The year was 1985, Kelsey Orestis, Alma Desjardins, Trish Buls, David Peters and Diane Potvin gathered in Kelsey’s living room and formed the Area IV Mental Health Services Coalition, later to become Common Ties Mental Health Services.

The group was a coalition of people from a variety of backgrounds, but each with a mutual desire to advocate for services for people who were leaving hospitals and institutions and returning to their community.


From Kelsey Orestis

“Common Ties Mental Health evolved simply from the outspoken needs of a group of people who were willing to place the good of the peoples of the mental health community before the fear, self-doubt and repression of the individual-people who demanded equality and quality of life. People who were able to overcome insurmountable mental, social and emotional barriers to gain for themselves the rights and dignities they hoped for and then, earned.


It is with enormous pride that I can say that I was a small part of this effort and by the Grace of God the Coalition has not only continued, it has flourished and the people who dreamed their dreams have seen them realized.


Certainly, Common Ties is far more than I had envisioned, but I never doubted its reality. I am blessed to have been a part of this great effort, to have been a part of such special people.


With love, Kelsey Orestis”



Our Current Board of Directors and Leadership Team

Board Members:

Kristen Hurd, President
Jennifer Johnston, Vice-President
Meghan Levesque, Treasurer
Charles Hedrick, Secretary
Stacy Paradis
Julie Elwell
Lane Feldman

Leadership Team:

Karen Bate, Executive Director
Peter Barnhart, Clinical Supervisor
Nicole Tyler, Client Services Coordinator & Billing Specialist
Wanda Griffin, Client Services Coordinator & Supervisor