New leadership and new opportunities to support mental health and wellbeing for individuals and families in Ontario

November 2, 2020 – TORONTO, ON – Family Service Ontario, which provides innovative and cost-effective mental health and wellbeing programs through member agencies across the province, is proud to announce its new Chief Executive Officer Susan Wells. Wells will join Family Service Ontario after working the past 20 years in a Family Service agency in Southern Ontario.

Having both front line and leadership experience in adult mental health, children’s mental health, couple and family counselling, domestic violence and justice programs, Wells reports feeling ready for this new role. “I believe that everything I have done in my career to date has led me to this opportunity,” said Wells, whose accomplishments include completing Masters degrees in both Social Work and Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario.

Wells is not new to Family Service Ontario having authored “A Business Case for an Enhanced Strategy to End Domestic Violence” in 2013, which resulted in a provincial pilot project for conjoint counselling to address lower risk intimate partner violence. According to Board Chair, Alan McQuarrie, “The board felt that Susan had the combination of skills and experience to lead us through the next part of our journey.”

Wells will assume this role in the midst of significant change for Family Service agencies as the provincial government rolls out the next phase of its plan for Structured Psychotherapy across the province. According to Wells, “This is an amazing opportunity for our member agencies to further support individuals in our communities, doing what they do best. I am honoured to work together with all key stakeholders to make this initiative a success.”

Susan MacIsaac retired from the position of Executive Director for Family Service Ontario in June 2020 and recently passed away on October 12, 2020. MacIsaac dedicated her last five years of work to Family Service Ontario and its member agencies because she deeply cared about Ontarians. Similarly, Wells “…has demonstrated her care and commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of Ontarians,” states McQuarrie. Wells will assume her responsibilities on November 30, 2020.

Family Service Ontario represents 45 Family Service agencies across the province who serve more than 250,000 Ontarians with mental health, trauma and addiction challenges each year. A core competency of Family Service agencies is offering evidenced-based structured psychotherapy services, provided by highly qualified, graduate level psychotherapists.