Fort McMurray, AB (October 14, 2022) — Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Bouchier are excited to announce that Amy Parsons has been selected as the third Woman of Inspiration of the 2022-2023 series.
Parsons was selected by the Women of Inspiration Committee for her efforts addressing mental health needs in Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo.
Since graduating from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2012, Parsons has held many roles in our community. Starting her career as Coordinator of Family Access Services and the Director of Family Access Services at The Hub Family Resource Centre, where she worked with families exposed to domestic violence. This year she launched Amy Parsons Clinical Consulting Inc.
“I always think I try to do what’s right, not what’s easy. I’ve never done that with the intention of being a role model, or being a leader or anything like that. I’ve just done it because I feel like that’s what it means to be a good human. I strive to leave the planet and the world in a better place because of some small tangible actions I can take.”
In 2017, while working for Alberta Health Services she began compiling data about the number of children and youth admitted to the hospital for psychiatric care. She created a $216,000 proposal for the Northern Lights Health Foundation (NLHF) for the development of Pediatric & Adolescent Mental Health Sensory Room, which was unanimously endorsed and is now the NLHF’s Greatest Need Fund.
“If we had classes in communication and naming emotions in childhood, what a different society we would have in 20 years. But we’re not there yet and since we’re not there yet I’m trying to support children and youth in the best way I can.”
Parsons explains that achieving mental health and wellness goes beyond therapy, and also involves addressing the social, political, and environmental challenges people encounter. For this reason, she takes a holistic approach to mental health care.
“I want to be able to make the promise to people coming to see me that you won’t just get this one hour of therapy every two weeks. If you need something, call me and I will support you in whatever way I can.”
In her practice, she prioritizes social justice. She says that experiences like racism and colonialism have profoundly shaped people’s lived experience. While some prefer to have a diagnosis, she says lived experience can’t always be summed up by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a diagnostic tool used by mental health care providers.
In 2021, Parsons began her Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work and dedicated her doctoral research to exploring the adverse experiences of healthcare workers who disclose mental health concerns in the workplace. She terms their experience “psychiatric weaponization” which she defines as patterns of scrutiny directed toward one’s work ethic, character, thoughts and opinions. She is particularly interested in how this intensifies for women, racialized persons, and members of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community.
While with Alberta Health Services, Parsons was a member of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta, where she increased union awareness, activism, and membership in the region and supported anti-privatization rallies, letter-writing campaigns, and a billboard campaign advocating for increased healthcare support. She plans to take her doctoral research to unions in the province when it’s complete.
Parsons will join four other Women of Inspiration to be honoured in March 2023.
The application deadline for the fourth Woman of Inspiration of 2022-2023 is October 30, 2022. The nomination form can be found on our website.
About Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta
Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta (Girls Inc.) inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through direct service and advocacy. Our comprehensive approach to whole girl development equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and grow up healthy, educated, and independent. Since 2004, Girls Inc. has been operating on the lands of Treaty 8 territory, the traditional meeting ground, gathering place, traveling route and home of the Cree, Dene and Métis people for thousands of years. In 2021, Girls Inc. was able to connect with over 1,566 girls from Conklin to Fort Chipewyan. The girls-only, physically and emotionally safe environment where girls discover their strengths, find their voice and become agents of change.
Bouchier is a leader in integrated site services, 100% local, Indigenous owned. With more than 20 years operating in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, they specialize in both civil and facility maintenance & construction as well as provide project management solutions.Committed to a strong safety record and family focused culture, Bouchier believes in the importance of always being a good neighbor. Not only does the company have long standing loyal clients, they also invest time getting to know their stakeholders at all levels. They honor their roots proudly, with community investments that create lasting change for their team members, Indigenous peoples, and the communities where they live and work. *1M hours without a recordable injury, 2 years in a row.
Trusted Partner. Providing Solutions.