Heart works with people with developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, and mental illness; of all genders and gender identities, sexual orientations, race, socioeconomic status, religions, cultures, and ethnicity. We have experience working with a diverse population, attend training on inclusion and diversity, and practice culturally-sensitive approaches in all work.
Heart Consulting believes in empowering people with disabilities to live full lives with meaningful relationships, and works to do this by educating about safe and healthy relationships, as well as provide support and advocacy to individuals. We also believe in community engagement, education and outreach to create change and reduce abuse of individuals with disabilities.
Ellen Merker, LPC-IT, started Heart Consulting LLC in 2017, after seeing the need for more resources around sexual assault and domestic violence in the disability community. After receiving her Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Psychology, Ellen worked for over 5 years as a case manager and transition coordinator for adults with developmental disabilities, then as an IRIS Consultant. In 2015, she piloted a program with the Rape Crisis Center to provide education to young adults with developmental disabilities around healthy relationships. Ellen has been selected to present this work at two End Domestic Abuse WI conferences, as well as the Project SEARCH national conference.
Healthy Relationship Advocate
Michal Osier earned her MA in counseling psychology in 1989. Now retired as a licensed professional counselor, she worked with adults, adolescents and families for over 28 years, in community-service agencies including Journey Mental Health Center and the Rape Crisis Center, and in private practice. The focus of her career has been on helping people heal from trauma, and supporting clients' resilience, self-protective behavior skills, and emotional growth. She and her wife enjoy kayaking, art, cooking, and travel.