Executive Director's Message

I am very excited to join the DCO membership! My goal is to build on the foundation that has shaped the existing state and respond to current and emerging needs. In preparation for the responsibilities of the role, I am reviewing past Conferences, Learning Forums, meeting with partners and am inspired by the breadth and depth of the insightful topics that have been explored, allowing for valuable networking and learning while DCO Members grew together. It is clear that the community is dedicated to ensuring that we build capacity to provide excellent services, improve access for people in distress and crisis and address the prevention and impact of suicide. I hope to bring additional ideas and resources to the association and Membership such that we can continue to build capacity, increase partnerships, improve Membership benefits, strengthen organizational structures and target our marketing and communication strategies.

I have spent most of my career working with people in crisis at all stages of the human life cycle, from infants to seniors in inter- and multi-disciplinary areas such as mental health, addictions, developmental differences, domestic violence, education, and public health. These programs have served people within a variety of metro, urban and rural communities including Waterloo/Wellington, Dufferin, Peel, Mississauga, and Etobicoke. Collaborating and developing creative partnerships, at operational and strategic leadership levels, was essential to the creation of initiatives that reached the most vulnerable. My intention is to leverage these skills and networking abilities for the benefit of the Membership. I share your passion for providing responsive services and increasing access for clients at a time when the demand and complexity are rapidly increasing and resources are stretched to the limits. Responder fatigue is a pervasive concern across all sectors; my hope is to lend my support to the Membership as we address this concern.

It is a privilege to join this ingenious organization, which has innovated and collaborated, internally and externally, under the leadership of the members and Liz. I am looking forward to meeting each of you and learn more about the unique nature of the work you do so that DCO can provide membership benefits that are of value. Gathering reliable data that will inform our future directions will be a priority for me to further establish our leadership in the field of Distress and Crisis.

I am eager to “roll up my sleeves” as Colleen Gallagher, Board Chair said to me and face the challenges ahead of us as we evolve as an Association and Memberships. As the 2018 Annual Conference highlighted- looking towards 2020!

Neta Gear