Catharine Chamberlain is the Collaborative Co-ordinator of Erin Mills Connects, a role she was asked to assume after being a volunteer. She is a longtime resident of West Mississauga, and spent her career as a public relations professional in co-operative organizations. It well prepared her for the unique requirements of a grassroots collaborative. She has received much recognition for her community leadership, most recently the Award of Excellence from the Peel District School Board. She received her M.A. from Western University’s graduate journalism program, a predecessor to the Faculty of Information and Media Studies. She has a B.A. from the University of Guelph in psychology.
About Erin Mills Connects
Erin Mills Connects started as a meeting of community stakeholders, including educators, settlement workers and parents in 2016. The meeting was led by then John Fraser Secondary School Principal, Mary Nanavati, and Peel Public Health. It became clear that the pressing need in the community was for mental health support of children and youth.
Taking a whole-family approach, Erin Mills Connects holds educational events for young people called Beautiful Mind Days. It organizes facilitator training to run youth Healthy Relationships Plus programs that were developed through Western University. Parents, guardians and other caregivers are invited to events that provide evidence-based strategies and information about raising psychologically healthy families. Stakeholders in education and well-being also network and share information at Community Check-ins.
The collaborative is not incorporated, but operates under the auspices of The Dam which, itself, has been helping young people for more than 25 years. Erin Mills Connects’ funding is now thanks to the Region of Peel.