RELEASE — Mental health advocate Anne O’Riordan has been awarded the 2019 Family Advocacy Award – the highest award given by Family and Children’s Services or Frontenac, Lennox and Addington.
The award, held every year to celebrate Family Day, recognizes an individual, group or organization for their contribution to making the lives of families in KFL&A better. The 124-year-old Children’s Aid Society recognized O’Riordan for her outstanding work with the families facing mental health challenges.
“Anne O’Riordan is the perfect example of the right person being in the right place at the right time to make a difference for families. Her advocacy on mental health issues have been invaluable to the work we do and to the work of our many partners. She has had a major positive impact on the families we serve and on this community,” said Steve Woodman, Executive Director of Family and Children’s Services.
Kingston Mental Health Advocate Anne O’Riordan has been awarded our highest honour – the 2019 Family Advocacy Award. Join us in thanking her for her work. MORE: https://t.co/GFDcDdz4t6 pic.twitter.com/Ci16Ou6IKb
— FamChildrenServices (@FACSFLA) February 21, 2019
O’Riordan currently co-chairs the Family Engagement Work Group at the Moving on Mental Health Task Force – an alliance of more than 30 agencies, school boards and other organizations that share the responsibility for children and youth mental health services within Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. Family and Children’s Services is a member of the Task Force.
Her colleagues credit her with being a tireless advocate who has sought to provide a voice for families with service providers, especially in breaking down barriers that often prevent children with mental health issues from getting the help they need. An Occupational Therapist by training, O’Riordan was an adjunct faculty in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen’s University. She is now retired and is a Patient & Family Experience Advisor at the Kingston Health Sciences Centre.
“The only way our community will be able to address the mental health issues we have is if we all work together. Anne O’Riordan shows what one person can do to make a difference. She is an example for all of us to follow,” said Woodman.
Past winners of the Family Advocacy Award include the One Roof Youth Hub, the Kingston Immigration Partnership, Lennox and Addington Interval House, Maribeth Scott from Northern Frontenac Community Services, and the Newburgh Community Christmas Concert.