I have spent 10 years of my life fighting mental illness and addiction. I resented the diagnoses, the labels, the stigma, and the mental health professionals who told me I was ill. It wasn’t until I stopped asking myself, “What did I do to deserve this pain?” and started asking myself, “What can I do with this pain to foster positive change?”
This fundamental change to the way I viewed my mental illness was the foundation upon which the organization ‘Smash the Stigma Canada’ was built. I knew that after all the lessons learned, after years of experiencing nearly every aspect of the mental health system, and after exploring the deepest recesses of my psyche – I had something to give back. Something to help those in the same position I was, and continue to at times, even today.
‘Smash the Stigma Canada’ is borne from years of pain, yet I wouldn’t change a single thing about my past. Despite the terrible memories I hold, and the times I felt my life was a waste, I still managed to build something meaningful from those broken pieces.
The people I work with are dedicated and driven, those who back our cause are passionate and devoted, and the businesses and organizations that continue to sponsor us have brought us to where we are today.
Our organization is devoted to raising mental health awareness, dispelling the myths surrounding mental illness and addiction, supporting local musicians and artists, and advocating for an improved mental health system – for all.
This is my passion. For the first time in years, I feel like I am doing what I was meant to do. It has so much meaning to me, not only on a personal level, but on a larger scale as well. I now live by my one credo – “Forward. Always forward.”
– Christopher, mental health advocate, son, brother, musician, author