Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder

The Stigma-Free Society recently had an eye-opening and important conversation with a thirty-year-old woman who lives with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). She wishes to remain anonymous due to the stigma that is unfortunately often associated with personality disorders. For those of us who are unfamiliar with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), can you tell us what […]

Peer Support Training for Rural Residents

In partnership with Robyn Priest LIVE YOUR TRUTH, the Stigma-Free Society is proud to announce our upcoming Peer Support Worker Training sessions, tailored specifically for rural residents in Canada. This two-day virtual course will be held on May 30th and June 6th (8am – 4pm PST, 10am – 6pm CST, 11am – 7pm EST, with […]

Five Tips for Students to Support Their Mental Health

Written by Jill Jaworski Students manage a lot: keeping up with classes, preparing for midterms and exams, making new friends and navigating the transition that happens after high school. The student experience is often stressful, and can feel isolating, as students learn to cope with new expectations and a demanding workload. This is exactly why […]

Pay What You Can Peer Support

Pay What You Can Peer Support was founded by Daniel Cole, who kindly spoke with us about what peer support is and how this unique and easily accessible form of support can be a profound mental health resource. The Stigma-Free Society has recently partnered with Pay What You Can Peer Support to encourage all participants […]

A Tribute to Janet Bisset – An Astounding Stigma-Free Champion

My name is Andrea Paquette, and I am the Co-Founder and President of the Stigma-Free Society. I am writing today to share a personal tribute to Janet (Jan) Bisset who once was my Executive Assistant and Program Coordinator. I met Jan in 2016 through her son Philip who is a good friend and colleague of mine, […]

Fusing “The Best of the East and the West” in Mental Health Care

We tend to think that our understanding of mental health is only way to understand the mind, but learning about various cultural perspectives on health and mental wellness can benefit us all. Dr. Arun Garg describes himself as “a global physician with a passion to lower the burden of chronic diseases, based on integrative thinking, […]

Why It’s Important to Address Mental Health in Your Children as Soon as Possible

Children are thought to be happy-go-lucky little people with no care in the world. They don’t have to worry about working, paying bills, or dealing with grown-up challenges. So, how could they have mental health problems? This thought pattern has caused children with mental health struggles to be overlooked. Lack of information on mental health […]

What is Psychosis and How Can We Support People Through This Misunderstood State?

Psychosis isn’t talked about as often as anxiety and depression, and therefore there is a great deal of misunderstanding and fear around the condition. Media representations of people experiencing an episode of psychosis can be extremely negative and stigmatizing, influencing how we talk about and treat people with psychosis. Even the term “psychotic” is often […]

Disability Inclusion on Campus Going Forward

There was a time in the U.S. when only young men acquired college educations. Throughout the 19th century, it was highly unusual to see female students on most U.S. college campuses. Young women continued to be the minority on campuses well into the first half of the 20th century. Then, the proportion shifted, and women […]

myEsprit APP

Teens Develop Mental Health App for Their Peers

With school closures, online learning, and navigating an uncertain future, teenagers in the midst of discovering who they are in the world have been particularly affected by the pandemic. The struggles of their peer group inspired Astha and Sanjana, two grade 12 students at Semiahmoo Secondary School. They have developed, implemented and are promoting a […]

Moving Your Mind – Exercise and Mental Health

We often think about exercise as a way to keep ourselves physically healthy, and current Canadian guidelines recommend that we get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. It’s a lesser-known fact that exercise is also important for our mental health. Research has demonstrated that exercise can be a means to improve symptoms […]

My Story by Ananya

Hi, I am Ananya (she/they), an international student studying Psychology at Vancouver Island University from Odisha, India. I am also a mental health advocate and work in the field of health care. My experience with mental health challenges started when I was around five years old; I started to notice that I was different from […]

Navigating the Holidays, a Pandemic, and your Mental Health

The holidays aren’t just full of cozy family gatherings and crisp winter walks followed by hot chocolate. The disruption to routine, the increase in social obligations and financial and familial pressure can take its toll, particularly for those with mental health struggles. Given the added challenges of navigating the pandemic, the holidays can seem even […]

Interview with Amy Frank, Artist

Since 2011, artist and mental health advocate Amy Frank has been touching lives through her creative work, public speaking, and award-winning website. Today, she shares with us about her wellness journey, artistic expression, and hopeful message. Please tell us a bit about yourself and your experiences with artistic expression and mental health advocacy. I have […]

Riding the Bipolar Roller Coaster

As that famous Silver Screen philosopher Forrest Gump once said, “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get.” And so the story goes for those of us ‘Touched with Fire’—to salute my fellow bipolarities, movie-maker Paul Dalio and writer/activist Kay Redfield Jamison.  For bipolar—the modern term for manic-depression—is […]

Positive Effect Pets Have on Mental Health

“A dog is a man’s best friend.” But research has come to teach us that pretty much any pet can be your best friend. The bond between humans and animals dates back several centuries. Over time the relationship between humans and animals has evolved from one based on usefulness to one based on care and […]

Wondering When is the Right Time to Seek Help from a Child Counsellor?

Stress and anxiety rates have skyrocketed in the last 18 months due to the pandemic. According to a CBC report, the main concern among educators is not the long gap or loss in academic performance but 90% of the teachers are concerned about the mental health of their students and peers. Anxiety levels in youth […]

Vai Patri – Stigma-Free Champion Feature

Back in December 2020, Andrea Paquette, President and Co-Founder of the Stigma-Free Society, held a live event interview with Vai Patri, singer, songwriter, and advocate for HSV and Borderline Personality Disorder. Today, Vai shares with us some more about her experiences and core messages as an artist and advocate. Who are you? Tell us a […]

Truth and Reconciliation Day Sept. 30th

Today marks the first annual National Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada. Previously, this day was acknowledged as Orange Shirt Day, an informal event where residents of Canada were encouraged to wear orange t-shirts to show support and solidarity with residential school survivors. Now nationally recognized, Truth and Reconciliation day is marked by the long […]

Reconnecting with Your Values: Reflections on ACT

Values give us motivation, purpose, and direction. They are a foundational element of our overall wellness, but it’s all too easy to overlook or forget about them. Speaking for myself, I can think of many occasions when I became so preoccupied with what was not working out as I had planned and so intent on […]