Chris Leonard is the Director of Health Promotion at the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention and private consultant who brings extensive experience supporting individuals and teams in the social service sector. Her process facilitation and trainings builds capacity in areas of grief and loss, conflict and restorative practices, critical incident debriefing and resiliency. Over the last thirty years, Chris has supported women in prison, people living with HIV/AIDS, survivors of sexual violence, members of the LGBTQ community, bereaved youth, community members and workers impacted by loss due to violence, the opioid crisis and other traumatic events. She brings mindful awareness from her training as a Zen shiatsu therapist into her work with individuals and communities throughout the province of Ontario.
Sheila Berry has been a therapist and bereavement counsellor for the past 25 years. Her formal training in Psychology was completed at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay after which she worked as a Support Coordinator at the AIDS Committee of Thunder Bay for 12 years. In 1994, she was introduced to the AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario, and many of the training tools. Soon after, she joined the agency’s provincial support team, as a facilitator and counsellor. After re-locating to Toronto, she finished a 3-year diploma in Expressive Arts at Create Institute, where she began to incorporate expressive arts into grief work. While living in Toronto, she provided hospice support to families in North York at Better Living Health and Community Care and facilitated grief support groups introducing expressive arts. Currently Sheila resides in Thunder Bay and continues to serve as a member of the ABRPO Support team. Her connection to nature is well reflected in her artwork, song writing, and poetry. Her philosophy stems from the belief that nurturing the strengths in people leads to self-growth and increased self-empowerment.
Laur Kelly has provided spiritual care in Tkaronto for 12 years that guides clients to make meaning from their experiences and foster self-understanding through frameworks from depth psychology, Buddhism, astrology, and tarot. Their work is grounded in mindfulness-based practices and skillful self & community care that builds resiliency. They have experience supporting staff and peers affected by the overdose/drug poisoning crisis, the LGBTQ community, folks in recovery, social sector workers experiencing burnout, survivors of sexual violence, and those living with chronic illness. In addition to their work at the ABRPO, they are currently a trauma-informed peer supporter with the Dandelion Initiative, and co-facilitator of a Buddhist-based recovery group.