Hi, my name is Valerya Edelman. You can call me Val.
There are significant experiences that have shaped who I am and how I sense the world around me, including being an immigrant, a member of the 2SLGBTQQIA community, a drug and alcohol counsellor, and a social worker.
I have worked in mental health and addictions since 1998, assisting all types of individuals for whom society places undue barriers. I have a special interest in supporting people who use or misuse substances, individuals engaged in sex work, and people who are under-housed or in conflict with the law. In 2014 I moved from Vancouver on Coast Salish Territory to Fredericton on Wolastoqiyik Territory, where I helped build Clinic 554 – a health care facility specialized in harm reduction, trans, queer, and reproductive care.
I have many approaches and methods to help you including:
Using a collaborative approach, we can determine which methods work best for you. I listen. I have hope. I have compassion. I use a philosophy where people are never the problem; the problem is the problem, and there is no problem or subject that cannot be discussed with me.
I am also an activist.
I have served on the board of AIDS NB since 2015, am a member of Reproductive Justice New Brunswick, Solidarity Fredericton, and was a recipient of the Peter Gillespie Social Justice Award on behalf of Clinic 554.
I recognize colonialism, racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, and the microaggressions that surround us.
I am aware that injustice and minority stress may be the cause of some of your problems. I will always affirm your identity and am committed to centering trans and queer experiences. I support decolonization and anti-racist practices including the Black and Indigenous Lives Matter movement.
Sometimes referred to as the favourite staff members at Clinic 554, these two canine companions are litter-mates who are excited to greet all humans and lay by your feet.
Ella and Ollie understand that many people are comforted petting them, but not all are. They are content being with you or being in their kennel away from you, whichever is your preference.