Lost and Found(ry) — Helping Youth Find Wellbeing in Victoria, B.C.

Overcoming stigma can seem like an insurmountable obstacle for youth in need of mental health support. Especially when the supports they turn to are overburdened — and they aren’t necessarily the services they need. The mental health network can be a treasure trove of resources, but it’s the interconnected nature of these multi-disciplinary supports that […]

Celebrating Stigma-Free at Spectrum Community School

From flash mobs to freezie sales, the Philanthropy club at Spectrum Community School has gone the extra mile to fight stigma this year. The Victoria high school was the first school to start working towards their Stigma-Free Zone designation in fall 2017, and their dynamic, passionate team of students and teachers has coordinated initiatives and […]

Join the Kid’s Help Phone Amanda Todd Legacy Team on May 6th

Join the Kid’s Help Phone Amanda Todd Legacy Team on May 6th Over the past 3 years, Amanda’s Legacy has been able to raise $10,000 for the Kids Help Phone Walk.  We are dedicated to continue raising funds for Kids Help Phone in a variety of ways.  This year, please join Team Amanda and walk with us on […]

You are Invited to our Stigma-Free Zone Community Event March 20th, 2018

Victoria to Become First-Ever Stigma-Free City in Canada: Community Event In partnership with the City of Victoria, the Stigma-Free Society is hosting a Stigma-Free Zone Community Event on March 20th, 2018. The purpose of this event is to ignite dialogue around mental health and stigma, and to announce that the City of Victoria is committing […]

Teens2Twenties Support Group Inspires Resilience

“Knowing that I’m not alone in my struggles makes a huge difference”, writes one of the youth from our Teens2Twenties Support Group—our drop-in program for youth dealing with mental heath challenges. The group runs every Thursday from 7:00 – 8:30pm at the Quadra Village Community Center in Victoria, B.C. With mental health at the forefront […]

MLA Linda Reid – Stigma-Free Zone Movement – BC Legislature

Linda Reid, MLA, Richmond South Centre, shares about the success of the Stigma-Free Zone Movement in British Columbia.

Stigma-Free Society – Highlights of 2017

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 […]

Let’s Talk About Stigma with Author Jack Travis

An interview with mental health advocate and author, Jack Travis In late October, the Stigma-Free Society connected with 23-year-old Jack Travis, who wrote a self-help book titled Starting Point: Your Journey to A Better Life Starts Here… Inspired by Jack’s personal, first-hand experiences regarding mental illness and addiction, the book aims to provide knowledge and […]

JOIN THE STIGMA-FREE ZONE MOVEMENT

There’s a lot of buzz surrounding Stigma-Free Zones, but what are they really? And how can you become part of the movement? It’s difficult to ignore certain ongoing cultural narratives that are problematic at best and harmful at worst. They isolate and divide us as communities, and as individuals. Our goal is to create tolerant, […]

Pacific Autism Family Network – Stigma-Free Zone with Ambassador Lucas Gates

Pacific Autism Family Network is the first charity in Canada to be working toward their Stigma-Free Zone designation. They have a team of Stigma-Free Champions that includes Lucas Gates, Ambassador, Laura Lombardi, Vice President, Foundation and additional staff members with the support of Co-Founders Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia and Sergio Cocchia. The Stigma-Free Society is excited to be working […]

Andrea Paquette AKA Bipolar Babe – Public Salon Talk in Vancouver

Andrea Paquette, AKA Bipolar Babe, shares her personal story in a brief 8 minute talk to over 500+ people at the Vancouver Playhouse in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Children’s Mental Health Program

“Is mental health when your tooth hurts?”, this is one of the endearing answers I received when talking to grade 4’s about mental health and stigma. While I love talking to teens and adults, the elementary kids I speak to since launching our Children’s Mental Health Presentation Programming have a special place in my heart. […]

Natalie’s ‘Coming Out’ Story…

So I guess this is my ‘Coming Out’ story, as I have spent the past few years battling with my identity; the illness vs me. Now it’s time to come clean to my wider circle of friends and family, and perhaps to myself as well. The signs of bipolar were always there, a diagnosis merely […]

VGH UBC Hospital Foundation – Me Too Conversations Vol 6 – February 23

SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, February 23, 2017 The statistics are not changing. One in every five Canadian is affected by mental illness and the stigma is as strong as ever. ‘Me Too’ is bringing some of the brightest minds and speakers to the table to continue the conversation and smash the stigma. Join us for […]

Jenny’s Inspiring Story – The Impact of the Teens2Twenties Support Group

Seven years ago, I met Andrea Paquette and seven years ago, she and the Bipolar babe Teens2Twenties program saved my life. Back then I wasn’t who I am today. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at the age of seven years old and it was at that age that I first attempted to commit suicide. […]

Shaw – GenWhy TV – Stigma Free Zone-Interview w/Andrea Paquette

There are numerous stigmas that exist in society such as mental illness, racism, sexual orientation, that contribute to our perceptions and attitudes of people. The Stigma-Free Zone programs support and educate individuals, especially youth, to manage their personal mental wellness. GenWhy TV talkes with Andrea Paquette at the Shaw Studio.

Andrew’s Fascinating Story: Psychosis to Recovery is not an Easy Road

My alarm clock read 3 am. I lay awake, unable to sleep. It was the fifth night in a row that I’d gone without sleep. Five nights is enough to break anybody, let alone someone in the early stages of mental illness. I’d been struggling the past few months. My grades weren’t as great as […]

Why Take Part in Giving Tuesday?

DONATE HERE 🙂 Stigma-Free Society is launching our end of year CHAMPION CAMPAIGN this #GivingTuesday! #GivingTuesday is a national day dedicated to giving. It is an initiative responding to the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and is a day when Canadian charities, businesses, and individuals come together for one simple purpose: to celebrate […]

Guest Poem by Carlie Kilduff – The Voice of Depression

I am the voice of depression, speaking through an open, willing, although somewhat uncomfortable and reluctant vessel… But she is trying to make space for me, to welcome me, befriend me, setting the table for tea, wishing to speak with me I am but a messenger, a visitor Moving through your space from time to […]

next to normal victoria bc lagham

Theatre Review: Next to Normal – Langham Court, Victoria, BC – Sept 30 – Oct 15

What is Normal Anyway? Good theatre makes you laugh and cry, and this one might have you using up a few extra tissues. Tackling the highly stigmatized topic of mental illness, Langham Court Theatre’s Next to Normal shows us an intimate and at times comical peek inside the rollercoaster world of a mother’s struggle with […]