Mona Fathieh

Mona Fathieh

2016 Innovation Award - Peel

Newcomer Centre of Peel

Nominator Comments:

Mona challenges the status quo to find better ways to support people experiencing trauma. Using complex, innovative approaches, she has implemented a diverse set of techniques to provide her clients with the support they deserve.

Through Mona’s work with clients who suffer from various trauma situations, she has recognized the need for after-hours services in order to best serve these individuals. By challenging the current status quo, her intention is to eventually fulfill this need on an ongoing basis.

Mona typically works one-on-one with adults, youth and children, or with the whole family to uncover the source of stress, provide creative strategies to target the problem, identify personal strengths and help clients create and set goals.

Crisis intervention work sometimes requires complex and innovative approaches. Mona has implemented a diverse set of techniques to achieve this (ex: art therapy, guided meditation, resource library, mindfulness activities and custom action plans).

Mona has an understanding of the importance of collaborative initiatives, across various settlement services, to provide a lateral approach to supporting clients and promoting progress (ex: facilitating self-care for frontline workers at Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre).

In collaboration with Peel District School Board, Mona supervised a co-op student (a newcomer youth himself named Diego Lopez Sierra – a student from T.L. Kennedy Secondary School) who oversaw the task of developing a business endeavor for a youth with a disability (Pauline – another student from T.L. Kennedy). In the case of Pauline, she has an artistic talent and produced art that was displayed in a gallery and was for sale to the community. This project is intended to be a template for other schools, so that youth with disabilities will have self-employment opportunities after graduating high school. With Mona’s guidance, Diego organized an art exhibition for local artists with mental health or physical impairment, to display their art, highlighting the concept of accessibility. This particular event took place on June 9th, 2015 at Studio 89 in Mississauga.

Mona took on this project as she saw value in promoting wellness, self-empowerment and independence for these students. Youth with disabilities and mental health issues, can contribute and apply their talents to this project, thus using ‘talent’ for something meaningful that contributes to one’s own sense of purpose, which is exactly what Mona achieved through this project.

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