Director in Caledon, Ontario, Canada
I have spent the last two decades of my life in community based social services. I live by the tenet of service above self. Strengthening, supporting community based organizations for long term health and sustainability is my career mission. Currently I work as the Executive Director for an organization called FAME (Family Association for Mental Health Everywhere). This is simply the best work I've ever done in my entire life. Mental health is a pandemic global health issue and there is so much stigma around mental illness that so many who need help never reach out. I am on a mission to make some changes around mental health, here in my community, then slowly to make that reach across the country.
I am very proud to be parts of such initiatives as the Mental Health Commission of Canada's development of a Caregiver's & Family Member's Guidelines. Most recently I contributed to the Toronto Police Services Independant Review on the Use of Excessive Force in dealing with people impacted by mental health. I have also become an advocate on behalf of young carers. Hard to believe it but somewhere around you there is a kid taking care of a parent who is ill. It's time that we, as a community, support those children, so they can grow up to be healthy, happy people.
I want to enact legislation that recognizes family in their roles of care giving & recovery. It is time to review the PHIPA and it is time recognize the importance of caregivers in the wrap around process of recovery, for all illnesses. Family, in whatever construct that looks like, is the foundation of who we are.