Reach Out & Get in Touch!

Celeste has been involved in the peer movement since 1992 where she started working at “The Mind Empowered”, the first peer run, or at that time, consumer run, mental health agency in Oregon. She has worked in mental health since then and has been with Self Directed Services since 2011. Working with peers as a peer is life changing. It is uplifting to see how empowered one can become if given a little hope and help to reduce the stigma of being diagnosed with a mental illness. Peers are given the chance to live a productive and full life in spite of the barriers faced by each of us and we learn from each other through these experiences. She enjoys being in nature, especially at the beach, gardening, reading, and of course, working at SDS.

Celeste Connell | Intake Coordinator
T 503-726-3738
F 503-726-3739
Pronouns: she/her

Jen has been with SDS since 2013 and shares positions of both Program Manager and SDS Accountant. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Southern Oregon University and Peer Support Certification through both Project ABLE and Intentional Peer Support (IPS) through Folk Time. Her lived experience is having severe anxiety since childhood, being a survivor of domestic abuse, and dealing with an immense amount of loss and grief throughout her life, including recently losing a very close friend to suicide. She has a strong compassion for others, an empathetic soul, and enjoys connecting with and supporting peers. Jen loves the outdoors, including camping and fishing, and sings in a classic rock band. She adores her daughter and husband, as well as her two cats.

Jennifer Gantner | Program Manager & Accountant
T 503-726-3786
F 503-726-3787
Pronouns: she/her

Mykel came to SDS in October 2019 and is our Housing Resource Broker. They have been a Peer Support Specialist for 7 years. In addition was a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist. Peer support is their passion. The drive to give back to the peer community that was so supportive on the recovery journey that still continues, is an integral part of their being. Mykel feels great joy at being able to work side by side the staff at SDS receiving as much support as being given.

Mykel Knight | Housing Resource Broker
T 503-726-3708
F 503-726-3709
Pronouns: they,them,their/he,him

Katy started with SDS in December of 2019 and is our Wellness Resource Broker. She is new to Peer Support on a professional level but has been a mentor to many of her close friends and family throughout her life. Her passion in life is to help people create a healthy lifestyle and community so they can succeed and find joy. Katy is thrilled and honored to work at SDS to encourage others to gain their independence and find their voice. Speaking of voice, Katy has been singing since she was little and finds happiness in all types of music. She looks forward to learning lots and getting to know everyone around her.

Katy Assad | Wellness Resource Broker
T 503-726-3716
F 503-726-3717
Pronouns: she/her