Moving Forward Family Services - Team
About

Meet our Team

OUR VISION
A World Without Sorrow

OUR MISSION
Empowering underserved communities through accessible counselling.

Moving Forward has put together a diverse team of people who care. While we all have different backgrounds and experiences, we are united at Moving Forward to provide accessible counselling to underserved communities. Learn more about our team below.

Moving Forward Family Services - Gary
Executive Director

Gary Thandi

Lives changed, communities transformed

Gary is the founder and current Executive Director of Moving Forward. He has his Bachelor's and Master's in Social Work and is both a provider and user of counselling support. Gary knows how vital mental health services are and wants to welcome people from all walks of life to Moving Forward.

Born and raised in Campbell River, Gary relocated to the Lower Mainland about twenty years ago, where he continues to reside. Gary originally entered the field of Mental Health for the sense of purpose it brought him. He was doing something he felt good about.

Despite his privileges, Gary had his personal struggles. He readily shares his history of anxiety at school, especially during presentations as he would self-medicate with alcohol before heading to the front of the classroom. He even switched out of a class that he felt had too many presentations. Gary recognizes that everyone has some form of struggle, and it isn't always a bad thing, but everyone should have equitable access to support to address such struggles.

Gary has been both a provider and user of counselling support. He has experienced significant traumatic loss when his spouse died some years ago. He expressed that going through such a devastating loss gave him empathy towards others who may not have access to the same support that he could obtain. Gary now channels some of his grief and pain into his work and focuses on raising his two children.

He started Moving Forward because he saw that people needed support where they didn't have to fill out multiple 'checkboxes' to be eligible for help and then wait months or years if they made it past the eligibility criteria.  Gary also identified the need for early intervention and prevention. If this is a greater priority for our society, we may not have to invest so much money into support on the other end of the spectrum, such as policing, corrections, or long-term hospitalization.

Gary has a passion for working with and supervising students and new graduates. He believes having students, learning from them, teaching them, and connecting them with clients who would benefit from fresh and unique energy and perspective has tremendous benefits. He recognizes workers in the field are often exhausted with large caseloads. However, students and new graduates, with appropriate supervision and support, can have a fresh and passionate perspective and do transformative work.

Gary believes we have come a long way in the past 10-20 years but acknowledges there is still work to do.

In his spare time, Gary enjoys visiting new places with his two sons.


Gary’s Favourite Lyric: "I want something good to die for; to make it beautiful to live." – Go With The Flow by Queens of the Stone Age

Cody O'Neill

Cody is a triple-threat at Moving Forward, working as a Therapist, Supervisor, and Social Worker.

Mehreen Masud

Mehreen is a Counsellor and is currently working as a research assistant for the Culturally Adapted Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for South Asian Canadians Project.

Meirav Raza

Meirav is both a talented Coordinator and dedicated Counsellor at Moving Forward.

Moving Forward Family Services - Gary

A Letter from Gary

Moving Forward Family Services started as an idea I had, to harness the potential of students on practicums as well as new graduates to offer low barrier counselling and support to anyone who needed it, in a timely fashion. The idea came from my own observations that such new therapists came with knowledge, skills, energy and enthusiasm that could, when harnessed, lead to significant transformative social change. I soon came across others who heard about what I was trying to do, and who contributed their time and expertise toward this grassroots effort that was responsive to community needs.

While all our interns, volunteers, counsellors, social workers, coordinators, supervisors and board members have diverse backgrounds and experiences, we are all united by this common vision to ease suffering and contribute to healthier communities. It is an honour and privilege to work with this team of generous, compassionate, skilled and driven colleagues  - equally exciting is the fact that our community continues to grow and I am always inspired by the change-makers I come across.

– Gary

Aman Sohal

A caring person who values family. Aman previously worked at a family-oriented firm called Sangha Tone CPA, and is a local soccer coach in his community.

Anne Harvey

Anne is an organization development consultant with an extensive volunteering background. She helps companies become more efficient and effective.

Bhavraj Singh

Bhavraj is an advocate for racial equality, mental health, and positive change. In 2018 he was honored with the Community Award on behalf of Darpan Magazine.

Dr. Van Chek

Dr. Van has spent several decades practicing medicine in both Cambodia and Canada. He also has extensive experience providing social integration services to Cambodian refugees and immigrants.

Randi Seguin

Randi holds a Bachelor of Social Work and Social Services Diploma from UFV, and has worked at both non-profit and private counselling agencies.

Sukhminder Singh Virk

Sukhminder is a lawyer who is passionate about giving back to the organization that once helped him. He previously served as chair of the Board of Governors for the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

Moving Forward Family Services - Gary

A Letter from Gary

Moving Forward Family Services started as an idea I had, to harness the potential of students on practicums as well as new graduates to offer low barrier counselling and support to anyone who needed it, in a timely fashion. The idea came from my own observations that such new therapists came with knowledge, skills, energy and enthusiasm that could, when harnessed, lead to significant transformative social change. I soon came across others who heard about what I was trying to do, and who contributed their time and expertise toward this grassroots effort that was responsive to community needs.

While all our interns, volunteers, counsellors, social workers, coordinators, supervisors and board members have diverse backgrounds and experiences, we are all united by this common vision to ease suffering and contribute to healthier communities. It is an honour and privilege to work with this team of generous, compassionate, skilled and driven colleagues  - equally exciting is the fact that our community continues to grow and I am always inspired by the change-makers I come across.

– Gary