I'm a 35 year old single father that has suffered from mental illness for as long as I can remember. I've encountered sexual abuse as a child, battled depression, addictions of various kinds and have been afflicted by suicidal attempts and tendencies throughout my life. I believe we are not alone, and I am working hard to realize that message. Through sharing my experience via public speaking, event participation and creation with EMHAC, I truly believe I can make a difference. "Never irreparably broken; we need never be hopeless"
As a person who lives with a mental health condition, Wendy is passionate about trying to improve the lives of those also living with a mental illness. Wendy is the founder of the local peer support group, Mental Health Matters Edmonton, an organization that strives to offer support and resources to people living in the Edmonton area. To help raise awareness and remove stigma, Wendy speaks about her experiences at events and also writes about her journey via her blog Diary of A Girl With BPD. Wendy wants others like her to know that “they’re not alone”.
Jenn is a mother of three and a wife, and has suffered from severe depression and anxiety all her life. She loves to give back and bring awareness to topics sometimes overlooked in our crazy society. Jenn is a poet and a blogger, writing about her life experiences with depression and anxiety. “I believe I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be in this life.”
Komala recently retired from AHS as a manager in Addiction and Mental Health. She then envisioned bringing an emotional resilience program to a universal audience and eight months later, awesome facilitators have been trained and WRAP Works is ready to go! Komala believes that the world is filled with people who are ready to take control, gain self-mastery, and face obstacles without surrendering their power. Her vision is to train people to arm themselves with the tools and skills to deal with life challenges that come their way and still remain well and balanced throughout the process. Komala believes that the best way to combat stigma is through education. The Semicolon Tattoo Fundraiser will undoubtedly achieve this in spades!
Christina jumped at the opportunity to join this committee in January 2016. As someone who has lived with anxiety her whole life, she wants to help raise awareness of mental illness and remove the ugly stigma. She doesn't want anyone else to be afraid to ask for help or be scared to share their story with the world. Christina has been married for 13 years and is a Mommy to a little boy that keeps her moving and smiling. She has worked in the hospitality/events industry for 18 years and is currently the Catering Manager at Ramada Edmonton Hotel & Conference Centre. In her spare time Christina likes to sew and create, and spend time with her family in their backyard or fishing boat. Christina is proud to be a part of this amazing committee and is excited to get her own semicolon tattoo.
Natalie Harper is the Managing Director of Harper PR, an independent public relations consultancy based in Edmonton, Alberta. Natalie has produced and promoted numerous events to support charitable and community causes. She is passionate about using her skills and expertise to help educate people in the Capital Region about the resources and organizations dedicated to supporting people affected by mental illness. She managed the media relations for the 2015 #YEGsemicolon event, and she is proud to be a new member on the 2016 event committee.