Our facilitators work together to prepare and host our support group meetings and/or conduct workshops/training for professionals and the general public. Our facilitators have extensive training in bereavement and support group facilitation. Many carry with them personal experiences of traumatic loss. Others have studied extensively in related fields that allows them to provide a trauma informed and compassionate perspective to their work.
Clinical Supervisor – John Dubé is a registered social worker and a registered clinical counsellor in the province of British Columbia. He began his work in the area of suicide and bereavement in 1985 responding to family and community needs to a suicide, homicide or traumatic death.
His primary counselling area is working with clients who are bereaved due to a suicide, homicide or traumatic death. He works with individuals by encouraging them to find the answers within and utilize their own resources for change and to heal. He believes in providing a respectful and safe place that supports clients to do self-reflective work and discover new ways of coping, integrating the painful event while navigating their world.
Over the past 25 years, John has conducted numerous workshops and trainings to professionals (therapists, counselors, teachers, social workers, victim services personnel, nurses and hospice staff) on topics such as: Grief – The Basics; Complex Bereavement Issues; Bereavement due to Suicide, Homicide and Multiple Loss; Suicide Prevention/Intervention Strategies; Professional Self-care, Communication, and Program Evaluation and Outcomes.
John is currently the Program Manager and Clinical Supervisor of Family Preservation and Family Support programs with Family Services of the North Shore, programs that work closely with MCFD concerning families struggling with addictions, mental health and domestic violence. He is also an adjunct instructor at Adler University teaching graduate level Ethics in Counselling Psychology.
Pam Bilusack is the Executive Director at BCBH and has a background in the non-profit sector including fund development, event planning, and communications. Pam brings with her lived experience with suicide loss and since losing her brother to suicide in 2007 has been passionate about suicide prevention and post-vention. She initially got involved with BCBH through her involvement as a support group facilitator, volunteer, and member of the Crisis Centre of BC’s Bereavement Advisory Committee. Pam’s education includes a Human Resources Manager Certificate, Traumatic Loss Group Facilitator Training through BCBH, Applied Suicide Invention and Skill Training (ASIST), Supervisor Training for Substance Abuse Prevention Training, Aboriginal Awareness Training and an Applied Psychology and Counselling Diploma from the Kelowna College of Professional Counselling.
Debra has a M Ed degree in Counselling Psychology and is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. Her over 35 years of professional experience in Alberta and BC has included direct counselling services for individuals and groups, post-secondary teaching, senior organizational and clinical management in not-for-profit and commercial environments. Her passion is helping others become their best selves regardless of challenges and situations. Her clinical expertise includes grief and loss, depression, anxiety, conflict management, and communication strategies. Debra has had over 20 years’ volunteer experience in palliative/hospice care. Currently, she volunteers at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice where she helps out in the kitchen with meal-prep, dish-washing and cookie-baking!
Dr. Alana Abramson began her work in human services with the Crisis Centre of BC and went on to be involved in the field of restorative justice as a researcher, practitioner, and trainer since 1999. She has extensive experience facilitating difficult conversations around various topics including suicide, violence, and trauma in community, prison, and school contexts. In 2017, Alana was the recipient of the Restorative Justice Award from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. Alana is currently a full-time Criminology Instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Coordinator and Facilitator for the Alternatives to Violence Project, Facilitator for BC Bereavement Society, Board Member for the BC Association of Restorative Justice, and trainer with Achieve/Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute.
Leita (she/her) is an organizer, advocate and therapist who supports folks as they navigate life-altering traumas. She is honoured to work with many different communities, families and individuals as they navigate their healing journeys. She is committed to the de-professionalization of therapy; prioritizing safety, transparency and relatability. Her practice focuses on the complexity of violence, systemic oppression, accountability, transformation and healing. She comes to this work with a deep commitment to radical compassion, subverting systems and the belief that no one is disposable.
Liz Drocholl worked for the Federal Government for 25 years in the Correctional Service of Canada. She enjoyed working with incarcerated men in this role and saw it as a way to help them make necessary life changes in order to become contributing members of society. During the latter part of her career, Liz facilitated staff training for a variety of other government agencies, with the focus being on Mental Health awareness discussions.
In 2021, her life as she knew it, changed forever with the loss of her husband of almost 24 years, due to suicide. She has been very pro-active in attending support groups and finding other helpful resources along her journey. At the beginning of 2022, she participated in BCBH’s Suicide Grief Support Group. Her desire to help others who have also experienced this devastating loss motivated her to decide to become a facilitator.
Maux Elworthy is a facilitator, coach, and Death Doula working at the intersections of grief, uncertainty, and change. Her professional experience includes over 15 years working in mental health, managing a crisis line, training and supervising dozens of frontline workers, certifying hundreds of first responders in suicide intervention, and providing corporate change management on large-scale tech projects.
With first-hand experience of suicide loss, Maux brings compassion and a trauma-informed approach to her work supporting others. Maux weaves knowledge of somatic experiencing, circle process, change theory, and experiential learning into her work supporting individuals, groups, and organizations in their healing.