SPEAKERS

Mental Health Speakers in Toronto, Ontario

Mike

FOUNDER & DIRECTOR OF STARTS WITH ME

Mike is a mental health & well-being advocate, speaker, and educator. He lived with many mental health challenges before entering recovery. Drawing from unique personal and family experiences, he shares a message of courage, hope, resilience, and joy.

Jesse

Jesse Bigelow shares his inspirational story drawn from his experience and recovery from mental illness. As a young teen and throughout high school he played sports, was in bands and had many girlfriends. After experimenting with many street drugs, he was misdiagnosed with drug-induced psychosis.

Katie

At 13 years old, Katie experienced a traumatic event, which in turn sparked her first glimpse into Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Over the last 13 years, she’s had ups and downs but attributes her success and happiness to finally letting her guard down, asking for help, but most importantly her loving and supportive parents and friends.

Marie

Marie Asuncion has schizophrenia but she does not let that define her. In fact, in her commitment to wellness and recovery, she is determined to achieve all the goals she had for her life before having to face the diagnosis of this disease. Marie has already done much to meet her goals: a graduate of the University of Toronto Music School, Marie received her Bachelor of Music in Performance in Harp in 2007.

Lucas

Lucas is a humanitarian, egalitarian, and mental health advocate. With over six years experience in the field, Lucas draws on his vast personal experience, education, and profession in attempts to liberate and educate others through honest, meaningful conversations.

Vanessa

Vanessa is a mental health advocate who is passionate about changing the stigma surrounding the thoughts, attitudes and feelings towards mental health and illness through education. Vanessa has been inspired by both the people around her and life experiences that have led her to work alongside others who share that same passion to create social and cultural change.

Donovan

I am a survivor of depression, grief over losing my mother and grandmother to cancer. Disappointment, anger, and hopelessness have been constant companions for me throughout my life. I was angry at not being allowed to express my pain and isolated myself from the comfort and love I sought by pushing people away from me.

Tallan

Tallan Byram is a mental health advocate living in Toronto, Ontario. He is a co-educator at CAMH’s Beyond the Cuckoo’s Nest program, which gives anti-stigma presentations to local high-school students.