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. Mike has a plethora of self-care practices he draws upon to encourage people to see how “We’re empowered by our experience, not inhibited” and to ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ – Gandhi.
Mike founded Starts With Me as a platform to share his message. Working with schools, community service providers, hospitals, and businesses, Starts With Me launched the ‘State Of Mind’ Festival to support gaps in education and services along with empowering families and individuals to increase their capacity for well-being. Mike’s inspiration to improve system services comes from his experience as a family caregiver to his brother who lives with schizophrenia.
Currently, Starts With Me is partnered with the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic District School board to deliver mental health talks, presentations, and workshops.
Mike is the parent of two young children, one of whom is now in the school system. His passion to help youth build resilience and well-being motivate his work with schools to support that development through k-12 education. Knowing we all have challenges, Mike continues to learn and develop his skills. He is studying a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology graduating in 2020 to further his expertise.
Mike has been featured on
Global National News – Speaking about Millennials and Mental Health
CBC the National – Youth & Marijuana Legislation
CBC the National – Youth substance use and Mental Health Education
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health News (CAMH) – Youth Mental Health Education
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health News (CAMH) – Young Men & Addiction
Fairchild TV – Youth and Marijuana Legislation
Mike also is a Lay Pastor offering spiritual care services at a local non-denominational Church, the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto.
Mental Health Education
Millenials and Mental Health
Mental Health Education
Training and Certifications
Certified Mindful Schools K-12 Educator
Sensei in Training – Young Warriors program of the Child Development Institute
Lay-Pastor | First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto
Certified in Mental Health First Aid by the Mental Health Commission of Canada
Member of the TDSB Parent Mental Health & Well-Being Committee
Committee member for the TDSB Parents as Partners Conference
Member of the TDSB Mental Health and Well-Being Parent Partnership Committee