursue education in relation to supporting families and individuals following the death of a child or loved one. Cathy’s journey with grief and bereavement began as a bereaved mother in 1982.
Cathy is the Executive Director at Bereaved Families of Ontario-Southwest Region. She has been a member there since 2008, when her personal journey through grief and loss began as a bereaved mother. During this time, she has served as both a peer support volunteer and member on the Board of Directors before moving into her role as Director in 2016. Cathy completed her Bachelor of Education at the Faculty of Education-Western University in 1998. She also has 30 years’ experience as a Registered Nurse in Neonatal Intensive Care.
Dr. Ramona Fernandez
Dr. Ramona Fernandez is a specialist in perinatal health and reproductive loss. For the last 10 years she has specialized in women’s reproductive health, fertility and reproductive loss as a counsellor, researcher, bioethicist and professor. In addition to her academic work, she also maintains a private counselling practice in this area. More personally, she has experience as a bereaved mother. She has a Master’s in Counselling Psychology, Certificate in Grief & Bereavement, and a PhD in Health Professional Education on the topic of high risk pregnancies involving fetal anomalies. Is currently an adjunct professor at Western University in Counselling Psychology and have been an instructor at Western, Ryerson and Yale Universities and guest lecturer at Kings University College. She currently the President of the international Association for Death Education & Counseling (ADEC)