Our Story

Hard Feelings is an innovative non-profit organization, based in Toronto. We support a community of mental health professionals who offer low-cost, short-term counselling. Our online shop offers curated resources that support stronger mental health.

Hard Feelings was founded by Kate Scowen, a Registered Social Worker with a background in community work. Kate’s goal in building Hard Feelings was to meet the needs of those who face barriers in accessing mental health supports due to long wait times, high private practice fees, and the complexity of navigating the mental healthcare system. She also wanted to create a professional community where counsellors could get the support they need to provide the best service to clients.

We opened our doors in September 2017 and enjoyed three years of exciting growth in a beautiful storefront in Toronto. In response to the pandemic, we have moved our store and counselling online.

As we look to the future, we are making plans to move into a new storefront, and are expanding our community of practice to offer access to more low-cost counselling. We hope you will stay connected as we continue to bring innovation to the mental health sector that reduces barriers and increases access to stronger mental health.

Over 1,500 individuals have accessed low-cost counselling through Hard Feelings and the 35 counsellors who have worked with us in our Community of Practice. 

 

Hard Feelings Toronto
Hard Feelings Toronto

Mission & Mandate

Our mission is to bring innovation to the mental health sector that reduces barriers and increases access to stronger mental health.

We work with mental health professionals, community members, and partners to facilitate the delivery of low-cost counselling, curate mental health resources, and foster conversations that fight stigma.

Vision & Values

A world where everyone has the mental health supports they need.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

We acknowledge that mental health systems have adverse impacts on individuals and communities based on their identities and social location. In particular, Indigenous, Black, racialized, LGBTQ+ and disabled communities experience ongoing forms of exclusion and discrimination in healthcare settings. Hard Feelings is committed to learning and growing in our capacity to meaningfully address these challenges. We do this by reflecting on our work, listening to those with lived experience, changing policy and practice when necessary, partnering with communities and organizations with relevant expertise, and supporting the ongoing work of Truth and Reconciliation and decolonization.

To read more about our values, click here

Hard Feelings Team

Taima Humbert (she/her)

Store & Inventory Associate

Taima is the Store & Inventory Associate at Hard Feelings.  She is very passionate about mental health and is committed to increasing access to helpful resources.  This is one of the many reasons why she loves working at Hard Feelings, along with being surrounded by all the wonderful books we carry and the community that arises out of providing mental health awareness.  Taima is also an artist who has developed her style throughout her own mental health journey.  She’s currently completing her BA in Cognitive Science at the University of Toronto and hopes to pursue a career either in education or social work.

You can reach Taima at taima@hardfeelings.com

Elise Meertens (she/her)

Manager, Community of Practice

Elise is the Manager of the Community of Practice at Hard Feelings. She has been working with Hard Feelings as a Registered Psychotherapist since 2021, and has been providing support in community agencies, distress lines, private practice, and clinic environments since 2017. Elise completed her Masters of Counselling in Counselling Psychology through Athabasca University in 2018. She is passionate about increasing access for clients, and developing meaningful professional opportunities for counsellors. Deeply aligned with our mission, she enjoys sharing the vision and impact of Hard Feelings with others.

You can reach Elise at elise@hardfeelings.org

Kate Scowen (she/her)

Founder, Executive Director

Kate is the Founder and Executive Director of Hard Feelings. She currently oversees the growth of the community of practice and the online store, and leads partner relations and communications for the organization. Kate has been working in the non-profit and community services sector for over 35 years. She has worked as a counsellor, program manager, board member, and consultant for a variety of community-based organizations in Toronto. Kate completed her MSW at the University of Toronto in 2015. She has worked as a counsellor at George Brown College and Toronto Metropolitan University, and is a member of the community of practice at Hard Feelings.

You can reach Kate at kate@hardfeelings.org

Board of Directors

Rona Abramovitch, PhDProfessor Emeritus, University of Toronto, Board member on several non-profits in Toronto

Claire Angus, CPA, CA, MSc (Co-Chair, Treasurer) – Director of Finance/Treasurer at several non-profits in Canada and the UK 

Annabelle Bernard, BA, MBA Diploma Finance for Social Enterprise, Frontline Workers Collective (Founder) 

Maia Bessemer, BA, JD – Associate General Counsel, Corporate, Shopify Inc.

Maureen Carter-Whitney, LLB, LLM (Co-Chair, Secretary) – Member, Immigration and Refugee Board, Refugee Appeal Division

Trish Cislak, BA, B.Ed Head of Libraries – Crescent School, Director of Research – Crescent Centre for Boys’ Education

Saisha Guzder, BA – Digital Marketer & Brand Strategist for the Arts

Jean Hopkins, MSW, RSW, MSc – Policy Analyst, Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario

Advisors

Maureen Fair – Executive Director, West Neighbourhood House

Cathy Mallove – Communications and Knowledge Exchange professional

Solomon McKenzieAssociate, McCarthy Tétrault 

Iris Nemani – Chief Programming Officer, Harbourfront Centre

Neil Price Co-Founder and Executive Director, LogicalOutcomes

Dr. Micheal Shier, PhD, MSW, RSWAssociate Professor, U of T, FIFSW

Dr. Sarah Thompson, C. Psych.Director & Clinical Psychologist, Transforming Emotions

Financial Documents

Our Founding and Ongoing Supporters