Meet our faculty. 

Our faculty members are not only highly skilled professionals in their respective fields, but they are also dedicated to nurturing a vibrant sense of community and fostering a spirit of collaborative learning. What sets our faculty apart is their unwavering commitment to student-centred education. 

They bring together their vast clinical and experiential knowledge, resulting in an enriching and dynamic learning environment. Through their innovative and engaging approaches, they ensure that each student is actively involved in their educational journey. 

Join our community, and discover a transformative learning experience and community support that will help you make a meaningful impact in perinatal mental health care. 

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Olivia Scobie, MSW, RSW, M.A., ACC, MSP

Olivia is a queer social worker specializing in perinatal mood, reproductive trauma, parental mental health, and provider burnout. She is committed to continuous learning and is completing a Ph.D. in Health Policy and Equity. Her dissertation is focused on the reproductive trauma experiences of LGBT+ birthers.

Olivia is the co-founder of Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Trainings and supports the student placement program with Perinatal Wellbeing Ontario. She believes in eating dessert every day, telling your story, and barrier-free access to mental health support.

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Rita Girn, MA Counselling Psych CCC, RSW, PMH-C

Rita (she/her) provides individual and group clinical supervision and coaching to those completing their practicum requirement in both the Social Work and Counselling field, as well as therapists in the public and private sector. With over 16 years of experience working in the mental health field with children, individuals, couples, and families, she is happy to share her academic and clinical experience in group supervision.

She is passionate about walking with clients and clinicians on this journey. By creating space from a trauma-informed lens with evidence and clinically based strategies as a foundation, Rita’s primary work is relational and attuned to the unique experience of each individual.

Her approach both with clients and clinicians is never as the expert but as someone who has had many years of experience and a toolbox of information. Rita truly values the work that she feels so privileged to be part of. 

Website: ritagirn.com

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Gabriella Carafa, MSW, RSW

Gabriella (she/her) Gabriella Carafa is a social worker, psychotherapist and consultant certified in perinatal mental health. Gabriella is a disability-affirmative therapist who uses interpersonal psychotherapy, CBT, Narrative and DBT strategies. She is a single parent by choice living in the GTA who identifies as having a disability.  One of her passions is perinatal social work and she’s on a quest to ensure that parenting with a disability is normalized as an option for those who wish to pursue it.

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Christine Cunningham, BA, RSSW, PMH-C

Christine Cunningham (she/her) is a Registered Social Service Worker and Certified Perinatal Mental Health Professional in private practice and the Founder and Executive Director at Perinatal Wellbeing Ontario (PWO).

She has lived experience with postpartum depression and anxiety and her experience with recovery changed her life for the better. After working in mental health and addictions, she followed her heart to working with clients in the Perinatal period in private practice. And this led her to establish PWO to provide low-cost/free therapy and peer support to people struggling with mental health during the Perinatal period. Christine is a neurodivergent mom to 3 kids and 2 dogs.

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Chantel McEvoy, Registered Psychologist

Chantel (she/her) works as a Registered Psychologist. She specializes in perinatal loss and grief.  She works with couples and adults in private practice in Edmonton, Alberta.

Chantel’s research and speaking engagements have focused on what helps and hinders grief following a pregnancy loss. She hopes to help open up the conversation on pregnancy loss, so parents can share their stories and be supported with empathy and care from partners, friends, loved ones, and healthcare professionals.

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Gabrielle Griffith, Doula

Gabrielle Griffith (they/them) is a queer and non-binary parent, full spectrum doula, sex educator and Program Coordinator for the 2SLGBTQIA Family Programming with Birth Mark Support. 

Through lived experience and education, they support new parents to find pleasure and achieve balance during their transition into parenthood. Gabrielle teaches a variety of topics through an anti-oppressive and trauma-informed lens. You can learn more about Gabrielle and their work on their website and social media.

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Amber Sperling, MSW RSW, PMH-C, EMDR Certified

Amber is a Registered Social Worker with certification in Perinatal Mental Health (PSI) and EMDR (EMDRIA).  Amber specializes in helping moms and families transition into parenthood; supporting the processing of perinatal and childhood traumas, as well as treating social anxiety and empowering clients through identity awareness and fulfillment. Her EMDR training was completed through the perinatal lens with additional training in perinatal loss and recent event trauma therapies. She recently expanded her practice to include supervision of social workers and is a consultant-in-training with EMDRIA.

Amber owns a small group psychotherapy practice based in Barrie Ontario and complements clinical practice with committees in the Simcoe Muskoka area working to reduce barriers for birthing families and supporting the expansion of the local hospital NICU.  She also enjoys coaching dragon boat racing and hanging out with her kids, husband and very large dog.

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 Vicki Farnell, Registered Clinical Counsellor

Vicki Farnell (she/her) is a practicing Registered Clinical Counsellor in Kamloops, BC. Vicki is passionate about working with birthing people and their supports to help provide care and healing for those struggling with pregnancy and postpartum mood disorders as well as those who have experienced birth trauma. Working from an attachment lens, Vicki encourages clients to see how their experiences as a child may be showing up for them as a parent.  As a mom of two, Vicki understands the intensity of the early parenting experience and the challenges that can come up for families during this time. 

Vicki has lived experience to bring to the table both with her own postpartum mental health and as a LGBT+ parent.  She has the ability to meet people where they are at and support them in the next step forward.  In her own community, she has developed and continues to run a Postpartum Mental Health Support Group focusing on empowering parents in their postpartum experience. 

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Vania Sukola, Registered Psychotherapist

Vania Sukola (she/her) is a Registered Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor. For over 20 years, Vania worked in community mental health sector providing support to people who have experienced trauma due to gender-based violence and sexual abuse. Vania now has a private practice that focuses primarily on reproductive mental health, birth trauma, the transition into parenthood, and the intersection of former trauma that impacts the journey into parenthood. 

Vania works from an intersectional feminist anti-racist anti-oppression framework, and her supervision style is relational and somatic-based. A main focus is on gender-based violence and the transition into parenthood. Another specialty is supporting therapists who are parents, and helping find a balance with the demands of being both a therapist and a parent.

Website: vaniasukola.ca

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We offer professional development for perinatal mental health professionals. Our trainings are inter-professional; we welcome social workers, psychotherapists, clinical psychologists, midwives, nurses, naturopaths, OB’s, psychiatrists, pelvic floor physiotherapists, family doctors, community organizers, pediatricians, coaches, or sleep consultants.

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