Fort McMurray, AB (September 24, 2021) — Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Bouchier are thrilled to announce a local business owner and psychologist as the third nominee of the 2021-2022 Women of Inspiration Series.
Jillian Martin has been selected by the committee for her work as a psychologist and her efforts in minimizing mental health gaps in our region. Martin, who moved to Alberta in 2010, says her passion for addressing gaps in mental health started early in her career while working in a small town with limited supports. She moved to Fort McMurray in 2013 and saw similar needs in terms of mental health.
After the 2016 wildfire, Martin worked as a full-time psychologist with the Fort McMurray Catholic School District (FMCSD). She says while working with children she realized the need for mental health support was growing for parents and families.
“We don’t always know where to send the family or the individual for their needs. That’s been a driving force for me with developing a bit of a community of care and facilitating networking between health professionals and mental health professionals.” — Jillian Martin, the third nominee of the 2021-2022 Women of Inspiration Series.
While Martin focuses on women’s perinatal and prenatal mental health in her private practice, she continues working collaboratively to make sure there is a network to build and facilitate a community of health. She has spent time building relationships with other mental health and health professionals like chiropractors, naturopathic health systems and doctors to have more open communication to provide more services for families.
Martin often partners with like-minded local businesses focusing on the connections within and the importance of breaking gendered stigma around mental health. These efforts include collaborating with Clearwater Physical Therapy to create an online platform for local women to discuss the relationship between pelvic health and mental health. She has also partnered with Iron Camp Fitness to fundraise and advocate for men’s mental health – a topic often not talked about or represented enough based on the deeply ingrained patriarchy and gender stereotypes.
With the ongoing pandemic, continued distress from the wildfire, the economic downturn and the layers of experiences our community has been through Martin says when it comes to self-care it’s important to start with meeting our basic needs like adequate sleep, nutritious food, finding ways to connect with others and checking in with ourselves about how we are feeling and what we need.
“You’re born innately worthy and important and valued. You have everything within you that you need in order to do the big things that you want to do. I just hope that every girl and woman has the opportunity to see that within themselves and to be able to take that and be a fierce, forceful presence moving forward.”
Martin continues to work tirelessly to build relationships with community partners to create more collaboration of services to minimize mental health gaps in the Wood Buffalo region. These collective actions hope to advance dialogues around diversity, equity and inclusion, inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold.
Martin will join four other Women of Inspiration nominees to be honoured in March 2022.
The application deadline for the fourth nominee of the Women of Inspiration Series is October 30, 2021. 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. Girls Inc. has been serving the Wood Buffalo Region since 2004, growing our reach every year. In 2020, Girls Inc. was able to connect with over 1,575 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 specialise 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 neighbour. 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.