Alfred Achoba is the Executive Director of Canadian Mental Health Association – Kamloops Branch. Alfred is a compassionate mental health advocate and community leader from Nigeria, with a degree in Psychology from Thompson Rivers University. He has devoted his career to serving others and making a meaningful impact in his community. Alfred has held various positions within CMHA Kamloops, including Manager of Homelessness Services and Shelter Operations, and Acting Operations Leader. As Executive Director since 2019, his leadership has driven significant program and community growth. CMHA Kamloops has expanded its programs and services, reaching over 1300 unique individuals in Kamloops and hundreds more virtually across Canada. Alfred’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity in the workplace, breaking down stigmas surrounding mental health, and promoting wellness is evident in every aspect of his work. He is also a devoted father of three, a travel enthusiast, and a soccer fan, and shares his expertise by guest lecturing at Thompson Rivers University. Alfred’s remarkable achievements and leadership skills make him a true asset to CMHA Kamloops and the broader community.
Ramatoulaye Comma joined CMHA as the Executive Assistant in 2022. Outside of her general administrative roles, Ramatoulaye’s goal for the agency includes researching, fostering mental health education, building platforms for CMHA, Kamloops and working with the community to build sustainable housing capacities. Ramatoulaye’s CMHA journey started when she volunteered in the administrative office in 2021. She helped create systems for filing, supported human resource capacity building, and encouraged CMHA’s mandate of Mental Health for All. She has volunteered from an early age, including at a local disability centre in Mauritius, teaching at a local primary school in Senegal, and was a volunteer teacher’s assistant for the psychology department at TRU where she graduated with her Bachelors in Psychology and Politics. Ramatoulaye is very passionate about mental health, specifically in seniors and its socio-economic impact in our society. She believes mental health is an essential part of life and society.
Liane Gottgetreu is the Manager of Finance and Administration and oversees all components of the finance department. Part of her role includes maintaining and updating financial processes, providing financial information to management and the board of directors, and supervising the finance department staff. With over 30 years’ experience in accounting and finance, Liane enjoyed spending several years working in the non-profit sector in Vancouver and continued to follow in those footsteps when she moved to Kamloops in 2020. Liane feels very fortunate to be part of this growing team and progressive non-profit organization that believes in the people who benefit from the services provided by CMHA Kamloops. As the organization expands, so does the finance department. The finance team’s goal is to continue to follow the objective of having a structured and streamlined department that runs smoothly.
Julie Clark joined the CMHA team in the summer of 2022 as the Finance Assistant. Within her role, Julie supports the Finance Manager with the day-to-day accounting tasks as well as performing duties in Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable. Prior to her time with CMHA, Julie has had extensive experience in management, administration, and finance in the non-profit sector. In 2022, she shifted gears and completed her Professional Counselling study at the Vancouver College of Counselling and Training and is currently finishing her practicum. The last year with CMHA has provided Julie with the foundation of understanding the extreme need for mental health supports in our community. As this organization continues to expand, Julie is most looking forward to a long career helping those in need with empathy and compassion.
Cheryl Mathieson is the Manager of Homelessness Services and Shelter Operations with CMHA, Kamloops. She oversees the daily operations of Emerald Centre which provides emergency shelter, meals and advocacy to men and women who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness in our community. Cheryl started with CMHA in 2008 as a shelter worker and transitioned to case management before accepting the management role. Her many years of experience have provided her with the knowledge and opportunities to develop and maintain valuable partnerships and community connections. She believes mental health is the foundation which allows everyone to function within our community and be productive individuals. Her passion for advocacy, creating inclusivity, and relationship building is instrumental in feeling fulfilled and maintaining her own mental health.
Jennifer Smith is the Manager of Life Skills and Housing Transition at Moira House. Jennifer was instrumental in the creation of this innovative recovery-focused shelter program focused on the development of critical life skills. Her aim is to empower individuals through a person-centered approach to transition them into suitable housing successfully. Jennifer has worked as a shelter support worker and case manager for CMHA, gaining expertise in these roles. As Temporary Shelter Manager, she incorporated case management into temporary shelters, providing individuals with personalized attention and guidance to overcome barriers and achieve success. She believes in every individual’s inherent value and worth, and her dedication to helping others is evident in her work. Her innovative approach to shelter delivery has created opportunities for individuals to transform their lives.
Jennifer Healey is the Manager of Shelter Assessment and Triage. Jennifer currently oversees CMHA’s program at Merit Place. In her time employed with CMHA, Jennifer has worked in a multitude of different programs and positions which includes facilitating SMART recovery therapy with past service users. Prior to stepping into management, Jennifer was hired as CMHA’s first Client Engagement Specialist within our supportive housing and shelter programs. Being the center of all client related activity, Jennifer’s focus was working with residents to maintain their housing while building on life skills. Within her person-centered approach, Jennifer provides individualized support to fit the capacity of each individual; focusing on maximizing their physical, emotional, and social well-being. Jennifer continues to prioritize building an environment at Merit Place Shelter where individuals can come together, build supportive relationships, and focus on moving forward in their journey.
Saleh Mohammed is the Shelter Access Manager (Temporary Winter Shelters). Saleh currently works with funders and contractors on site development, environmental design and new project implementations for CMHA, Kamloops. His focus is creating opportunity and support for individuals to succeed in long term housing. The goal is to create and develop a site to support clients that have demonstrated progress of working towards being independent and self-sufficient. This site will be abstinence based. Saleh is committed to determining an appropriate site with a focus on recovery. Saleh has years of experience working within a variety of social service agencies that focus on mental health and the criminal justice system. While at CMHA he has worked in multiple programs through the years and continues to support individuals to access suitable shelter. He has always had the passion to help individuals in need of support which is usually as a result of financial instability, family crises or addictions.
Outreach – Community Services
Kelvin Akakem is the Manager of Envision and Outreach with CMHA, Kamloops and is responsible for overseeing outreach shelter services along with peer programming. Kelvin started with the organization in 2014 when he accepted a frontline position at Emerald Centre as a shelter worker. Within this role, Kelvin increased his knowledge, gained experience, and developed relationships allowing him to support vulnerable clients accessing service. In 2019, he made the transition to case management where he supported clients with community resource connection and responded to those needing to secure housing and/or rental subsidies. Kelvin demonstrates a strong commitment to the population he serves as he continues to advocate for those within the community needing safe, accessible and affordable housing.
Brittany Groves is the Outreach and Integration Coordinator within our Community Services Outreach (CSO) programming. Brittany is responsible for advocating for and connecting clients to services within the community to support the transition to shelter, housing, and/or treatment. Brittany has been with CMHA, Kamloops for over 2 years working frontline as a shelter support worker and outreach worker, and most recently transferred to our Community Services Outreach program. Through pursuing a nursing education and working at CMHA, Brittany has found a passion for mental health and advocacy for our most vulnerable community members. By partnering with Community Services Officers through the City of Kamloops, Brittany is dedicated to serving those within our community through an integrated approach in order to address both immediate and future needs.
Michelle Gauthier is the Manager of Supportive Housing and oversees the Rosethorn program. Since 2020, Michelle has been supporting Kamloops’ most vulnerable population with safe, supportive housing, social inclusion and a new start towards independence. Over her career in the social services field, Michelle has solidified meaningful partnerships which have strengthened her knowledge of community resources that share a collective goal. Though these collaborations, Michelle’s focus is to ensure individuals are provided support with life skills, advocacy, healthy lifestyle support, mentoring, and access to programming all in one space. Michelle asserts that everyone has the right to safe and inclusive housing and pledges to continue to work hand in hand with the community of Kamloops to decrease stigma and provide advocacy for Kamloops’ vulnerable populations. Michelle believes that with the right support and motivation anyone can create a positive impact in our community.
Adam Burrows is the Manager of Rental Housing for Golden Vista and Meadow Creek Vista. In this role he oversees 5 women’s recovery beds in a residential home in Kamloops, 15 affordable housing units in Kamloops for seniors, and 12 units in Logan Lake for seniors and people living with disabilities. A few of Adam’s regular tasks include overseeing the budgets, completing rent reviews, and completing regular and proactive maintenance for three rental housing programs. Adam approaches every situation with compassion and empathy and excels at finding solutions to issues that leave all parties satisfied. Adam graduated from UBC in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and had already started his career in housing while still in school. He has won awards for team support and legacy building. Adam is passionate about mental health, staying active, and connecting with people on a personal level. He is proud to be working within the mental health field and creating safe affordable places to live.
Manager of Sustainability and Affordable Housing
Catharine Hope is our Manager of Nutrition and Food Services. Catharine is responsible for all CMHA kitchen facilities and staff in addition to creating and delivering healthy, balanced and nutritious meals. Catharine is a Red Seal Chef with over 30 years of experience in the food service industry where she focuses on providing nutritious options within the vulnerable sector. This work includes serving indigenous youth and seniors. Catharine is dedicated to continuing her education through Food Sciences and Nutrition Support with Langara College. She is an active member of both the Canadian Society of Nutrition Management and the Pacific Society of Nutrition Management. Catharine believes that good and adequate nutrition is essential to the physical and mental well-being that all should have access to.
Darsey Lindberg is the Community Engagement Coordinator for CMHA Kamloops. Within her role, Darsey coordinates communication, community activities, a variety of social reach which includes social media and photo voice campaigns, and engages with stakeholders within our region. Darsey joined CMHA Kamloops in 2017 after obtaining her Diploma in Community Service Work and Certificate in Addictions Work. She has worked in an array of positions including shelter support and case management. Darsey demonstrates a passion for mental health advocacy and is committed to creating opportunities for all to flourish. Her passion has led her to many accomplishments including co-coordinating and ensuring success for Ride Don’t Hide in 2022 – a fundraiser which promotes mental health awareness. In addition to her positive attitude and tireless energy, Darsey strives to see those around her succeed. Darsey will continue to campaign and defend mental health as a fundamental human right by delineating stigmas associated with mental health issues and disorders.