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People’s Archive of Rural Ontario

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Celebrating International Women’s Month: PARO’s woman-identifying storytellers

Home Forums People’s Archive of Rural Ontario Celebrating International Women’s Month: PARO’s woman-identifying storytellers

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      Karli Longthorne

      In celebration of International Women’s Month, PARO is dedicating space to acknowledge the valuable contributions of our woman- identifying storytellers.

      In one of our recently published stories, social justice and mental health leader Jenilee Halls shares her experience supporting the mental health of the Oxford County community through her role as a social worker. Alongside the mental health challenges and healing of rural folk, are the untold stories of woman leaders contributing to social change.

      Hear Jenilee, as she shares what it means to be a supportive leader in a rural community by listening to audio clip in Jenilee’s PARO featured story titled “What does it mean to be a rural leader?”

      Jenilee has exemplified leadership in her many roles working within the city of Woodstock since 2011, to serve and support folks’ mental health as a front-line clinical social worker—providing counselling, and rehabilitation therapies—and eventually, acting as a liaison between folks and mental health resources as a community outreach social worker.

      “Community mental health work can’t be done alone. No one person can take that on,” says Jenilee. To her, leadership means working alongside community partners to support the mental health of residents through the innovative use of limited financial resources. “As a leader it’s about networking and creating a team of people to identify the gaps and figure out how to fill them as a community. It’s also about creating a community where people feel safe and like they belong.”

      >> REFLECT & SHARE: Share your thoughts in the forum topic discussion thread & hear what others have to say! 

      1. What resonated most with you about Jenilee’s perspective on leadership in a rural community?
      2. In what ways do you think woman leaders in your rural community contribute to positive social change?
      3. Share one prominent woman leader in your rural community. How do they demonstrate leadership?

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