Hard Feelings is an innovative mental health organization, based in Toronto. We support a community of professional counsellors who offer low-cost therapy. Our retail shop sells curated resources that support stronger mental health. Our innovative storefront is a welcoming space where you can connect with others, engage in conversations that fight stigma, and get help in navigating your way to the supports you need.
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 the west-end of Toronto. In response to the pandemic, we moved our store and counselling online.
In February 2023, we opened a new storefront at 353 Church Street, where we are now connecting with new communities, and expanding our community of practice to return to some in-person counselling. As we look to the future, 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.
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
Claire Angus (she/her)
Claire was a founding board member and has acted as the controller for Hard Feelings since its inception. She has worked within the non-profit sector for over 32 years in social services, health, education, supportive housing, and the arts in Canada and the U.K. Claire completed her CPA while working for KPMG in Toronto and obtained her MSc in Charity Accounting and Financial Management in London. Claire is committed to supporting the whole Hard Feelings team in their mission to innovate in the mental health sector.
You can reach Claire at [email protected]
Taima Humbert (she/her)
Taima is the Store Manager at Hard Feelings. She has been working with Hard Feelings since October 2020. Taima Completed her BA in Cognitive Science at the University of Toronto. 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 and products 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.
You can reach Taima at [email protected]
Elise Meertens (she/her) - Currently on maternity leave
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
Martin Seal (he/him)
Volunteer & Community Engagement Lead
Martin is working to grow Hard Feelings’ volunteer program and community outreach initiatives. Martin completed his BA in Philosophy from Concordia University in 2018, and a post-graduate certificate in Interactive Media Management from Centennial College in 2021. Martin believes in using empathy to open up conversations that lead to innovative and creative user-centric solutions.
You can reach Martin at [email protected]
Judy Snagg (she/her)
Storefront & Social Media Associate
Judy started at Hard Feelings in July of 2023, planning our 6th annual Mental Health Pop-Up Market. She has a degree in Microbiology, however, motivated by her passion for community and DEI, she works to build safe spaces for people of diverse identities. Judy values communication and works towards using different mediums to connect with audiences based on their preferred communication style.
You can reach Judy at [email protected]
Board of Directors
Rona Abramovitch, PhD (she/her) Co-Chair – Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto, Board member on several non-profits in Toronto
Annabelle Bernard, BA, MBA Diploma (she/her) Treasurer – Community Investment Manager, United Way Greater Toronto
Maia Bessemer, BA, JD (she/her) – Associate General Counsel, Corporate, Shopify Inc.
Maureen Carter-Whitney, LLB, LLM (she/her) Co-Chair/Secretary – Member, Immigration and Refugee Board, Refugee Appeal Division
Trish Cislak, BA, B.Ed (she/her) – Head of Libraries, Crescent School / Director of Research, Crescent Centre for Boys’ Education
Saisha Guzder, BA (she/her) – Digital Marketer & Brand Strategist for the Arts
Jean Hopkins, MSW, RSW, MSc (she/her) – Policy Analyst, Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario
Neil Price (he/him) – Co-Founder and Executive Director, LogicalOutcomes
Jazba Singh, BA (she/her) – Policy and Program Advisor, Indigenous Education and Well Being Division, Safe and Healthy School Branch, Programs and Partnerships Development Unit, Ontario Ministry of Education
Maureen Fair – Executive Director, West Neighbourhood House
Cathy Mallove – Communications and Knowledge Exchange professional
Solomon McKenzie – Associate, McCarthy Tétrault
Iris Nemani – Chief Programming Officer, Harbourfront Centre
Dr. Micheal Shier, PhD, MSW, RSW – Associate Professor, U of T, FIFSW
Dr. Sarah Thompson, C. Psych. – Director & Clinical Psychologist, Transforming Emotions