Stigma-Free Society Team


Andrea Paquette

President and Co-Founder

Andrea Paquette embraces her role passionately as President and Co-Founder of the Stigma-Free Society. She has been leading the charity since 2010 and is a well-known Speaker/Presenter/Facilitator who lives well with bipolar disorder having been diagnosed for over 21 years. She holds a double major degree in Political Science and Women’s Studies and she has worked for the BC government in the areas of mental health and addictions, social development and education. She is certified in Mental Health First Aid and ASIST Suicide Prevention. She has also been trained and certified in the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Mental Health First Aid course.

Andrea is the 2015 Courage To Come Back Award Recipient in the category of Mental Health given by Coast Mental Health, the 2013 Mel Cooper Citizen of the Year in Victoria, among many more accolades. Andrea has also been awarded the President’s Commendation from the 2019 Psychiatric Association of Canada.

Shirley Kine

Operations and Engagement Manager

Shirley has a Masters’ Degree in Social Work – Leadership (Complex Systems) with BSW Undergraduate Degrees in Indigenous, Rural and Remote Social Work and BA in Women’s Health.  She is Certified in Adult Education, Conflict Resolution, Mental Health First Aid, ASIST Suicide Prevention and Beyond the Hurt (Anti-Bullying).   Shirley is also a Director for the Health Quality Council of Alberta, Senator for the University of Calgary and Victim’s Advocate for BVVSA. Shirley has spent most of her professional career working in Indigenous, Rural and Remote social work capacities. For the past 15 years, Shirley has tinkered in social enterprise and measuring the impact of social initiatives when she wasn’t doing her lifelong learning. Shirley lives and works with purpose in mind – we must be the change we wish to see.


Programs Manager

Anne-Marie E. Fischer brings a background in education, community engagement, and reducing poverty and mental health stigma to her role as Programs Manager with Stigma-Free Society. Holding a Combined Honours Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature and History, Master of Education in Curriculum Studies, and Diploma in Human Resources Management. Anne-Marie’s diverse career spans labour relations, training and development, university programming, curriculum development, patient communications, grant writing, and Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR). Throughout her professional roles and volunteer work, Anne-Marie has remained a passionate advocate for BIPOC and 2SLGBTQIA+ equity and inclusion, mental health awareness, food security, harm reduction, Truth & Reconciliation, and ensuring that the voices of those who are often overlooked or forgotten are impactfully represented and elevated.

Alice Wilcox

Remote Office Administrator

Alice is originally trained as an Educational Assistant and later realized that her skill set was better suited in an administrative role than in the classroom. She values meaningful community work and this led her to the non-profit world.  Her background includes file management, program support, and technical database support. As a parent of school age children, Alice understands the importance of accessible, quality programming with a focus on mental health.  Awareness and education allows youth to be engaged, ask questions, and learn that there is no shame in being your own self. Alice is excited to be on the SFS team because of the importance of vital conversations and resources the organization provides around mental wellness and encouraging a Stigma-Free world. In her free time, Alice enjoys the outdoors and spending time with her family.

Monica Bilung

Social Media Marketer & Graphic Designer

Monica is a creative marketing professional with a passion for creating high-quality content to engage vast audiences. She deeply cares about mental well-being and hopes to raise awareness of Stigma-Free Society’s programs to reach those who need them most. She has a track record of working in challenging dynamic workplaces across brands and client segments. She excels at social media marketing, design, content management, and video editing. After completing her Masters in advertising, she spearheaded social media operations at an advertising agency before pursuing her passion for helping animals. She worked with PETA India for four years and has volunteered at local animal shelters. She loves to travel and explore local vegan food.


Monique Zizzo

Content Writer

Monique is a content writer and researcher committed to helping individuals of all ages improve their mental health. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Western University and an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brock University. Monique currently works as a scriptwriter for Psych2Go, where she creates educational videos about psychology. She also works with the Youth Development Lab at Brock University to conduct research examining the effects of social media on young people. In addition to her content writing work, she volunteers at Certified Listeners Society as an Emotional Support Chat Responder. She runs a website called Love Our Minds that provides mental health resources to help people live happier and healthier lives. Monique combines her passion for creative writing and research communication to provide useful information in an entertaining and relatable way. She is thrilled to work with Stigma-Free Society to help open minds and facilitate a culture of compassion.

zia syed - headshot

Zia Syed


Zia is an intern committed to creating a culture of care and acceptance so that everyone feels comfortable talking about their mental health journey. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, with a minor in counselling and human development from Simon Fraser University. She is currently pursuing a career in counselling through graduate studies at Adler University for a master’s in counselling psychology. For the past few years, Zia has been involved in different volunteer groups including working for the Fraser Health Crisis Line and the Sexual Violence Support and Prevention office at SFU. In her free time she tries to incorporate self-care through journalling, going on walks, and making herself a cup of tea with a good movie on. She is excited to be a team member for the Stigma-Free Society to spread compassion, kindness, and acceptance.

Vaishnavi Pic

Vaishnavi Bhardwaj


Vaishnavi is pursuing her master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Adler University. She is certified First Aid OFA 1, and with 4 years of hands-on experience in Learning and Development in the dynamic healthcare sector. Vaishnavi lives by a moto of bringing change through learning and bridging the gap between theory and real-world impact. She loves to travel and her love for playing piano is forever.

Rebecca Himel

Rebecca Himel


Rebecca is an Intern with Stigma-Free Society. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is currently completing her Master of Counselling Psychology at Adler University. Rebecca spent the past 7 years working in the social work field in Seattle, Washington helping those living with mental illness and substance use disorders. She is passionate about not only ending stigma around living with mental illness but also stigmas around any identity. In her free time, Rebecca loves spending time with her partner and cats – either cooking, going on walks, or exploring the greater Vancouver area.




Sirjan is an intern at Stima-Free Society currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Policy and Administration at Adler University in Vancouver. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Law and has practiced as a lawyer at the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh for six months. As a lawyer by profession, Sirjan has developed a strong foundation in advocating for justice and equity. Their passion for policy and administration is driven by a desire to create positive societal change. With a keen interest in mental health advocacy and awareness, Sirjan is committed to challenging stigmas surrounding mental health issues and promoting inclusivity. Outside her academic and professional pursuits, she is also a National medalist Boxer and a Swimmer.

Ishir Joshi

Ishir Joshi


Ishir is a dedicated Adler University student pursuing a master’s in industrial and organizational psychology. With a background in psychology and a minor in literature, he brings a diverse range of knowledge to their studies. Passionate about making a positive impact, Ishir is eager to collaborate with SFS and contribute to meaningful projects. He aspires to become a professor, aiming to share his knowledge for the betterment of society. Ishir also finds solace in writing prose and poetry, having published a book of poems. He has experience working with special needs and gifted children, finding it both challenging and rewarding. Embracing life one step at a time, Ishir is dedicated to their journey of self-discovery and societal contribution.

Mainuddin Hassan

Mainuddin Hassan


Hassan is a dedicated intern who is committed to fostering a culture of compassion and acceptance while working towards a stigma-free and harmonious society where individuals feel at ease sharing their mental health journeys. He holds a Bachelor Degree of Business Administration specializing in Marketing and E-Commerce from BRAC University Bangladesh. Currently, Hassan is pursuing a master’s degree in Applied Psychology at Adler University, Vancouver, to further his career in the field of Human Resource Management, aiming to promote care for mental health and bring social justice in the workplace. As a team member at the Stigma-Free Society, Hassan is enthusiastic about spreading kindness, compassion, and acceptance, with a mission to combat stigma and promote mental health awareness.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website