Jaleesa brings a breadth of experience from a wide variety of social work settings to Accessible Professionals. Previously, she has worked in child welfare, community development and engagement, health promotion, HIV and AIDs supportive services, and community safety/corrections. In these capacities, Jaleesa has supported clients contending with a multitude of social issues, some of which include addictions, mental health, child abuse and neglect, chronic disease management, poverty, homelessness, grief and bereavement, family violence, racial discrimination, and LGBTQ+ stigma.
When it comes to her approach to supporting clients, Jaleesa incorporates various modalities such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectal Behavioural Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Brief Solution-Focused Therapy, Strengths-Based Therapy, and Narrative Therapy.
In all Jaleesa’s client encounters, she demonstrates a strong awareness of how factors such as race, gender identity, sexual orientation and ability affect one’s quality of life. Currently, she works in a hospital setting spearheading the development and implementation of an innovative, transformative mental wellness program for Black, Indigenous and racialized children and youth. Additionally, she can attest to the benefits of the collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to service delivery based on her past experiences.
Jaleesa embodies the following mantra when supporting clients: “I am a lighthouse rather than a lifeboat. I do not rescue, but instead help others to find their way to shore, guiding them by my example”. She believes that social workers are key in assisting clients in recognizing their own abilities and capacity for meaningful change in their lives – that clients are able to make great achievements by developing and honing their self-compassion and self-efficacy.
She is also a member of an Advisory Board for an organization that aims to address racism within Canada. Jaleesa has Bachelor’s and Master’s of Social Work degrees from York University and is also registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.