By Vivian Collings
The Point in Time annual general meeting on June 21 was a night full of thanks for the staff, board members, and community members that have allowed the organization to help local children and youth feel a sense of belonging during adverse circumstances.
Point in Time executive director Marg Cox expressed the importance of taking time to make everyone in Haliburton County feel included.
“There’s a lot to be said about the importance of belonging. We are part children and youth mental health agency. On one end of the spectrum we help support people with treatment, with recreation, with other services, and it feels like another part of our job is to try and help build community because we know so much about the importance of belonging,” Cox said.
Point in Time was able to serve 1,268 local children and youth in 2021-2022.
President of the board of directors Sandy Adams said that the past year was one of progress and persistence for Point in Time.
“Our executive director Marg Cox and her amazing leadership team and staff have continued to provide outstanding support and service to the children, youth, and families of Haliburton County despite still juggling the challenges of the COVID-19 [pandemic] and those remote technology infrastructure challenges. Their resourcefulness and persistence is second to none, and rest assured, this crew will not only get the job done, but with a passion and dedication that is indicative of their calling. The board of directors welcomes some new faces and continues to be a strong advocate for the agency and its staff to ensure that each member is able to work to support the families of Haliburton County in each stage. The dedication of this board is outstanding in its work at supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, governance, human resources, finances, and quality assurance. The work within these areas grows stronger as the board grows stronger. Our strength is our people, and we have strong people. I am reminded of the words of American anthropologist Margaret Mead: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has,’” Adams said.
We as a board continue to work together with the staff of Point in Time to ensure that we support Point in Time Centre for youth, children, and their families in the upcoming year and always.”
Adams will be stepping down as president and will be past-president for the 2022-2023 year. Susan MacInnes will take on the role of president, and Michelle Leigh will become vice president.
Cox began the executive director’s report with a land acknowledgement and recognition of Indigenous Peoples because the AGM fell on National Indigenous Peoples Day. Cox also addressed other marginalized groups and Point in Time’s goal to serve everyone in the community.
“People continue to experience racism, marginalization, bullying, micro-aggression, and true aggression right here in Haliburton County … Our Youth Hub is going to be starting to track people’s racial backgrounds so we can see as an organization, are we in fact reflecting what the demographics say, or is it a place that’s more exclusive than others,” she said.
The Haliburton County Youth Wellness Hub, which provides services and supports for youth in Haliburton County such as mental health and peer support, has served 656 youth in the 2021-2022 year as stated in the Point in Time Annual Report. This was a 226 per cent increase from the previous year.
Ashley Wilson has recently been included on the staff list at Point in Time as an Indigenous peer navigator.
Seven staff members at Point in Time were recognized at the meeting for their years of service to the organization. Kelsey Sharpless and Lindsay Kerkhof were recognized for five years, Amanda Wells and Joelle Hill were recognized for 10 years, Cox was recognized for 15 years, and Dawn Hurd and Lisa Hamilton were recognized for 20 years of service. Cathy Constantino will be retiring after 12 years of working as an early interventionist at Point in Time.
Deputy Mayor and Ward 2 Councillor for Algonquin Highlands Liz Danielsen was thanked by Cox for her help in securing internet and transportation for the organization.
“I just want to thank all of you, the board and the entire team, for the work that you do. It means so much to the families here in Haliburton County, and I expect probably beyond Haliburton County. Congratulations to you all, well done, and I’m just so glad to be here,” Danielsen said.
Haliburton – Kawartha Lakes – Brock MP Jamie Schmale’s chief of staff Andrew Hodgson said, “Jamie recently visited the Youth Hub in person and really expanded on his admiration of all the efforts. As for myself, I worked alongside Marg and everyone at Point in Time for 15 to 20 years, and I can’t speak highly enough [about Point in Time]. Congratulations from Jamie and myself for another good year,” Hodgson said.
Haliburton – Kawartha Lakes – Brock Laurie Scott said in a video message, “The work you do to support families, especially over the last two years, is incredible. Not long ago, we were all together for the opening of the Haliburton County Youth Wellness Hub, and I can’t thank Point in Time enough for their leadership on the project that has supported youth in our community. The community would not be the same without your dedication and commitment to helping local families.”
Cox credited the board and the staff for their efforts.
She said, “I can’t say how lucky I am to work with both such a great board, such a great staff team. One of the things I’m very proud of is that people continue to come to work, put a smile on their face, put their shoulder to the wheel, and continue to figure out more creative ways to support people and help address the needs of the residents of Haliburton County.”