Join our team

Job Opportunities

Please check-out or jobs board if you have a passion for helping others and want to join our team.

Shaleen Jones

Shaleen Jones

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Shaleen Jones has been an advocate, organizer, educator, and all-round rabble rouser in the field of eating disorders for over twenty years, holding leadership positions with community organization such as the BC Eating Disorders Association, Laing House, Peer Support Canada, and CMHA National.

Having overcome an eating disorder, she is passionate about recovery, the transformative power of peer support, and creating sustainable, systematic changes across the sector. Shaleen was one of the first people trained specifically to provide peer support for those with eating disorders in Canada, and earned her Peer Support Certification from Peer Support Canada in 2015.

Shaleen was recognized with an Inspiring Lives Award from the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia, and served on the Mental Health Advisory Council to the Federal Minister of Health, and the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Hallway Group.

As the Executive Director for Eating Disorders Nova Scotia Shaleen works to ensure that no-one in Nova Scotia has to face an eating disorder alone. She lives in Halifax with her son and their very loud cat.

Debra Wells-Hopey

Debra Wells-Hopey

PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Debra is a “Jill of all trades” with a background that ranges from college instructor to newspaper editor to public relations professional and even a clothing store owner. Woven throughout these gigs has been a commitment to the non-profit sector where she has been responsible for outreach, facilitation, and program creation and supervision for various organizations.

A committed life-long learner, Debra has degrees in philosophy, public relations and education. She is currently in the thesis writing portion of her PhD in Education, specializing in Adult Learning. She distracts herself from this work with trash television, vintage clothing hunts, and by reading cozy British mystery novels.

Debra lives in downtown Dartmouth with her husband and two cats, one of which rules the house with an iron paw. She is somewhat honoured to bow to his every feline whim. She has two adult children, one of whom lives in the Caribbean. It is questionable as to whether he misses her as much as she misses him, as palm trees and sky blue seas seem to dull the feelings of homesickness apparently.

Debra has personal experience with disordered eating, treatment, and recovery. She understands that eating disorders can be lonely, and that recovery is a deeply personal journey that is aided by surrounding oneself with a community that acts as a support, a sounding board, and a soft place to just “be”.

Nikki Olguin

Nikki Olguin

PEER SUPPORT COORDINATOR

Nikki (she/her) is currently completing her Bachelors of Social Work degree at Dalhousie University. She holds a BA in Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Social Service Worker Diploma from George Brown College.

Nikki has extensive experience providing crisis support as well as over six years of experience supporting children and youth within distinct mental health settings. She holds an anti-oppressive perspective, implementing a compassionate, collaborative, and non-judgemental approach.

In navigating an eating disorder at a young age, she became and continues to be passionate about children and youth mental health and recognizes the importance of early intervention when it comes to eating disorders.

She enjoys reading and writing, meeting new people, hanging out with her dogs and is always on the look out to learn something new!

Isa Wright

Isa Wright

SAFE, SEEN, SUPPORTED PROJECT COORDINATOR

Isa (they/them) is a nonbinary, third-generation settler and recent social work graduate currently living and working in K’jipuktuk. Their current area of focus is 2SLGBTQIA+ mental health, peer support, and community organizing.

Isa pursued social work as a career after recovering from disordered eating, and they are passionate about improving access to gender-affirming care for trans folks living with eating disorders. During their studies at Dalhousie University and social work placement at Laing House, they formed an approach to practice which is anti-oppressive and person-centered, and this practice continues to evolve throughout their current work. Currently, they are also working at the University of King’s College, where they work with students to coordinate and improve mental health care on campus.

When they aren’t working, Isa loves to hang out with their dog, watch reality dating shows, and read anything they can get their hands on.

Scott Ellis

Scott Ellis

OPERATIONS COORDINATOR

Scott is a passionate, community-oriented leader with years of experience working in communities around Nova Scotia to improve the lives of others and create a better world. He is a strong believer in continued learning and is currently taking a certificate in Public Policy & Management.

Scott is a survivor of anorexia nervosa and, since recovering himself, has worked to advocate for others. He currently lives in the North End of Halifax with his partner Brogan and enjoys spending time outside, reading a good book, or exploring Nova Scotia. He believes in making our world more compassionate and kind and is thrilled to be joining the team at Eating Disorders Nova Scotia working on creating a better future for those currently impacted.

Rania ElSouri

Rania ElSouri

CLINICAL THERAPIST

Rania has a Masters in Counselling Psychology, and bring 8 years of experience as a Clinical Therapist, supporting folks dealing with trauma, depression, anxiety, and disordered eating/eating disorders. She has also personally experienced and recovered from an eating disorder.

Rania draws upon evidence-based approaches with a holistic and anti-oppressive lens, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Solution Focused, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy. Rania has worked as a Clinical Therapist with the North End Health Centre, Nova Centre for Woman, the YMCA, and Phoenix Youth Programs.

Her passion is helping people understand their behaviours, thoughts and emotions, and to create a life they love.

We all come from unique cultural backgrounds and have our own story to tell, Rania incorporates the use of multi-cultural counselling when working with clients.

Christina Gentile

Christina Gentile

CLINICAL THERAPIST

Christina holds an MA in Counselling Psychology from the University of Victoria. She received clinical training for eating disorders at the Eating Disorders Program in Victoria and at the University of Victoria’s Counselling Centre as part of the eating disorders team. Most recently, Christina worked as the eating disorders clinician for Child and Youth Mental Health in Duncan, B.C. She is also a counsellor at Acadia University.

Christina’s approach is holistic, strength-based, and trauma informed. She draws from various modalities including: Family-Based Therapy, Emotion-Focused Family Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Focusing, mindfulness-based practices, as well as art-based methods. She has worked with children, adolescents, adults, and families.

Christina brings a warm-hearted approach to counselling with a deep respect for the integrity of the individual and their social and environmental context. She speaks French and German fluently, is a certified yoga teacher, and a former professional singer. She is honoured to be living and working on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People.

Kathryn Fraser

Kathryn Fraser

PROFESSIONAL DIETITIAN

Kathryn (they/them, she/her) is a queer, non-binary dietitian originally from a small town in South Shore Nova Scotia who now lives in Halifax. They are a Professional Dietitian with a BSc in Nutrition from Acadia University and a MSc in Applied Human Nutrition from Mount Saint Vincent University.

As someone who has recovered from an eating disorder, Kathryn brings their own personal experience to their work and is familiar with the complexities that recovery entails. Kathryn has a passion for helping people expand their worlds by recognizing and healing challenging relationships with food and bodies. They draw upon a trauma-informed, anti-diet, inclusive and body-liberating lens of evidence-based care. Kathryn recognizes the complicated social systems of oppression in which we live and believes that everyone should be able to find a kind, non-judgemental ear as they move through recovery.

In their off-time, Kathryn can be found knitting, attempting to learn how to spin, weave, and dye fabric. They also enjoy examining plants in the wild, reading, listening to music and podcasts, and learning new fermentation recipes (giving a special shout-out to kimchi for being one of the best foods of all time!). Kathryn also likes to pretend that they are good a baking bread.

Breanne Hopkins

Breanne Hopkins

PROFESSIONAL DIETITIAN
(On maternity leave)

Breanne (she/her) is an Anti-Diet Professional Dietitian from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

After graduating from Mount St. Vincent University with a BSc in Applied Human Nutrition in 2012, she began her career in Windsor, Ontario working in a community-based health agency as a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator primarily with the adult population.

Since 2016, she has supporting adolescents aged 12–25 living with eating disorders and disordered eating. She quickly became passionate about working alongside those experiencing disordered eating to assist them in harmoniously repairing their relationship with food and themselves.

Breanne has experience providing individualized nutrition therapy for those, and their supports, living with Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder and Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders and disordered eating patterns by using evidence-based approaches to care.

Breanne has recently relocated back to Halifax with her family and is excited to give back to her home community with Eating Disorders Nova Scotia, helping to increase access and address barriers to services for those who are affected by eating disorders. She looks forward to connecting with you to support wherever you are in your recovery journey.

Board of Directors

Cara Pfeffer

Cara Pfeffer

CHAIR

With over ten years of experience in the world of finance, Cara (she/her) feels privileged to serve as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for Eating Disorders Nova Scotia. Cara is an accounting student working toward a professional designation, and is a mom of three.

When not huddled over her calculator with jumbles of numbers or doing the usual daily routine of keeping little people alive, Cara enjoys running, her dogs, the ocean and simply taking advantage of spending tons of time with family.

Anne Marie Coolen

Anne Marie Coolen

PAST CHAIR

When Anne Marie’s child became severely ill with an eating disorder, she saw firsthand the tremendous need for more treatment and support services, standardized care practices, better education and awareness, and intensified research for eating disorders.

Anne Marie (she/her) is currently volunteering as a peer supporter for families and loved ones caring for people with eating disorders. She is honoured to have the opportunity to work with so many amazing people to help reduce the suffering of people affected by eating disorders.

Anne Marie is an enthusiastic student of yoga philosophy, and she enjoys choral singing and cycling.

Collette Deschenes

Collette Deschenes

VICE-CHAIR

Collette Deschenes (she/her) is a creative communications professional with a passion for helping organizations build and foster relationships.

After completing her BA at Dalhousie, Collette graduated from NSCC in 2012 with an advanced diploma in public relations. Her communications career has focused on strategically supporting non profits and regulatory bodies, including the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, Nova Scotia College of Social Workers and currently in her role as the communications advisor for the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.

After many years struggling with an eating disorder, Collette began to write about her recovery journey as a creative outlet and to inspiring hope. In 2017, she became a peer mentor with Eating Disorders Nova Scotia to use her experiences to help others share their stories and find their voice through recovery.

Collette lives in Halifax with her boyfriend, her dog Ollie and spends her spare time hiking, writing, running, cooking and watching every comedy special on Netflix.

Mark Thibodeau

Mark Thibodeau

TREASURER

Mark (he/him) is a Program Manager at GDMS-C, leading his teams through the wild, crazy ride of delivering a new anti-submarine warfare system for the Canadian Navy. Mark’s accomplishments include leading a business capture team to win the UWSU contract, valued at over $150M. His advantage is an ability to find win-win strategies in difficult situations. Mark and his family enjoy off-the-beaten-path adventures, like back-packing across Europe. A wonderful experience and a lifelong lesson in learning how to truly pack light!

Becca Bishop

Becca Bishop

Becca Bishop has been a community development practitioner for over five years with a degree in community development from St. Francis Xavier.

Becca‘s career focuses on supporting community and public sectors organizations build their engagement with youth. She is an advocate for cross-sector collaboration and youth mental health.

Becca has lived experience with an eating disorder and is committed to improving the quality of care for those accessing support.

Clarisse Nga Fouda

Clarisse Nga Fouda

Clarisse Nga Fouda is a customer service and human resources consultant and a law school graduate, and is always volunteering to help people discover their inner potential.

Clarisse battled with an eating disorder for years and promised herself that she would help others living with the same struggle. She is passionate about raising awareness and reducing myths about eating disorders.

Clarisse is happily married with four children. She enjoys long walks, cooking, listening to music and reading.

Hannah Baillie

Hannah Baillie

Hannah Baillie is a public relations student at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is passionate about communication and using storytelling to advocate for a variety of topics, particularly eating disorders and mental health.

Hannah is looking forward using her personal and professional experience in the healthcare system to advocate for improved eating disorder supports, services, and initiatives.

When Hannah isn’t studying or working, she can be found hiking one of Nova Scotia’s beautiful scenic trails. She is a proud member of Mount Saint Vincent University’s student-run newspaper and the varsity cross country team and enjoys a good game of pick-up basketball.

Jennifer Brady

Jennifer Brady

Jennifer Brady is a registered Dietitian and Assistant Professor at Mount Saint Vincent University. Her broad research interests cover critical feminist perspectives of food, nutrition, eating, bodies, and expertise.

She is very interested in the history of how dietetics and home economics became professions, and what role health professionals play in social justice and health equity.

Matthew Moulton

Matthew Moulton

Matthew Moulton (he/him) is an associate lawyer in Cox & Palmer’s Halifax office. He received his law degree from the University of New Brunswick, where he graduated on the Dean’s List, and his Master of Laws from the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University.

Matthew has been on the Board of Directors for Eating Disorders Nova Scotia since 2021. He lives in the North End of Halifax with his partner and their two pets. He enjoys weightlifting, baking, and watching documentaries.

Ruth Shelton

Ruth Shelton

Ruth (she/her) is a Masters of psychiatry research student at Dalhousie University where she will be conducting research in the subjects of childhood trauma as well as mood and anxiety disorders. She has been involved in various mental health causes and initiatives over the last several years. During her undergraduate she founded the Mental Health Society, was the student lead for the Healthy Minds Team, worked for the university Counselling Centre, and was the president of the Psychology Society.

Currently she is a member of the National Youth Advisory Committee for Mood Disorders Canada, volunteers in several research labs, and is working as a psychiatric researcher at the Abbie Lane hospital. As a person with lived experience Ruth is passionate about mental health and recovery and is excited to contribute to the Eating Disorders Nova Scotia board.

 

Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board is Dr. Marriam Abou-El-Haj and Dr. Hali Bauld.