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Women of Worth

Norma McColeman with one of her favourite mementos she gathered over the years. The quote, “Here’s to good women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them,” is something McColeman show all of those who have come to her for support.
Norma McColeman with one of her favourite mementos she gathered over the years. The quote, “Here’s to good women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them,” is something McColeman show all of those who have come to her for support.

When Norma McColeman packed up her office, she saw 33 years of her life stuffed into a bag.

“I had invested so much time and energy into helping others, what could I do now that I wasn’t at my job?” asked the recent retiree from the P.E.I. Family Violence Prevention Centre.

Prior to working as outreach co-ordinator at the centre for 18 years, McColeman worked at the East Prince Youth Development Centre, John Howard Society, Canadian Mental Health Association and Aboriginal Women’s Association. McColeman decided to leave the centre earlier this year after major changes were made to staffing, taking a toll on what supports she was able to

provide clients.

“My job had become increasingly difficult. I had to go through a sort of grieving process when those changes were made. And that impacted my ability to do my job.” McColeman took a leave of absence and entered regular counselling sessions. In May she decided not to return to her job.

Faced without work, she remembered her dream from early in her career.

“In the 1980s I wanted to start a program called Women of Worth. But it was like it was ahead of its time. So I put it on the back burner in order to have a full-time daytime job.” Now her dream of running the program is coming to fruition.

She will offer lifestyle coaching, motivational speaking, workshops, and retreats as well as offer support and referrals for victims of abuse and domestic violence.

There will also be starting over sessions for the widowed, retired, separated and divorced, empty nesters or other life changes.

“I made the decision to officially retire at the end of August. But I still had so much I wanted to do. I’ve learned through the years that people can understand the clinical side of abuse or violence or depression, but what’s really significant in those circumstances is compassion and the opportunity for people to feel support just by being able to talk about what’s going on.

“I want it to be affordable for all and present for today’s society.”

McColeman says Women of Worth is a starting block. “There could be a time where it will expand into working with couples and men.”

She added, “It’s important for all people from all walks of life to realize their worth. It’s not what you wear, it’s not your outward appearance, it’s what you believe about yourself and being confident in yourself.”

All of the things that have happened in a person’s life can shape them for good or bad, said McColeman.

“It’s things we go through, whether it’s mental health, physical health, spiritual health or even finances, that influence who you are as a person, how you act and what you believe.”

How to contact Norma McColeman:

– Cell: 902-786-8476

–Home: 902-436-7971

–Emails: norma.mccoleman@city.summerside.pe.ca or mcnormur@gmail.com.

millicent.mckay@journalpioneer.com

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