Karla Forgaard-Pullen RSW MSW

I have been a Social Worker since 1987 and in human services all my working life. I was born in BC and moved to Ontario in 2004. I am a clinical supervisor in a Mental Health Program. I have worked extensively in the areas of Mental Health and concurrent organic brain disorders such as acquired and traumatic brain injuries, cognitive disorders, dementias and strokes. My Master’s thesis was about rural service delivery for people with complex mental health problems. I have taught Developmental Psychology and various Social Work courses at the university and college level. Since coming to the City of Kawartha Lakes, I am active in the community in disability issues, with a special interest in Autism Spectrum Disorders.

I love my work, and doing group work is one of my favourite things. It is very satisfying to be part of helping people open up to new ideas and move forward in their lives.


Debi Hayward BSW(candidate)

Debi has worked in the community for the past ten years as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. In this time she has worked alongside Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Speech Language Pathologists and mental health professionals. Debi has attended multiple workshops in Brain Injury, Cognitive Dysfunction, Neurobehavioural Issues etc. In addition to working with her primary clients Debi has been a source of comfort, information and resources to their families. Through her experiences in the community, Debi has gained a solid knowledge of the mental health field. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. Debi lives in the Kawartha Lakes Area with her husband and 3 deranged pugs.


Sandy McNeil, M.S.W., R.S.W.

Sandy is a registered social worker in the field of mental health and addiction, earning her MSW from York University in 2011. Her research on Family-Centered Care was published in Social Work in Mental Health and presented at various local and international conferences. She appears as a guest lecturer at York University’s School of Social Work and is a member of the Community Advisory Board for the Central East Correction Centre. Sandy is currently working as a clinical counsellor in a Mental Health program, prior to that, she worked as an addiction counsellor at a community addiction agency. Grounded in a client and family-centered approach, she uses mindfulness, motivational interviewing, and cognitive and dialectical behavioural therapies to engage people in a journey of self-awareness and reflective action. Sandy strives to provide a gentle, respectful and compassionate presence in which nurturing, healing and recovery may unfold.