Tanja Hillis Ormiston


Tanja Hillis Ormiston


Throughout my working life, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the strength and resilience of those struggling with mental health challenges and the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Remarkable has been their ability to overcome obstacles and grow. With persistence, it’s possible to make change, it’s possible to become more than a label or diagnosis. It takes practice, it takes recognizing what works, paying attention to all facets of ourselves, and finding a good cheerleading team. Partnerships with those who have either walked the same path or are willing to walk alongside through the journey are key.

I hold two undergrad degrees, both from York University, the first in Sociology (with a minor in Psychology) and the second in Social Work. Although beginning my career in Forensics at a maximum secure mental hospital, the majority of my 35 + years of experience has been with a community-based case management agency as team leader, supervisor and more recently part-time case manager. My passion and role as a front-line worker provides me with the opportunity to help consumers set their own goals, evaluate their strengths and supports, and learn new skills towards overcoming the numerous hurdles they encounter.

In my other life, I am co-owner/operator, with my husband, of a family campground business, and mother of two sons, 23 and 25, who are now launched. In my spare time, I am a budding author, having taken numerous creative writing courses and a mentoring program with the University of British Columbia. My first novel which is in the works, is based on my family’s choice to raise my developmentally handicapped sister at home vs. committing her to an institution. It was a decision that came with its fair share of challenges, but more importantly, significant joy and achievement, a true testament to the value of perseverance and determination.