Heartache2Hope is a volunteer organization serving the Halton/Peel area. All of our peer support groups are facilitated by professionals from various backgrounds. Our group facilitators all have experience in grief/ bereavement support and in group facilitation. All facilitators are trained in SAFEtalk and have completed traumatic bereavement support group training.
Who We Are
Flavia Ceschin (Founder), Executive Director
Flavia brings clinical training, focus and direction to H2H. Currently she is a grief counselor and educator in private practice in the Oakville area since 2012. In this capacity she provides grief support to children, teens and adults coping with loss from terminal illness or the death of a loved one.
Flavia is very involved in the Halton community in a volunteer capacity. She is on the Professional Advisory Council of Bereaved Families of Ontario (Halton/Peel) and on the Bereavement Program Advisory Committee of Acclaim Health. She facilitates Spousal Loss support groups for Acclaim Health.
In addition, Flavia served as the Program Director at The Lighthouse Program for Grieving Children from 2008-2012. She worked with hundreds of grieving children, teens and adults through grief support groups, family consultations, educational workshops, and support group facilitator recruitment and training. It is during her time at The Lighthouse that she became aware of the need for a service that offered suicide loss support in the Halton region.
Flavia holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Concordia University in Montreal. Her clinical training and work has focused on children, youth and their families.
Peggy McGillicuddy (Co-Founder), Managing Director
Peggy McGillicuddy brings over 15 years of group facilitation, training, and program planning experience to Heartache 2 Hope. Since 2000, Peggy has worked for the Betty Ford Center, where she ran their renowned California Children’s Program, providing support and education to young children impacted by parental addiction. After a move to Canada, Peggy continued this work for the Center as a consultant and trainer. In this capacity, she traveled to other organizations as they implemented their own programs to serve this vulnerable population. She provided hands-on training in group facilitation and consultation on new program development.
Peggy has extensive experience in psycho-educational and support group facilitation, client engagement, volunteer management, quality improvement, and program development. She has provided groups and training in the US, Canada and Mexico on a variety of topics such as grief, familial addiction, self-care and resiliency.
Peggy has specific training in bereavement education with a focus on the unique aspects of suicide loss. She is especially passionate about reducing the stigma around mental illness and addiction, and supporting those who have experienced disenfranchised grief due to these issues. She holds an MEd from the University of Toronto.
Nina Menrai (Co-Founder), Spiritual Director & Marketing Director
Nina received her BSc in Microbiology from UBC after which she worked and volunteered for a non-profit organization in India. She then went on to complete her MBA at Concordia University and worked for 15 years in the Canadian Pharma Industry in market research and sales. After a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, Nina went back to school to become a Psychotherapist and Spiritual Director and started her practice in Oakville. She is passionate about mind, body and spirit balance and bridging holistic and conventional healing modalities. In addition, she teaches and runs workshops for adults and children as well as leading meditation and wisdom circles.
Eléna Major, Support Group Facilitator
In 1999, Eléna attended a grief support group as a participant. Recognizing the immense benefit from the education and help she received, Eléna completed facilitator training and began running grief groups in 2002 with the Burlington Bereavement Resource Council. In this capacity, she facilitated both open and closed support groups focused on General Loss, Parental Loss and Spousal Loss.
Eléna continued to hone her skills, joining Friends In Grief where she co-facilitated grief support programs focused on Homicide Loss and Suicide Loss. In 2013, she participated in Advanced Facilitator Training for Suicide Bereavement at the COPING Centre and completed her SafeTALK certification.
Eléna joined Heartache2Hope in 2015 and continues to provide both open and closed support group facilitation. Her passion and commitment to the group process is evident, and she brings experience, empathy, focus and humour to her work with grieving individuals.