An outstanding leader and advocate for mental health in Ontario’s north is stepping down from the Canadian Mental Health Association, Thunder Bay Branch.
After more than three decades as executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Thunder Bay branch, Maurice Fortin has his sights set on retirement, effective December, 2013. Fortin has served the branch and the community for 31 years, 27 of those as the organization’s first and only Executive Director.
Much has changed in the field of mental health since he was first hired at the CMHA Thunder Bay branch. There is a greater willingness for the public to speak out about mental health and more work is being accomplished every day to break down the stigma that exists.
” One in five people will experience a mental health problem during their lifetime but they don’t have to face it alone,” Fortin said. “I want to remind the community that there are dedicated, passionate and caring staff at our the CMHA and the local branch should be among first resources people turn to when trying to overcome any mental health issue, big or small.”
The CMHA Thunder Bay Branch Board of Directors realizes it will have big shoes to fill as it begins the recruitment process to find Fortin’s replacement.
“Maurice’s expertise and vision have helped shape the organization for its current and future successes,” said Linda Stewardson, Board Chair of CMHA Thunder Bay Branch. “Words cannot express our gratitude for Maurice’s immeasurable contributions to the organization and the community and I know that he will be greatly missed by the staff, volunteers and local health partners.”
The Board will begin a search for a new Executive Director shortly.