Our mission is to approach the conversation surrounding mental health from both sides: empowering those offering care as well as those receiving care.
Trauma Informed. People Centred. Crisis Prevention. Proactive. Inclusive. Humanness.
Originally from Newfoundland, Karyn moved to Toronto in 2014 in pursuit of her dreams. She has since found home and spends her time as an Actor, Public Speaker, Peer Supporter, Consultant & Founder of Trauma Tree.
Karyn wears many hats, but her message is unwavering: change perceptions, fight stigmas and be a voice for those living and struggling with symptoms of mental health disorders, chronic pain & disability. Her inspiration stems from personal lived experiences as well as her ability to identify gaps within communities- and her drive to produce solutions with real results.
While not a Regulated Healthcare Professional, Karyn's initiatives and advocacy efforts are inspired by her personal experiences with mental health and trauma. The intention behind her services are to make the overwhelming seem manageable. Through guidance, relatability, humour and compassion, Karyn's approach is human-first, encouraging her audiences to practice empathy and understanding- even in the face of fear.
Karyn has over 25 years lived experience with symptoms of mental health disorders, chronic pain & disability, 15+ years experience in therapy/group therapy, 10+ years in Peer Support, Facilitation & Public Speaking and 5 years in coaching. She was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at 14 years old, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder & Generalized Anxiety Disorder at 23, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome at 32 and Fibromyalgia at 33.
Karyn has her Mental Health First Aid, Crisis Response Training, Peer Support Training and SafeTalk certifications as well as her First Aid certifications in Self Care and Caring for Others.
Karyn's podcast, The Model Tongue, launched in March of 2020 in order to create a safe & inclusive platform to help others find their voice & empower communities through the art of storytelling.
The Self Advocacy Workshop, which launched in 2022, focuses on empowerment, quality of life & advocacy within the mental health, chronic pain and disabled communities. It covers everything from healthy coping strategies, the mental health experience, finding medical professionals and how to apply self advocacy to real life situations within educational, workplace, healthcare, family and social environments. It is currently being offered to the YWCA Mindset Program in British Columbia. Learn more about The Self Advocacy Workshop here.
Karyn is currently a regular speaker at the SafeGuards Suicide & High Risk Behaviour Training as well as the YWCA B.C. Chapter where she delivers her Self Advocacy Workshop to their Mindset Program. Recent speaking engagements include being a Keynote Speaker at The Blue Rose Cancer Foundation Fundraising Gala (July 2022) as well as delivering a Workshop focused on Trauma Informed Care in the Workplace to The Public Service Alliance of Canada (November 2022)
Karyn has also collaborated with Heads Up For Harry, the Good to Be Good Foundation, AWP & The Made Of Millions Foundation.
Karyn founded Trauma Tree in January of 2022 after feeling frustrated with the lack of identifiable, accessible and trauma inclusive spaces within educational, healthcare, workplace environments and within society as a whole.
After observing that so many people within the mental health, chronic pain and disabled communities miss out on opportunities in life due to trauma and Trauma, Karyn began working on ways to make environments more accessible with a reduced risk of re-traumatization. This lead her to learn about trauma informed care, approaches and environments. This lead her to launch Trauma Tree.
Before there was a name, there was a concept: a database of medical professionals and service providers that offered trauma informed care.
Having lived with symptoms of mental health disorders and chronic pain for most of her life, Karyn is well aware of the benefits a carefully curated medical support team can have on anyone's overall wellbeing. But she got to thinking, where does trauma informed care begin? And does it ever end?
When you think of a support network of individuals who benefit your mental health, generally the first people to come to mind are medical professionals and practitioners... but what if we went further than that? What if we took more care in selecting individuals who we interact with on a regular basis, who offer trauma informed care, would that play a role in our overall mental and physical wellbeing?
The answer is yes.
Trauma Tree is meant to open up and support a deeper conversation surrounding mental health and mental health disorders, the people who live with them and how we can all play a role in softening obstacles.
From there- the site and it's mission grew. It started with a database and over time, branches began to appear: workshops, public speaking, consultation. We started building our very own trauma-informed family tree. We connected with likeminded individuals, found mentors who believe in the trauma-informed way, and most importantly, provided support and help to those who needed it most.