Our team

The Dr. Jay Children’s Grief Centre staff have extensive experience in supporting children, youth and their families through dying and death. Their backgrounds include social work, psychotherapy, expressive art therapy, child development and child life studies.

Butterfly
Sue McWatt

MSW

Interim Executive Director
About Sue

Coming soon…

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Lysa Toye

MSW, RSW, ExAT

Grief & Palliative Care Counsellor | Camp Erin Clinical Director

About Lisa

Lysa is an Expressive Arts Therapist and Master’s-trained Social Worker with a collaborative certificate in palliative and supportive care. She has worked in community and hospital pediatric and adult health, mental health and palliative care settings for over a decade. Lysa splits her time between the Centre and private practice and is passionate about supporting children, youth and families living with grief and trauma to grieve, grow and give voice to their experiences through mindful creativity, art, ritual and the natural world.

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Tara Noble

MSW, RSW

Grief & Palliative Care Counsellor | Family & Youth Program Facilitator

About Tara

Tara holds a Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University and since 1998 has worked with children and families in children’s mental health, child protection and family law agencies. Throughout her career, Tara has provided parenting assessments and counselling for children and families experiencing a variety of challenges such as relationship ruptures, grief and trauma. Through the lens of attachment and a family systems approach, Tara uses art/play therapy techniques, CBT and Trauma informed practice to empower individuals to move toward healthy coping strategies and positive change.

Megan Porter
Megan Porter

MSW, RSW

Grief & Palliative Care Counsellor | Family Program Facilitator

About Megan

Megan holds a Masters of Social Work and has worked with children, youth and their families living with illness, loss and trauma in community-based settings since 2004. Megan is passionate about supporting families from a holistic perspective to build connection, capacity, and coping through difficulties. She strives to work with people’s inherent strengths to support them as they navigate the new landscape of their lives.

Christina Lee
Christina Lee

DTATI

Grief & Palliative Care Counsellor | Youth Program Facilitator

About Christina

Christina completed her post-graduate studies in art therapy and is pursuing a Masters in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy. She worked with patients and families at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, providing supportive art therapy in the inpatient care centres and acute palliative care unit. Through her experience in community mental health agencies, Christina is experienced in working with children with histories of social, emotional, mental health and behavioural challenges. She is dedicated to supporting children and families as they navigate the complex journey of illness, grief and trauma. Christina endeavours to empower individuals with a voice through art, and to nurture the discovery of inner resilience, creativity, hope, and meaning.

T McKenzie Field
Tara McKenzie Field

MA, RCC, RP (Qualifying)

Grief & Palliative Care Counsellor

About Tara

Tara is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying). She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from McGill University and a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology. Tara has a strong clinical background in hospice palliative care and grief support ̶ including individual, group, and family therapies. She knows that supporting grieving children through the dying, death, and mourning of family members can give them the tools to cope with loss and transitions throughout their lives. Tara is passionate about offering her skills, knowledge, and empathy to young clients and their families to facilitate healing and hope in their grief journeys.

Becka
Becka Soyka

RECE

Intake & Volunteer Coordinator

About Becka

Becka is a Registered Early Childhood Educator, and since 1997 has moved between the fields of childcare, healthcare, hospitality and business. From travelling the world managing entertainment operations for Carnival Cruise Lines, to supporting staff and students within the University Health Network, Becka’s unique skill set including her love of children, administrative strengths, and a passion for helping others makes her a welcome addition to our team.

Alice Tringham
Alice Tringham

BA(Hons)

Operations & HR Advisor

About Alice

Alice began her career in London, England working in the Mental Health Sector with young adults.  After immigrating to Toronto, Alice branched out into administration in educational settings with children and young adults, including the University of Toronto and Upper Canada College. Alice is responsible for all the operational aspects of running a thriving organization, creating streamlined processes and systems and ensuring that the Centre runs smoothly each and every day.

Victoria Pileggi
Victoria Pileggi

PhD

Research & Evaluation Coordinator | Youth Program Facilitator

About Victoria

Victoria is a doctoral candidate in the University of Guelph’s Family Relations and Human Development department. She completed her Master’s degree in the same program in 2014. She began working with the center as a Research Assistant on a collaborative project funded by the Women’s Xchange Network, exploring caregivers’ concerns when caring for a grieving child. She is excited about research, program-evaluation and evidence-based programming and combines her love of data with a passion for families, children and youth. Adding to her experiences working as a camp counselor, peer mentor, and educational assistant, she also studies family relationships when a child is living with a chronic health condition or disability.

Heather
Heather O’Brien

CCLS

Grief & Palliative Care Counsellor

(currently on leave)

About Heather

Heather graduated in 2001 and has worked in child and adolescent mental health in a number of different settings. She developed a child and adolescent bereavement course for George Brown College and was awarded the Golda Fine Award in 2013 to study Dignity Therapy.

Ceilidh
Ceilidh Eaton Russell

MSc, CCLS

Researcher & Evaluator

(currently on leave)

About Ceilidh

Ceilidh graduated from the Child Life Program at McMaster University in 2001 and earned a Master of Science from the University of Guelph’s Family Relations and Human Development in 2013. She also conducts research with the Brain Tumour Program at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, exploring family interactions with seriously ill children.

Colleen
Colleen Mousseau

M.Ed., R.P.

Grief & Palliative Care Counsellor | Youth Program Facilitator

(currently on leave)

About Colleen

Colleen is a Registered Psychotherapist and holds a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology. She has been working with children, youth and their families through children’s mental health and family service agencies across Southern Ontario since 2000. She works through an integrated approach of cognitive, behavioral and expressive arts therapies supporting groups and individuals, including those who have been victims of violent crimes and survivors of trauma.

We need your help As a registered charity that DOES NOT RECEIVE GOVERNMENT FUNDING, we rely on the generosity of donors like you to provide children with the support they need at absolutely no cost to their families.

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We are a safe space
Dr. Jay Children’s Grief Centre is a safe and inclusive space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and their allies.
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