Jasmine Rakhra, Youth Mental Health Advocate and Undergraduate Psychology Student at the University of Victoria
Karen Copeland is a wealth of knowledge about navigating the school system and the Ministry of Children and Family Development to access the support she needs for her family. Karen openly shares her story to let families know that they’re not alone and by the means of connecting, communicating, and researching a solution can be found. I’m continuously inspired by the advocate Karen is for children, youth, and family mental health in BC and for putting families first.
I highly recommend everyone to attend one of Karen’s workshops or read through her blog posts. You’re sure to be inspired and touched by her vulnerability, strength, and passion to break down the stigma.
Karen was a presenter at the recent BC School Trustee Association conference where I was a participant. Since this presentation I have been in contact with Karen multiple times as she is such a wealth of information. Not only is she available and willing to share her expertise but also is able to share her own personal experiences. Karen is professional, caring and very knowledgeable. Would encourage anyone looking for information regarding children and youth mental health to reach out.
Laurie Schulz, Counsellor in Private Practice and Impact Youth Substance Use Services
There are those people we meet in our lifetime that it takes just a few quick moments for a connection to be made with and an impressionable mark to be left. Through this last year (plus), I have had the privilege of getting to know Karen to be such a person.
I have been able to co-facilitate a few workshops with Karen this that have created important discussions regarding mental health and relationships. Partnering with her in this capacity has been an exciting one as I walk away from our planning meetings and events with renewed energy and excitement. Our work together has focused on sharing our interest of the development of relationships, specifically between parents and children and parents and the professionals helping to support their children.
Karen carries with her a strong desire to develop a community in which all voices are heard, respected and honored. She passionately pursues this by advocating for children and their families, addressing barriers that prevent families from receiving supports and creating awareness of mental health and wellness. Karen works incredibly hard to develop opportunities for these important issues to be discussed and critically explored. Through public speaking, community development and workshop facilitation, Karen lives out her commitment to the wellbeing of individuals, their families, education and mental health services. She has an honest and influential way of sharing her experience and knowledge, which will continue to help shape the people she meets and the community in which she lives.
CC Duncan, Behaviour Management Consultant, Owner/Operator of 4children.ca
From the first time I read the post “I am THAT parent” on the blog, I was amazed at how closely I connected with what this mom was saying. Not closely connected because I had raised or was raising a child with diagnosed special needs, but because I related to the many parents and care-providers that I had met and continue to meet both as a parent and through my work as a behaviour management consultant.
Her words resonated with me on the accuracy, how deep the meaning was and how some of the heartfelt sharing was not to be negative, but to bring awareness, compassion and understanding of being a parent of a child with special needs. The honesty and sincerity of the words jumped out at you as you read through them and all that was asked was for the reader to either identify with or understand her life. It meant a lot to me to acknowledge and respect the vulnerability of this parent’s words and her strength to put them out there – outing her feelings to share with us and not be judged. This parent advocated not only for her child but for all parents and children that would read the post.
I read the post a few more times and I felt the need to connect with this mom. When we connected, Karen Copeland, the author of the post told me she was surprised at the response, to which I could only ask why? The post had gone viral! I wasn’t surprised.
Many months of emails and telephone conversations followed. I was continually impressed on the growth of Karen. Her strength, courage and confidence was building. She was being heard, understood and respected. I want to share Karen with my community. I know the impact she would have. For this, I highly recommend Karen, for her ability to connect with parents, educators and other professionals raising, working with or being with children with any special need.
Taking the time and effort to launch a website, blog, add posts and information that she has researched and followed, Karen is a wonderful resource for any child, parent and others. This is incredibly helpful for families just stepping into a new world of understanding the diagnosis and for families who have been on that journey for a while. Karen shares her skills, is honest about the day to day challenges, and highlights the great things that can happen in her day. At the same time she’s real, she accepts and shares that she doesn’t know it all, has made mistakes and only knows she is learning through them. She gives encouragement and hope to all of us out there.
I believe as a result of her sharing and continuing to advocate for her own and other families, Karen is changing lives. She is empowering others to take charge and advocate for themselves and the children in their lives. It has truly been an honour and joy working with her and I look forward to being able to hear more from her in the future.