Introducing Chris Quigley
Chris Quigley is the Crisis Intervention Coordinator at the PMFRC. She is the first stop for any individual or family that comes to the PMFRC for mental health support. Chris is always happy to lend an ear and help you to find the help you need – whether it is from within our Agency or other community partners.
(Image Source: PMFRC)
Name: Chris Quigley
Position: Crisis Intervention Coordinator
Tell us more about your role at the PMFRC and the programs you are involved in.
I define my role as jack of all trades and master of none. By that I mean that I am prepared for whatever might come across my desk on any given day. I really cannot tell you what I do specifically. It is not a routine job like childcare or finance. My day is often entwined with many things including:
- helping families find a camp to meet their child’s needs
- seeking out emergency child care
- lending a listening ear to a spouse who is not from the area and is finding it difficult to settle in Petawawa
- helping administer a special needs funding application
- providing briefing information for the Garrison
- guest speaking at pre/postnatal groups
- completing intakes to support families who are seeking mental health services within the agency and the community
- supporting the social workers with play therapy within their caseloads
How long have you worked for the PMFRC?
I am there to listen, offer a cup of tea and to sit and reflect on what it is they are looking for help with
I have been around the PMFRC for almost 15 years, but I have been involved with other MFRCs for 18 plus years.
Tell me about your background (experience, education, etc.)?
I have a degree in Child and Family Studies. I have spent my career either teaching in the social service field, or working in areas such as addictions, mental health and youth employment.
What can people expect to see when they first meet you?
A friendly warm greeting that encourages people to share their story no matter how big or small. People will know that I am there to listen, offer a cup of tea and to sit and reflect on what it is they are looking for help with. If the answers to what people are looking for are not in my particular office-- or within the agency-- I will do my best to direct folks to places in the community where they can get the support they are looking for.
What is your favourite part about working for the PMFRC?
My job. The reason I love coming to work is because I get to able to support people who had thought that there was no solution to their problem. Far too often there is a checklist for supporting people; once there is a tick is in the box, that case is closed and they move on to the next… I pride myself on following-up with families when the situation requires. I also ensure that people are treated with a hand-up, not a hand-out.
What is your greatest accomplishment or proudest moment working for the PMFRC?
For me, the great accomplishments happen every day -- helping folks realize that even when they are at their lowest, they still have that one drive in them to never say never. For example, parents sometimes call me to say that they cannot find child care or recreation programs for their special needs child; they think there is no support for their situation. I can ask a question, get answers and find a way to provide support. I can even introduce them to funding and programs for their whole family. At the end of the day, they are very thankful.
Reaching out to the community and finding support for families whose issues do not fall under any umbrella in our agency is another accomplishment. As Crisis Intervention Coordinator I strive to support military families and other departments within the PMFRC as I carry out my daily tasks.
Where you from and what are brought you to Petawawa? How long have you lived here?
I am a true east coaster and that comes out in my giving my all to my work. My dad always taught me, anything worth doing is worth doing well, and I live by this trait that was pushed into my head every day growing up. I have been in Petawawa for 15 years, and if I can’t be home on the east coast, there is no other place I’d rather be.
What advice do you have for families transitioning to Petawawa?
Take the time to get to know the area and your MFRC. There is so much to see and do in Petawawa. Take advantage of the programs and services that are offered in the community and within the agency. Start by volunteering, getting to know the best nature spots to have a picnic, or going for a hike and finding the local parks. There are opportunities waiting for you, you just have to give it a chance. Personally when I first moved here, I was unsure as well about what I would do, or if I would be able to work. Fifteen years ago, I started at the MFRC working only 11 hours a week and now, there are not enough hours in the week for me to do the job I love.
What is your favourite thing about living in the area? What is your favourite thing to do in the winter? The summer?
The weather in the summer is great for hiking, gardening, trekking into the county to find little unique shops and enjoy the natural surroundings. I like to head to Petawawa Point with a good book and find a spot near the water. In the winter there are great trails for skiing, ski-doing and sledding. Really, it is all in what you make of it. What you put into Petawawa you will get from Petawawa.
Leave us with a few more words of wisdom – what is your favourite quote?
Love what you do, do what you love. Life is what you make it. Set your mind to accomplishment and you will accomplish. We can help, but only you can do!