I am proud of all the lives I’ve touched in the different programs I supported. But more than that, I am most proud of the determination and growth of the clients that access our services. I am honoured that I can walk alongside them on their recovery journey and remind them that they are not alone.
1. What is involved in your role?
As the Volunteer and Student Coordinator, I get to work with a ton of amazing people who are passionate about helping our community. When members of our community are interested in getting involved with CMHA WW as a volunteer, I am usually the first point of contact. I am responsible for the recruitment, screening and training of new volunteers who support a variety of our programs. I also coordinate student placements for the agency. At CMHA WW, we recognize the importance of education and providing real-world experience for students. I connect with a variety of schools and student applicants and help find meaningful placement opportunities at our agency.
2. Why did you become involved in the mental health field?
Having struggled with my own mental health at a young age, I was always drawn to this field. I wanted to find a career where I could combine my own lived experience with my passion for connecting with others.
3. What brought you to CMHA?
When I first started working at CMHA, I was drawn to the organization because I knew that I would be able to make a difference in the lives of those struggling with their mental health. While it was the client-centered approach and amazing programs that brought me in the door, it has been the compassionate staff and resilient clients that have kept me here all these years.
4. Have you always worked in mental health?
Before working in mental health, I had a variety of roles in the not-for-profit sector working with vulnerable populations. I started off working in fundraising while living in Toronto. When I moved to Guelph I decided to switch gears and began working as a youth support worker at a local shelter. I also worked at the University of Guelph providing support to first year students. I gained a lot of valuable skills from those positions and they ultimately paved the way for me to start working in mental health.
5. How do you support people at CMHA in your role?
Since I first started working at CMHA in 2012, I have been in a variety of different positions. Prior to becoming the Volunteer and Student Coordinator, I worked with Skills for Safer Living, a program for individuals who have attempted suicide. As well, I was a Support Coordinator with our Adult Services Program. Both of those roles allowed me to provide front line support to individuals struggling with their mental health.
While support looks a bit different in my current role, I work on the same premise; to create a safe, non-judgmental environment where individuals feel supported. When volunteers and students start at our agency, I want them to know that they are not alone. Whether they need support with their specific role or they are struggling in their personal life, they can reach out for guidance and help.
6. What are you proud of during your time at CMHA?
Can I say everything? Just kidding! I am proud of all the lives I’ve touched in the different programs I supported. But more than that, I am most proud of the determination and growth of the clients that access our services. I am honoured that I can walk alongside them on their recovery journey and remind them that they are not alone.
Do you want to volunteer for CMHA WW? Click here to learn more.
If you are in crisis or wish to discuss whether CMHA has the right service for you, call Here 24/7: 1-844-437-3247 (HERE 247).
Follow the ‘Faces of CMHA’ series for a glimpse into the lives of the people who spend each day at the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington working to inspire and support people to achieve the quality of life they desire. Join our team, click here to view current employment opportunities at CMHA WW.