Jodi Younger is the Clinical Director, General Psychiatry & Addiction Services at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.
When Jodi was presented with the opportunity to represent St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton, at a series of round tables on mental health services in Burlington, she jumped on it. She’s furthered her support of this work by joining the leadership group for the ensuing Mental Wellness Alliance.
What inspires you to volunteer?
From working to improve community support for individuals who experience serious mental illness, to addressing how we can support our first line responders, to better work with individuals in crisis, I have started with a belief that participating in building solutions is the most valuable thing we can do. Sometimes that is part of our paid employment, but many times it means contributing personal time to commitments that you are passionate about.
Why have you chosen to give your time and talents to BCF?
The vision of the BCF around the potential to make community level change to support mental health and wellness through public-private partnerships is innovative and exciting. As a resident of Burlington, I have community pride and want to support this work to shine a light on the kind of improvements that can be made when people think outside the lines of traditional roles and responsibilities. As well, we know that to make enduring changes in population health, we cannot only focus on the traditional health system. Our overall health is influenced by many factors, many of which have much more impact than traditional health systems. This kind of innovation in partnership is truly what will move communities forward.
What words of inspiration could you share with Burlingtonians considering volunteering with BCF?
As the leading philanthropic agency in our community, BCF touches many different aspects of the quality of life where we live, work, learn and play. Be part of that work and you will be amazed by the change that even the smallest efforts can affect.
What impact do you make in the Burlington community by volunteering?
With respect to the work with BCF, I hope to support Burlington to become a city that supports the health, wellbeing and personal growth of our residents.
I think that because our community is affluent there is a misperception that there is no need among residents. That mistaken belief can impact the willingness to donate time and money. It’s important that we highlight where needs in our community exist (because they do exist) and match the generosity of many of our community members to those needs, so that we can all benefit.
What impact does volunteering have on you?
One of the more meaningful things that volunteering allows me to do is to be a model for my children. They are also both, like me, wanting to be part of the change. I think that instilling a sense of our civic responsibility is very important.
How long have you lived and/or worked in Burlington and why did you choose this city?
We have lived in Burlington since 1992. We love the community: the perfect mix of downtown vibrancy (where we live we can walk to it all) and it’s just a short drive to hiking, biking and other nature.