Ambassadors of Hope

Ambassadors of Hope assist in the promotion of events, initiatives, and campaigns associated with the 100 year anniversary of Ontario Shores. They are an integral part of these initiatives and spread the message about Ontario Shores' vision, core values and good work leading up to the anniversary.

Jordan Beenan

Jordon Beenen

Jordon is a stay-at-home father with a desire to advocate for people living with mental illness.

His interest in advocacy dates back to his days at Queen’s University and his involvement in its Human Rights Centre. Jordon’s experience as an outpatient at Ontario Shores has reignited his desire to advocate.

Now, as someone living with mental illness who had to change course in his career, Jordon feels strongly about removing the stigma associated with mental health issues and is determined to make a difference.

Jordon lives in Oshawa with his wife Jennifer and son Dax. Along with a passion for helping others, Jordon is a movie buff and fan of all Toronto sports teams.

Watch Jordon Beenen speak at the Century of Care Speaker Series >>

Kristie Jennings

Kristie Jennings

Kristie is a passionate volunteer at Ontario Shores who works in sales at The Shandex Group, a supporter of the Ontario Shores Foundation for Mental Health.

Kristie was raised in Whitby and graduated from Anderson Collegiate Vocational Institute before attending Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania on a lacrosse scholarship.

She joined Shandex upon graduation and it was because an existing relationship between her employer and Ontario Shores that Kristie first came in contact with the hospital.

After seeing the work being done at Ontario Shores, Kristie quickly became passionate about helping others and eager to give back.

Kristie is a familiar face to many at Ontario Shores as frequently attendee of events both at the hospital and in the community.

Candice McAlister

Candice McAlister

Candice has always had a passion for volunteering and sought out the opportunity to be an Ambassador of Hope due to the impact of mental illness on her family.

Raised in Oshawa, Candice graduated from R.S McLaughlin CVI before attending Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo.

Having grown up with a family member diagnosed with Schizophrenia, Candice remembers the devastation the illness and the stigma surrounding it brought her brother and their parents. She also witnessed his recovery during his time as a patient at Ontario Shores and is buoyed by the mental health movement that is normalizing mental illness.

Candice is a Human Resource professional with Durham Region Police Service who is determined to remove the barriers still facing those living with severe and complex mental illness.

Watch Candice McAlister speak at the Century of Care Speaker Series.

Barbara Murray

Barbara Murray

Barbara's empathy for people living with mental illness has been evident throughout her 30-plus year career at Ontario Shores.

She has been involved in the hospital in numerous ways over the years, including as a committee member planning activities celebrating the organization’s 75th anniversary in 1994. She has tremendous sense of the organization’s history, evolution and its current trajectory.

Barbara is also very involved in the local community and enjoys sports, hiking, kayaking, sailing, canoeing and geocaching. She volunteered for the 2015 Pan Am games at the Baseball venue, and has organized a number of community clean-up activities in parks and along Duffins Creek in Ajax. Barbara loves to travel and has visited Europe, Australia, Caribbean, and Peru as well as travelled much of North America including Alaska. She has also escorted sea cadets on international exchanges to the Netherlands/ Germany and South Korea.

Barbara is a staunch advocate for mental health education and eliminating stigma around mental health issues, and is honoured to work with colleagues and patients at Ontario Shores.

Lori Lane-Murphy

Lori Lane-Murphy

Lori is a full-time mental health advocate, student, wife and mom. Her advocacy includes writing, performing and podcasting all in an effort to change the hearts and minds of people around mental illness.

Mental illness was a part of her family growing up, but it certainly wasn’t the whole story. This reality prompted Lori to show people that while there are undeniable challenges living with or caring for someone mental illness, one should never be identified by illness alone. People have challenges. It’s part of the human experience.

Comedic storytelling keeps Lori busy in her “spare” time and she loves to share and teach others how to craft and tell their own mental health stories. People with mental illness are often dismissed or have their stories told for them. By accepting that they own their own voices and that they do have something to say, compelling and heartfelt stories unfold.

Advocacy also means working toward a more “mental health positive” workplace so that Lori’s teenaged son, who struggles with severe anxiety, OCD and ADHD will have a better experience in the work force than she ever did. It’s important to set the example now that mental health issues needn’t hold a person back from attaining their goals.

Lori is a dedicated volunteer at Ontario Shores who is eager and excited to open up about her lived experience with mental illness.

Watch Lori Lane-Murphy speak at the Century of Care Speaker Series »

Ian Hakes

Ian Hakes

Ian is a veteran community volunteer who lives with Chronic Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. He was born in Winnipeg and lived there until he moved to the country outside of Edmonton in 1987. He moved to Kingston, Ont., at 18 to study physics at Queen’s University.

Diagnosed at 20 with chronic depression, he managed to continue with his studies, graduating with a honours Bachelor of Science in Physics, followed a year later by a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature.

Over the course of the next few decades, his mental health worsened. Ian credits Ontario Shores’ Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) for rebuilding his mental wellness. Ian has also accessed a number of resources at Ontario Shores including Vocational Services, Metabolic Clinic and Recovery College.

Today, Ian is co-parenting his two wonderful kids as they grow into young adults, and looking to return to embark on the next chapter of his career.

He has a strong desire to help others get the assistance they need on their journey to mental wellness.

Watch Ian Hakes speak at the Century of Care Speaker Series »

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