It’s sunny and hot. The sultry days of summer are here. And, so is the start of the new College year. I appreciate the opportunity that I have been given by Council to lead once more as President in 2022-2023. I anticipate that the work of Council and College staff will continue to progress this year in the multiple areas in which we are in the midst of long-term projects and change processes. Although the work is demanding, I remain impressed by Council and Committee members, Dr. Rick Morris, and College staff in their dedication to completing it well.
As an update on some of these projects, Council recently approved the choice of a project researcher who will compile information regarding the retirement of Master’s level registration and write the proposed new Registration Regulation for the College to submit to the Ministry of Health. The Applied Behaviour Analysis Working Group has worked diligently to develop draft regulations for Council to review at their September meeting. In June, Council welcomed Dr. Kendra Thomson and Mr. Conrad Leung as non-voting Behaviour Analyst members of Council. Dr. Rick Morris, Registrar & Executive Director, submitted a response to the Ministry of Health from Council, outlining areas of support and concern regarding Bill 106, Pandemic and Emergency Preparedness, 2022 and some proposed registration regulation changes that will impact all regulated health Colleges in the province. College committees were re-populated for the coming year with many of you expressing a willingness to participate in the regulation of the profession in this manner. And, the work in all of these areas continues.
I believe that each of you, as professional members of the College, may also find yourselves engaged in lengthy projects and demanding work. The services you provide to the public of Ontario are more necessary than ever at this time, and the burden of responsibility in doing so can be heavy. I also anticipate that you share my desire to seek some form of rest and relaxation from the demands of work as a form of self-care. We often associate the “dog days of summer” with the freedom of vacations; time spent away from the stressful routines and demands of work and home. Common outcomes in vacation research emphasize the importance of taking time away from the demands of work. Taking vacation time is positively associated with life satisfaction, with healthier physical lives, and with improved workplace productivity. Additionally, vacations can improve our mood and reduce our stress levels. Summer vacations are very appealing and apparently beneficial.
At some point, each of us decides that we have spent a sufficient amount of time juggling projects, meeting client needs, managing people or authoring reports and we consider something more than a vacation; we turn our sights to retirement. This is the case with Dr. Rick Morris, who announced his decision to retire as Registrar & Executive Director of the College last week. I share the view of others that he has managed to set a very high bar with his excellent knowledge base, amiable approach, equanimity, and work ethic. In a decision consistent with these characteristics, Dr. Morris has agreed to continue his work at the College until January 2023 to facilitate the College’s fulfillment of its regulatory responsibilities while we seek his replacement.
So, work at the College continues, yet vacation, and for some, retirement, beckons. I recommend that you take heed of the identified benefits of taking a break. Walk the beach, paddle a river, sit on the dock, or lounge poolside. Hike the trail, pitch your tent, hit a golf ball, eat on the patio, and laugh with friends. Bask in the warmth of the summer sun. Enjoy the freedoms of vacation and the benefits it affords.
Wanda Towers, Ph.D., C.Psych.