Our Team

Meriya Gmeiner-McPherson


Meriya is the Store Manager and will likely be the first person to greet you when you arrive at the store. Meriya is responsible for managing volunteers, sourcing products and supporting clients and counsellors in their practice. Meriya studied at Quest University with a focus on sociology, art and education and examined the intersectional nature of mental health in a cumulative art project exploring student experiences of mental health at university. She has an interdisciplinary background working as a residential counsellor, outdoor educator, thrift shop manager, bus driver, photographer and artist. She is hoping to pursue graduate studies in Social work and continue building her skills as a community organizer and artist.

You can reach Meriya at info@hardfeelings.org

“Hard Feelings is a space to seek support for the unspoken challenges that can influence ourselves, our families and our community. I am excited to work as a part of a social enterprise that is actively trying to make a more accessible space for talking, healing and community wellness.”

Kate Scowen


Kate is the Founder and President of Hard Feelings.  She has been working in the non-profit and community services sector for over 30 years. She has worked as a counsellor, program manager, writer and consultant for a variety of community-based organizations in Toronto.  Kate completed her MSW at the University of Toronto in 2015 and has worked most recently as a counsellor at George Brown College and Ryerson University.

You can reach Kate at kate@hardfeelings.org

“Hard Feelings is the culmination of three years of researching, talking about and imagining a little space that might make big change in the landscape of mental health service delivery in Toronto. The response to this project has been unbelievably powerful and positive. I feel honoured to be able to bring it to life, with the support of many, many wonderful people who have donated time, ideas, energy and resources to get it off the ground.”

Board of Directors

Claire Angus, CPA, CA, MSc (Treasurer) – Director of Finance, Sheena’s Place 

Maureen Carter-Whitney, LLB, LLM (Secretary) – Vice-Chair, Environmental Review Tribunal

Arij Elmi, MSW, RSWPhD Candidate, University of Toronto

Neil Price, MA – Director Student Life, Humber College

Katherine Roy – Graduate Student, Ryerson University

Kate Scowen, MSc, MSW, RSW (President) – Counsellor, Private Practice 

Kaleigh Wisman – Community Relations Coordinator, West Neighbourhood House


Robert Barnard – CEO Decode

Dr. Lisa Berger, C. Psych. – Clinical Psychologist, Private Practice

Maureen Fair – Executive Director, West Neighbourhood House

Janis GillanOwner, Cafe sur Mer

Cathy Mallove – Communications and Knowledge Exchange professional

Solomon McKenzieJuris Doctor Candidate, University of Toronto Faculty of Law

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

Dr. Sarah Thompson, C. Psych.Clinical Psychologist, Ryerson University & Private Practice

Our Supporters

Diane Dale

Mary Anne McNally