Following a meaningful career of over two decades at Mission Services of London, Martha Connoy has retired from her position as Director of Community Mental Health Programs/Director of Quintin Warner House. “Along the way, I have worked with so many committed people…People that have made such a difference, and had such commitment and love for others, and who have just been a pleasure to work alongside,” she reflected.
The Mission Services of London team is entirely grateful for Martha’s dedication, compassion, and positive impact in the community over the years. We wish her the very best in her retirement.
Starting in December 2020, Jennifer Vale joined Mission Services of London as the Director of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs. Jennifer will provide leadership to two of the five service branches of Mission Services of London: Community Mental Health Programs and Quintin Warner House. She will manage the development of new, as well as existing, programs and services that respond to client needs.
“I’m most looking forward to a couple of things, like working with an incredible team, people who are extremely skilled and doing impactful work in the community… The other is having the ability to have influence over programming. Having been someone that has worked in health and addiction for 20 years, having seen a lot of what works and what doesn’t work in my view, and now being in a position where I can use what I have learned over the years to influence decision making and have an impact in the community,” Jennifer stated.
Most recently, Jennifer was the Mental Health and Addiction Re-Design Coordinator with the South West LHIN. Prior to this, she was the Project Coordinator for CMHA Middlesex and obtained her Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University. Currently, Jennifer is also a Board Member of Women and Politics.
When it comes to Community Mental Health Programs and Quintin Warner House, Jennifer is passionate about the breadth of services they each provide. “Sometimes it’s helping individuals in an extremely marginalized and vulnerable place in life to stay warm, healthy, and alive. For others, it’s about providing a safe refuge from substances and an opportunity to heal and recover from addiction. Having both of these options, clients can be supported no matter where they are on the spectrum of mental health and addictions,” she shared.
Jennifer believes the pandemic will bring about mental health challenges to clients and staff alike and is already looking ahead to solutions. “I know the pandemic is impacting everyone,” she said. “There’s not a person who isn’t experiencing some form of a negative mental health experience, whether that’s a small or large form of depression, anxiety, or fear… I anticipate the biggest challenge that we as an organization and as a society will face, will be [those mental health impacts]” she explained. In response to this possible influx in mental health crises, Jennifer foresees program expansions being necessary in the future – whether that is at Mission Services of London specifically or system-wide.
Continuing to look ahead, Jennifer sees strength and opportunity in the resilience of clients and staff, as well as the generosity of the community.