Tracy Bray

In honour of International Women’s Day, Ontario Shores is proud to highlight a few of its extraordinary women who lead and inspire each day as they dedicate their careers to changing views on mental health and helping those impacted by mental illness.

Tracey

Describe you career journey thus far? What led you to your current role?

I started part-time in Nutrition and Food Services (NFS)  in March 2001.  I really needed a full-time job at that time in my life…..therefore I left the department and went to Environmental Services in Transportation in 2006. At that time it was a very male orientated team. My goal was to compete for a full-time position as soon as one became available in NFS. This happened in 2012. I love my job! I love working with all the different personalities and especially love working the cash and servery every day in the Cafeteria. 

Do you have a connection to mental health that you would like to share? Or What attracted you to working in the area of mental health?
In September 2017 I was in a car accident. Physically I looked like I was fine, I was not, mentally I also presented as being perfectly fine, I was not. Because of where I work and how far mental health has come I was able to get the help I needed without feeling the stigma associated with mental health.

What has prepared you the most for the role(s) you have had?
Where I come from mental health is an epidemic. There is no care for my family and friends. I feel I am contributing to the patients here. It makes my day when I see them improve and grow and move forward in society.

What is the best piece of professional advice you have been given from a former leader, peer, or colleague?
When I first started here a supervisor of mine told me before going out to work on the floor on the units….. “just remember…..nothing is personal and we all could be in their situation someday kid.”

How do you balance your roles and responsibilities, both at work and outside of work (for example family, volunteer roles, or personal commitments)?
I feel that I have grown so much from working here. Its really humbled my attitude and I am more thankful for my life.

What are your self-care strategies?
I make time for my physical and mental health each and every day, whether it be working out, hiking with my dog, a date night with my husband or an evening out with the girls! It is necessary.

What drives you in your career/role?
I take so much satisfaction in food! I love sharing with other people.

What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Never give up. It won’t always be dark. You will find your voice and find your way, I promise.

What is the best part about working at Ontario Shores?
I love the people I work with and interacting with the patients…..and the grounds are spectacular!

Why is it important to recognize International Women’s Day?
It’s so important to me because I have been fortunate enough to experience a lot of the changes from the todays and yesterdays that have happened for women in the workplace and hopefully the changes of tomorrow that will bring more growth.  I am proud of my life - work life and personal life.

In what ways can women continue to support each other and life each other up?
I read a saying on Facebook that I think every strong leading woman should do “Straighten another women’s crown….even when no one else is looking”