I began my career as a Child and Youth Care practitioner at Hull Community Services in 1984. I worked in Cottage 7 from 1984-1988. Although I did not know it at the time, this experience was extremely influential in helping me to understand the unique challenges and rewards of direct care work with children living in a residential care facility. Most of the children that we worked with presented with complex trauma histories, multiple adverse childhood experiences, and a range of diverse abilities and behaviours.
From 1988-91, I worked as a counselor in a community mental health setting in Vancouver which specialized in providing therapeutic interventions to individuals in crisis and those affected by suicide. I then worked for the provincial government in Alberta as a youth suicide prevention educator and community developer from 1991-95. Prior to coming to the University of Victoria, I served as the Director of the Suicide Prevention Information and Resource Centre, Mental Health Evaluation and Community Consultation Unit (MHECCU), Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia (1995-2002).
Discourses of Youth Suicide Prevention; Life Promotion; Narrative Ideas and Community Work; Program Planning Practice Pedagogy and Teaching; Professional Ethics; Constructionist Methodologies; Critical Discourse Analysis; Relational Leadership