Meet Carol Cowan-Levine: Mental Health Professional and Eli’s Place Board Chair

Carol Cowan-Levine at Scotia Run

Introduce yourself 

I am a  Registered Social Worker and Registered Psychotherapist (RP) currently in private practise. Throughout my professional career and in my volunteer work I’ve been invested in promoting excellence in healthcare with a focus on improving the health and well being of people whose voices and needs have not always been heard, understood or supported.

How did you become a Friend of Eli’s Place?

I first learned of Eli’s Place from a founding member of the board, Trixie Traub-Werner. Subsequently, I have invested in Eli’s Place because of experiences both personal and professional that have exposed the gaps in service provision in our mental health system. When I was invited to consider serving on the Board, I accepted because the hopeful vision of Eli’s Place reinforces the belief I have that things can change.

How have you been involved with Eli’s Place?

I was invited to serve on the Board of Directors in January 2018 and as of September 2019, I’ve had the privilege of serving as Chair of the Board. Whilst I always felt I could contribute to the Board, assist in its development, and move things forward, it has been the others around the Board table who have encouraged and inspired me!

What would you like to add to the conversation about mental health? 

While attitudes around mental illness are slowly changing and there are many more public examples of “talking the talk”, I am not sufficiently assured that we “walk the talk”! Awareness has vastly improved, but has acceptance? Resources are growing, but not at the pace required. Need continues to far outstrip resources – however beneficial new online services and helplines may be, we desperately need treatment options which go beyond simple stop gap measures.

What does our tagline “Where Recovery Grows” mean to you?

Our tagline reminds me that recovery doesn’t happen all at once, that recovery is a process. Experiencing a sense of well being for even a moment is essential as a starting place. Eli’s Place offers the possibility of growing recovery, recognizing that it doesn’t happen in a day or even a week, but that the seeds of hope get planted, take root, and continue to require a nurturing and nourishing environment in which growth can continue. Although this is the journey that any individual struggling with a significant health issue embarks upon, for the population of Eli’s Place, the physical environment is an even more critical piece in instilling hope and serves as an incubator in which the skilled interprofessional will support, guide, and nurture the healing process. When ready, those seeds can be transplanted with support, until life feels more secure and moving forward is something one is more willing to embrace.

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This March, CanadaHelps will make an additional one-time donation of $20 for every new monthly gift of $20 or more in support of Eli’s Place!*