The Stigma-Free Society’s Highlights of 2017
This past year has been an incredible journey for the Stigma Free Society. We have been able to reach over 4770 students on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, and over 3600 community members this fiscal year with our Stigma-Free Presentations conducted by Robyn Thomas and Andrea Paquette. We continue to spread hope and the knowledge that no matter what stigma or challenge someone faces, we all deserve respect and we can all live extraordinary lives.
Thank you to the hundreds of people who have told us that your views on stigma have been changed and that many of you have a desire to reach out for help for the first time after hearing our presenter’s stories. Our efforts become so worthwhile the moment we receive comments like this one:
“I learned that mental illness is as important as physical health and that it is super important to get help. I need to improve my thinking and be mindful of this topic and be there to help someone who suffers with these mental illnesses and not be judgmental about it. Thank you for the presentation!”
– Grade 11 student
Not only have we maintained the impact of our presentations, but 2017 has seen the growth of our Stigma Free Zone Movement and Designation Program. In November 2017, Spectrum Community School decided to stand up to bullying and stigma and become Victoria’s first Stigma-Free school! A group of inspiring students have already begun planning monthly events to spread awareness on various society stigmas.
You can read the article in the Goldstream News Gazette: here.
We continue to serve numerous youth and adults in the Greater Victoria Area in our three impacting support groups for those facing mental health challenges. Weekly peer meet-ups and monthly activities help youth feel more comfortable socializing and advocating for themselves.
One participant writes that, “Knowing that I’m not alone in my struggles makes a huge difference.”