Chris Summerville, D.Min, CPRC
As a recipient of mental health services, family member and self-help provider, Chris is the captain of the MSS team. You can tell Chris is a different kind of Canadian by his southern accent. Born in Alabama, Chris moved to the land of the Maple Leaf in 1985. He has served as a pastor, chaplain, teacher, administrator and mental health service provider through 40 years of professional work in Canada and the U.S. Chris has dedicated his life "to enabling the walking wounded to become wounded healers." Although Chris regards schizophrenia as one of the most confounding and wounding illnesses a person can experience, he believes that recovery is more possible today than ever before. He has an earned doctorate from Dallas Theological Seminary and is a Certified Psychosocial Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRC) with the International Association of Psychosocial Rehabiltation Services.
He is also one of the eleven non-governmental board members of the Mental Health Commission of Canada as well as the CEO of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada.
Public Education Coordinator
Jane trained as an Occupational Therapist in England, and came to Canada in 1967 to take a position at the Winnipeg Rehabilitation Hospital. Jane has spent 24 years working in the Mental Health field. Jane says that she sees the importance of public education in the area of Mental Illness, particularly dispelling the myths and stigma surrounding Schizophrenia and giving the message of hope. She is committed to the psychosocial rehabilitation model.
Peer Program Support Worker
Karen's role at the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society is a Peer Program Support Worker. Karen coordinates and facilitates two groups for MSS; the Women's Program and the Peer Support Program.
Karen has a passion for working with people who live with a mental illness. From the moment she began working for MSS in 1995, Karen found the people she worked with and for, to be warm, accepting and caring, all qualities that she admires and strives to emulate. “One does not find people with these traits in all workplaces,” says Karen. “I think what drew me to this place was that other people had faced similar struggles in life that I didn’t recognize at first but that subconsciously I must have been aware of. Now, years later, I recognize the reasons that I can relate to people who live with mental illnesses who may have experienced the fear of rejection, discrimination or stigma, feelings of unworthiness, shame, low self-esteem and anxiety, because I’ve been there myself, due to various life experiences.”
Karen has several relatives and friends who have lived and are living with bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia. She sees all people as people first, rather than labeling people as the disorder they happen to be living with. Her focus is on hope and recovery.
Karen has graduated with a Certificate in Clerical Bookkeeping and a Certificate in Applied Counseling Skills (Honors), from Red River College. She thoroughly enjoys her role at the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society.
Lívia was born and raised in Brazil and moved to Canada at the age of 12. A number of years ago she lost a dear friend to suicide and later found out he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. His family were unaware of how to deal with this and his friends were kept from knowing. She feels that had she known more about this before his suicide, his family and friends could of provided help and hopefully his life would of been saved. She has been involved in the Autopac & Administrative position for the past 15 years. She hopes this new position working for MSS will open doors to information that she didn’t have years ago, and hopefully help prevent a similar tragedy.
Peer Support Worker
Eric is our Peer Support worker in Winnipeg and also provides Outreach at Selkirk Mental Health Centre. He is our liason with five Winnipeg hospitals and provides one-on-one peer consultation to those recovering from schizophrenia and psychosis.
Special Events Administrator
Katrina comes to us as a volunteer who demonstrated exceptional dedication and service to the society. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from North Dakota State University in 1998 and spent over a decade in sales, marketing and customer service.
Katrina grew up with her mother’s mental illness and is also herself a person of lived experience who was diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder, which is the combination of both Schizophrenia and a mood disorder. She was born in Winnipeg to an American father and has lived on both sides of the American/Canadian border.
Katrina hopes to make a difference in the lives of those with mental illness.
Joshua McNeil is an active advocate for mental health in Canada and possesses a strong background in both political and community organizing.
Joshua has sat on several of the Green Party of Canada’s Committees, including campaign committee, Co-chair of the Young Greens Council, and voting member of the GPC Federal Council. His work isn’t limited to the Green Party he has also worked with folks in the climate justice and social justice networks to build and develop campaigns and actions.
Joshua was the Outreach Coordinator for a conference called Power Shift 2012 which was held during the fall of 2012 in Ottawa. Power Shift 2012 had 1500 participants from all over Canada.
Joshua has a great deal of respect for those with lived experience. That is why he is currently endeavoring to find new ways to address mental health advocacy in Canada.
Regional Outreach Workers
Brandon and Assiniboine Regions
Tim joined the MSS Team as Outreach Worker for the Parkland Region, but today he Works out of the Brandon/Assiniboine Region. Tim was raised in Northern Manitoba and has had a wide variety of personal experiences. Having overcome many hurdles in his own life, Tim now thrives at bringing the same hope and joy he has found to the people around him. He earned a Certificate of Theology from Providence College and has spent five years working at the Teen Challenge Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre as a mentor and example to those recovering from addictions. Tim brings an eagerness to help people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and/or co-occurring disorders and their families with the message of recovery and hope.
Brandon and Assiniboine Regions
Nancy Shewchuk will be assisting with Family Support, Education and Promotion in the Brandon / Assiniboine Region. She has 16 years of experience working for the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society both in the Norman Region and in Brandon and has held positions with other Mental Health Agencies and Advisory Boards. She looks forward to rejoining the MSS team.
Rhonda was born and raised in Thompson and has lived there all of her life. When she was 21 years old she lost her cousin to suicide who was only 19 years old. They grew up together and Rhonda considered him more like a brother than a cousin. Her family knew he was depressed but they did not know the signs of suicide. Rhonda’s own mental health suffered after her cousin died and it took her some time to recover. A few years later she decided that she wanted to help others with a mental illness and help prevent suicide. She enrolled in the Applied Counselling Skills program and graduated with honours and with an applied counselling skills certificate. Shortly after Rhonda graduated she worked part time as a youth support worker at Marymound North for 6 months. She was a single mom at this time looking for full time work and accepted a position with the Families First program where she supported families for 7 years in her role as Home Visitor.
Recently, Rhonda graduated from the University Of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Social Work Degree. She did two placements while in this program one at an elementary school with a school counsellor where she was able to assist a few youth who were suicidal. She also did a placement at the Canadian Mental Health Association in Thompson where she had the opportunity to learn about the programs and services including the outreach worker position for the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society. Rhonda co-facilitated a hearing voices that are distressing workshop with the previous outreach worker for MSS and a nursing student while she was in her placement. This has helped to give her a better understanding of the challenges that people go through who hear voices that are distressing and the support that they need.
Rhonda is passionate about helping people with a mental illness and their families to receive the support, education and services they need to be hopeful for the future.
A teacher by profession, Bev is an educator who believes that knowledge is the key to living a full life. She enjoys working with the public, providing information about schizophrenia. Using a combination of personal and professional experience, Bev is able to assist those who cope with mental illness and their families by providing support leading to empowerment. In her capacity as an Outreach Worker, Bev is passionate about following a holistic approach to recovery.
North & South Eastman Region
Kim has enjoyed a successful career as a teacher for 15 years. She is excited to embark on a new career in the field of Mental Health and to be part of the MSS team. Having the experience of being a consumer, Kim brings compassion, knowledge and understanding to her job as Outreach worker for Eastman. Kim is passionate about helping to reduce the stigma that is all too often a part of living with mental illness.
Teresa currently works part-time with the Northern Region Health Authority as the Housing Resource Developer; helping people with mental illness to find and keep homes. She has been a casual Mental Health Proctor with the Northern RHA for the past three years as well. With the encouragement from a fellow employee, she is taking an on-line course in Psychosocial Rehabilitation and is excited about the prospect of putting the knowledge and skills that she will gain into use. She was inspired by Chris Summerville when she attended a workshop that he presented in The Pas, it was quite motivational!
Parkland and Norman Region
Leanne has joined the MSS Team as Outreach Worker for the Parkland Region. She has an extensive background in the health care field. She is looking forward to using her skills, work and personal experience with schizophrenia to help educate and lessen the stigma associated with it.