Hope and support for all experiencing mental health issues with or without substance use through recovery strategies, education and advocacy in partnership with their supporters.
MHRP provides services for people with mental illness, regardless of their diagnosis, and the people who care about them. Approximately two-thirds of the people that we serve have schizophrenia or psychosis or a loved one with schizophrenia or psychosis, and one third have a mood disorder (bipolar disorder or major depression) or a loved one that does.
We also provide service to people with anxiety, borderline personality disorder, and other disorders. Sometimes people do not have a diagnosis but are behaving in a way that leads others to believe that they have a mental illness. We can assist in this situation with support, information and strategies to connect with resources. We provide service to people who have a mental illness with or without a substance use issue (concurrent disorder or dual diagnosis).
Experienced CEO/Executive Director with a demonstrated history of working in mental health care/concurrent substance use. Strong business development professional skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, public systems, Change Management Project Management and team/networking skills. Strong System thinker.
Don Palmer has been the coordinator of the peer support program at MHRP South Island for 11 years. Immediately after attaining a Masters degree in Social Work in 1992, he coordinated housing for Burnaby Psychiatric Services for two years then had a year as a Case Manager for the same service. Following that he worked in the Northwest Territories for eight years as a counsellor mainly in Corrections but also for the employee assistance program for the Government of the Northwest Territories; for Family and Child Services; a residential facility for teens with conduct disorder; and for the general public.
Carina has been with Mental Health Recovery Partners for 2 years. She enjoys working one on one with families, and also facilitating the Family Recovery Journey, Early Psychosis Intervention, and Family & Friends Support Groups.
Kevin Pryer (B. Admin-University of Regina) has been the staff accountant at MHRP South Island for 19 years. Currently, he also works as an accountant at Kiwanis Village Society, a non profit that provides housing for seniors. Prior to this, he worked and an accountant at John Ladd BMW/Jaguar, Tourism Victoria and Price Waterhouse. He enjoys working as part of a great team of staff and volunteers, providing valuable programs and services to individuals in recovery and family members. The Pryer family are family members themselves. Also, Kevin's Mother June served on the board of directors and memorial fund committee long ago, and together with his father David produced the organization's newsletter for many years.
Kevin and his wife Janet, who is the Executive Director of Friends of Music Society, enjoy living in Victoria where they have raised their four children. Recently, they welcomed two grandchildren. He enjoys running, playing tennis and is now learning how to play the guitar.
Kevin works Wednesday to Friday. For the first two days he brings Tucker, one of the office canine greeters.
Morna is excited to be continuing her board work with her MRHP colleagues. She is a manager in the BC provincial government, with nearly two decades of Information Technology, business analysis and project management experience. Morna is an MBA graduate and holds the Project Management Professional designation. Previous volunteer experience includes working for the Alberta Winter Games and serving as Vice President, then President of the Victoria German Saturday School.
Paige first became involved with Mental Health Recovery Partners as a practicum student through the Bachelor of Social Work program at the University of Victoria. Her professional work includes overdose prevention services and harm reduction support with AVI Health and Community Services in Victoria. Paige has lived experience of mental health challenges, both personally and through family, and believes recovery-oriented practice is integral to mental health services. She has served as both a board member and secretary with MHRP since September 2019.
Mary is excited for the opportunity to join MHRP, she was the treasurer of the organization when it was BCSS, Victoria Branch a number of years ago. She has followed the organization with interest since her time on the board and is impressed with the support of peers and their recovery and the changes from BCSS to MHRP. Mary is a Chartered Professional Accountant, CPA and has her Masters of Business Administration, MBA. In her professional life, she has worked as an entrepreneur, in private industry, in government and has worked with not-for-profit organizations. She is hoping that her experience in finance and problem solving will assist MHRP in fulfilling its mandate.
Today you would be hard-pressed to find someone who has not been impacted by mental health issues, either with family and/or friends or in their own life; I am no different. Beyond this reason though, I strive to become involved with MHRP as a recent arrival to Victoria, looking for the best way to contribute to my new community. I have been involved in various discussions around social issues in Victoria, including discussions on the city's homelessness, but none of those discussions addressed the underlying mental health issues contributing to some more visible problems. This is why I believe MHRP’s work is so important, and why I would like to bring my diverse knowledge, skills and experience to the Board. During my Master’s degree in Comparative Social Policy at Oxford University, I observed the effectiveness of complementing government services with non-profit programs like those provided by the MHRP. This social welfare expertise, combined with over 12 years of experience in strategic HR with the Canadian Federal Government, the UK Civil Service and currently the BC Provincial Government, has provided me with a skill set to assist the MHRP Board with transparent governance, strategic policies and effective decision-making.
Current Role at Squamish Nation: My role as Managing Director exists to understand, make decisions about, and co-ordinate the various programs, services, projects and initiatives that have broad organizational scope and influence to balance priorities in the best interests of the Squamish Nation community as a whole. Career History: Prior to joining Squamish Nation, France held various senior leadership roles with the government of Alberta where he was responsible for many large-scale and successful initiatives such as: the strategic design and implementation of a primary health care governance framework including 42 primary care networks. In addition, he held senior policy position within the Office of the Deputy Minister of Justice and Solicitor General. France is a certified management Consultant, certified risk management assurance with a doctorate degree in health Sciences and in business administration. In addition, he holds a master degree in business administration. France has training in Trauma Informed Care and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).
Leadership philosophy: France has values that he has built on to enhance Character – behaving the right way; Competence - doing the right things the right way; Commitment - dedication to the greater community good; and Collaboration - working together for a common purpose. His leadership philosophy is built around achieving outcomes through teamwork, collaboration and open, honest, respectful communication. France places significant emphasis on listening and engaging with key stakeholders, including community members, elected officials, and staff. Over his career, he has built a reputation for developing successful, empowered teams that thrive in a caring, positive and fun work environment. France also believes in leading by example and has practiced sustainable living principles throughout his entire career.
Stephanie Hart is a lawyer who has served as counsel and staff to numerous fiduciary trust boards. When looking for volunteer opportunities earlier this year, she found herself called to apply to volunteer with the MHRP Board because its mission and needs so closely align with her own interests and skills. Stephanie has first-hand experienced the devastation that mental illness can wreak in the lives of its sufferers and their families, having lost a father and family friends to depression, and an uncle and cousin to schizophrenia. Stephanie is excited for the opportunity to use her experience with trust board governance for the benefit of the community living with mental illness.
Karoline is a business entrepreneur with tech skills and assists businesses with their technology needs. She was appointed to the board last year and is working hard to develop our online facing presence and improved client experience with MHRP South Island. She is dedicated to make a difference in the lives of people with mental health issues and their families and eager to continue on the board.
What really drew me to the organization is the provision of resources for different manifestations of mental illness. I have had my own personal journey with mental health struggles and it has been a recurring challenge in my own family. As a result, the openness of the organization to various mental illnesses is extremely important to me. Also, through my personal experience, I have realized the impact that the availability of external resources can have for those struggling to find a place to start their recovery. I hope that through my skill set and professional experience that I can provide helpful financial insight so that the organization can increase its access to resources and manage its financial health.
Amanda has recently returned to her hometown of Victoria after spending the past three years in Ottawa as an Advisor in the Office of the Prime Minister. She is excited to be back working in her community and is looking forward to volunteering with the organization. Providing essential support to families and individuals who are recovering from the challenges of mental illness is a cause close to her own heart as she reflects on the experiences of close family members and friends who have suffered in the past without the help they needed and who she hopes will have the tools and support in the future. As a member of the board, Amanda plans to add to the work already being done on fundraising, strategic planning, governance or wherever else her skills may be useful in furthering the partnerships and impacts of the Mental Health Recovery Partners of the South Island.
I have experience in policy writing, having written various policies for government related initiatives as well as human resource policy writing experience. In addition I have a great deal of experience in fundraising having had to fundraise for not only organizations but as a former national team athlete, fundraising for Rowing Canada as well as private fundraising for athletes is imperative to keep the athletes and the team prosperous and successful. Furthermore, as a government of BC employee and former high performance athlete I also have experience on another board, a First Nations Economic Development company based in Port Hardy, BC. My time on that board has allotted me a great deal of experience not only in presentations at the AGM but also understanding our main stakeholder who are the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nations. I feel that my experiences coupled with my enthusiasm and passion for helping those with mental health challenges as well as having a younger generation's voice I can help MHRP reach a younger audience during this pandemic who require help and assistance that MHRP can offer.
I have several years of personal experience as a family member and close friend to individuals who battle with the daily struggle of mental illness. As a supporter, I am appreciate of the organization’s ability to work from a recovery-oriented perspective and to offer guidance and information to a variety of community resources; and I believe that serving as a board member will allow me to give back to an organization that I deeply believe in. As a business professional, I have many years of experience and knowledge to offer in: project management, business process improvements, strategic planning, community outreach and fund development that will make me an asset to the team and the organization. Additionally, I am excited to be able to learn additional skills from the team.
John has been a staunch supporter of mental illness education and support. John had led past Jazz at the Café Berlin fundraiser events for the BCSS Victoria Memorial Find in honour of his son, Hans Fear, a well-known artist who took his life 14 years ago. John is the successful busines owner of the Bristol Town Hair Fashions salon. He is eager to assist MHRP SI with the mission to help others facing mental illness.
Wendy has been a social worker since graduating from the University of Victoria in 1993 with a Bachelor of Social Work degree. In 2003, she completed her Master of Education degree in Adult Education from UVic. After 27 years with the provincial government, Wendy retired in 2016 and moved back to her hometown Victoria and joined the Board of Directors. Wendy’s interests have always been in supporting individuals and families in the areas of mental health as well as other needs related to disabilities. Things that make Wendy happy are paddling on the ocean, sharing get togethers with friends and family, enjoyingfilms, and travelling.
I spent the last 20+ years working in increasingly senior executive roles within the tech community. Now I am retired (for the most part) and eager to serve the local community. My areas of expertise include strategy development, business planning and execution, organizational development and operations . I am passionate about wanting to help grow the menu of accessible and timely options and tools for those dealing with mental health challenges who are in need of support. If elected, I would like to be considered for the Executive and Strategy Committees.