Jean Jackson has been a healthcare professional for over 25 years as a nurse, patient advocate, healthcare economist and therapist. She has been a program leader at Wellspring since 2005, leading a variety of programs including the Healing Journey Levels 1 and 2, Relaxation and Visualization, Writing for the Health of It and an array of support groups including the Breast Cancer Support Group at both Wellspring Downtown Toronto and Wellspring Westerkirk House.

Jean was first connected with Wellspring when she was the executive director at Interlink Community Cancer Nurses, an organization of nurses who specialized in oncology and palliative care. Wellspring’s founder, Anne Armstrong Gibson reached out to Interlink for feedback when she was carrying out her vision for Wellspring. Jean and Interlink were able to provide Anne with much valued knowledge and support.

Jean believes that Wellspring is the strong community that it is because of the people it serves. She feels that this message is transmitted throughout the organization as everyone makes the well-being of the members a priority. “I like that Wellspring allows for the individual to find what suits them,” says Jean. “Wellspring offers its members support, tools and the feeling of belonging.”

Jean radiates tranquility and has the ability to make everyone feel at ease. She projects a warm, soothing energy that is well received by Wellspring members and has a strong appreciation for the layers of support members receive from peers, other program centre staff, leaders and volunteers.

Jean feels she is continually learning; whether it is through the members of her groups or her own deep personal interest in Jungian analysis and Gestalt Buddhist psychology, mindfulness and complementary medicine.  “Being a leader is an ongoing exploration within the context of me and the group,” says Jean. “It gives one pause for thought and reflection.” “Each Wellspring member brings a unique perspective and they are always there for each other,” says Jean. “It is a gift that they all bring.”