Barbara has a background in Business and Volunteer Management. She has over 20 years’ experience in the mental health system as a user of service, a volunteer, and a research assistant. Currently, Barbara is the Co-Chair for CONNECT for Mental Health Inc. Previous to that she was the Regional Director of the South Western Alliance Network (SWAN). Barbara maintains membership on a number of community boards and committees. Previously she served as a member of Addictions Services Thames Valley Board of Directors; of the Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addictions Programs – Mental Health Council; a Director on the Patients’ Council of Regional Mental Health Care London/St. Thomas; as well as, an executive member of the Ontario Association of Patient Councils. Barbara is a provincial trainer for the OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials Program training, as well as a provincial trainer for the Diabetes and Mental Health Peer Support project. Training in Intentional Peer Support as Alternatives to Crisis and Advanced Level Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) facilitator, added skills when she was involved in a four month demonstration project as a Peer Supporter/Peer Navigator in the Emergency Department of London Health Sciences Centre. Barbara has received two distinguished awards, the Ontario Peer Support Initiatives’ Lighthouse Award and the Ontario Addiction and Mental Health’s President Shield Award for outstanding contribution in the field of addiction and mental health. Barbara’s mantra is “Nothing about Us, Without Us”. Most importantly, Barbara has five children and four beautiful granddaughters.
Allyson began working for OPDI back in 1993 in its earlier incarnation as the former CSDI. Originally tasked as an administrative assistant, she has taken on other responsibilities including office finances, conference organizer and, working with graduates of the OPDI Peer Support Core Essentials Program while they complete their internships. She is certified with Peer Support Canada, and is qualified to deliver OPDI Peer Support Core EssentialsTM Program training. Allyson lives with her husband, two teenaged boys and their dog Scout who they adopted from a rescue organization. In her spare time, Allyson enjoys spending time with family and friends, trying new vegan recipes and exploring a healthy lifestyle.
Raymond came to the Ontario Peer Development Initiative in 2005. However, he was no stranger to the organization. He had previously been the Executive Director of a member Consumer Survivor Initiative in Toronto. In his position of Policy Analyst and Knowledge Exchange Facilitator for OPDI, he was best known for the NewsToGo. The NewsToGo was born out of a conversation that the staff had over one of their many lunches together and Raymond took that vision and made it his mission to have a weekly newsletter to share information of interest to the survivor community. Thanks to Raymond’s hard work, the NewsToGo now reaches over 600 people weekly. Raymond loved photography and could be seen taking pictures at various events and OPDI conferences. Previous staff members, remember Raymond for his amazing ability to scope out information on the internet.
Raymond enjoyed giving back to the Mental Health community and served as a past board member of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. More recently, he sat on various strategic planning committees for the organization, all with the desire of making things better for humankind.
He will be missed…