Reverend helps address Pandemic Mental Health Concerns

by Alexis Kelly   |   November 25, 2021   |   Share this:  

The importance of mental health problems has been at the forefront of many conversations over the past few years. These issues have been more exasperated due to the COVID-19 Pandemic over the past 18 months. While many services and businesses had to shift online, a few business owners already online decided to revamp their eCommerce sites to accommodate the inevitable influx of online consumers or reach out to new customers and demographics. This was the case for Debi DeMutis. Debi, a former nurse, turned reverend created her website based on her Spirituality & Soul Healing Centre. She realized that the uncertainty of what was happening would probably impact the mental health of others. Thus, a year ago, Debi turned to the ShopHERE powered by Google program after seeing an advertisement to help her create and design the website of her dreams.

While Debi was a nurse, she witnessed many mental health issues, and depression seemed to be at an all-time high. This drew her to this field of work, which began as a lifetime hobby, seeing the need for these services. Aside from addressing mental health issues, her website originally included selling art, jewelry, and t-shirts. Although she still sells art, her website focuses more on counselling and events such as funerals, weddings (officiating weddings of people from all religions, races, and sexual orientations) and baptisms. Moreover, besides being a Reverend, she is also constantly learning as she is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. degree program specializing in Relationship Dynamics. She has degrees in metaphysical sciences and Indigenous Studies on top of learning Past Life Regression Therapy, Counselling, Pastoral Spiritual Mind Healing, Grief Counselling amongst many other practices and specialties. She finds it essential to learn about different cultures and environments to understand better people and their backgrounds making her a well-rounded councilor. 

The COVID-19 Pandemic led Debi to want to change up the website she initially had to reach audiences. She assumed that this would considerably affect seniors and thought her counselling services would be predominately utilized by that demographic. 

“It seemed like there was no hope for the older people who were stuck at home and may have wanted to travel in those senior years. Or those who [are ill] with a limited future. But everyone seemed to have issues. Even when I went out, I saw people of ages struggling,” 

It was unexpected at first but made her grateful that she reached out to the ShopHERE program to help rebuild her site as it also helped her reach a younger demographic, one she didn't expect to be as affected or need these services. Through the ShopHERE program, she was able to have what she calls “the best website [she's] ever had” and credits her eCommerce Coordinator Jordan for all his hard work. 

“Jordan had a great artistic ability [and] went above and beyond. I highly recommend this service.”

Debi also stated that “this business is my passion. I want to share my passion with everyone. I believe we all need this, especially in these uncertain times.” Hence through this program, she was able to share her passion with those who need it most.

To those thinking about joining the ShopHERE powered by Google program, DeMutis says, 

“This is an opportunity you can't miss.” 

Moreover, her advice for other small business owners and artists like herself is,

“Online. Online. Online. Literally, the best answer for businesses and artists is to continue business and help customers find and shop with you. It encourages more people to shop local!” 

To view Debi's counselling services and art, visit her website here. For more information on the ShopHERE powered by Google program, click here.

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Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Yellow Pages and Lightspeed.

Continued investment from the Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) has allowed the ongoing expansion the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital across Ontario.

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