More than 12 years ago, Louise Bradley joined the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) as its chief operating officer. Two years later, she took over the helm as president and CEO — and has been a steady hand at the wheel ever since. Today, it’s my bittersweet task to announce that Louise has informed the board of directors that she’d like us to begin the careful search for her replacement. She intends to retire once the right candidate has been found and has successfully transitioned into the role.
On behalf of the board, leadership, and staff, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for Louise’s unflagging dedication to the MHCC and to raising the profile of mental health in Canada.
Louise is an extraordinary leader. She mounted a tireless battle against stigma, relentlessly advocated for increased mental health funding, and has left an indelible imprint as head of the MHCC. Building the organization to more than 100 strong, Louise’s tenure includes milestones like the world’s largest research demonstration project on effective housing for people who live with serious mental illness, and the development of a made-in-Canada workplace standard on psychological health and safety. The MHCC’s current inroads include the Roots of Hope community-based suicide prevention program and the proliferation of Stepped Care 2.0, a tiered approach to care that includes e-mental health.
In Louise’s words, “We’ve turned a corner. The need for investment in mental health is no longer in dispute. This next stretch of highway belongs to someone else. We have an excellent board. We have a new mandate and work plan. And our value and relevance as an organization has never been stronger. This is a natural leadership change point, and it will allow for someone with fresh ideas and new energy to shepherd the organization’s next chapter.”
The pandemic has underscored the need for increased mental health supports and services and has reinforced the MHCC’s essential role in developing sound policy to underpin those investments.
While filling Louise’s shoes will be no easy task, she emphasized, “The board shouldn’t be looking to replace me. I’ve done my part, and I’m ready for the next adventure. Your task now is to find someone whose talents, skills, and experience are suited to the challenges that lie around the corner. But one thing will never change: I will always be the organization’s biggest champion.”
Board Chair, Mental Health Commission of Canada
Mental Health Commission of Canada
613-683-3748 / firstname.lastname@example.org