Arifah YusufLayah Glassmsn
Founder & Executive Director, Lifted by Purpose
Innovation, empathy, and creative arts guide Arifah Yusuf’s practice. An award-winning registered social worker and Ryerson graduate, her 17 years of professional experience as a social worker, has afforded opportunities to provide consultations for organizations, facilitate workshops, develop programs and infuse her love for the arts along the way. With trained experience in crisis response and Advanced Level certification from NOVA, she employs CBT, trauma-informed care, health promotion, narrative therapy, art-based therapy, and a strength-based approach to assist the communities and individuals she works alongside.Yusuf has been trained by the Mental Health Commission of Canada to be a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and by the Traumatology Institute for Trauma Stabilization and Recovery.A recipient of SCHCs’ Community Health Champion award, ESBGC the Unity in the Community award, the Canadian Alliance for Black Leadership award, and a Leading Women Building Community award distributed by the Ontario’s government, Yusuf’s work has been recognized by CBC Radio, CityNews Toronto, ArtsUNITE andToronto Life. Her proudest achievement to-date was being a pop-up speaker at Ryerson’s School of Social Work program 50th-anniversary celebration.Her collective experiences inform the practice and programming behind her trauma-informed creative enterprise, Lifted by Purpose. Working with vulnerable populations, like homeless youth or youth who have had interactions with the carceral system, she combinesclinical therapy with lived experience, storytelling and narrative therapy to create programming that humanizes experiences and cultivates empathy.When she’s not engaged in work, she can be found spending time with her family, listening to music, or obsessing over dogs.