The Stigma-Free Society is Hiring a new Community Development Manager!

Come and Join our Amazing Stigma-Free Zone Team!

Please note: The Position has been filled as of October 10, 2017

Place: Stigma-Free Society – Vancouver, BC


Stigma-Free Society –

Position: Community Development Manager (CDM)

Community Development Manager Duties:


  • Work as part of the Stigma-Free Task Force and manage the recruitment, operations and administration on an ongoing basis in a leadership role;
  • Lead the development and management of the Society’s Advisory Council;
  • Work in partnership with Society Grant Writer and President on Society fundraising applications;
  • Develop Strategic and Annual Plans in conjunction with President and board members;
  • Monitor service delivery effectiveness with program evaluation processes in partnership with performance measurement experts ;
  • Act in an administration role as necessary for the effective operations of the Society;
  • Play a key role in organizing, planning and executing the Annual General Meeting as required;
  • Build on existing community partnerships and strive to develop new public/private sector relationships by establishing and following up on Stigma-Free Zones in schools, businesses/orgs and geographical areas;
  • Design and execute successful fundraising events managing numerous volunteers and logistics;
  • Design and conduct presentations to community groups to community organizations and schools as needed;
  • Assist in the development of additional Society programs in Metro Vancouver;
  • Assist families and individuals to seek out appropriate resources for care;
  • Work effectively with the Executive Assistant/Program Coordinator and additional Society staff in a non-managerial position;
  • Draft a new human resources policy for the Society under the direction of the President;
  • Design a ‘Stigma-Free Zone Manual’ that outlines the details of the Stigma-Free Zone Movement criteria whilst consulting Society staff, volunteers and various community members;
  • Network and represent the Society and attend meetings on behalf of the President upon request;
  • Design documents pertinent to the operations of the Board of Directors such as board and staff job descriptions/contracts, board charter, policy and additional documents as necessary;
  • Assist with the design and delivery of the Stigma-Free Speakers Training in partnership with Coast Mental Health;
  • Take a lead role in the development and execution of the Stigma-Free Zone Movement in BC and additional provinces such as Manitoba and Member of Parliament offices in Ottawa, ON;
  • Assist President with financial reporting to funders by drafting necessary documents;
  • Assist with items such as the Society newsletter, website, traditional media and advertisements;
  • Be flexible and open to conducting tasks that are not identified in the Community Development Manager’s job description that allows for adaptability, versatility and assistance to the President;
  • Possess basic computer software experience: Outlook, Excel, Power Point


Possess refined communication skills in all aspects and be personable;

Post-Secondary Education (Diploma, Bachelors, or Masters) in non-profit management, human resources and/or business;

Demonstrated employment and/or volunteer experience in the non-profit realm, preferably in Metro Vancouver; and

Possess experience as per the above job description in the majority of duties outlined.

Flexible application process and seeking skilled individual with demonstrated expertise.

Please note: The Position has been filled as of October 10, 2017


Join Andrea AKA Bipolar Babe at Sam Sullivan’s Public Salon Event, Wed. June 7th!

Only a few more days for this incredible chance to attend Sam Sullivan’s celebrated Public Salon!

A selection of eight shakers and changemakers from across Vancouver share their inspiring stories and passions at the Vancouver Playhouse on June 7th. There will be a documentarian, an oceanographer, artists, and of course our very own Stigma-Free Society President and Bipolar Babe, Andrea Paquette.

Global Civic Founder and MLA Sam Sullivan began hosted private dinner parties for ten years with approximately ten guests from a diverse cross-section of the community who would discuss their passions and ideas. His mentor, Prof. Abraham Rogatnick, often attended and urged him to bring these enlightening events to a larger public. And we’re glad he did!

Come down to the Vancouver Playhouse and support Andrea and the many other esteemed speakers for an evening sure to provoke, educate, and inspire. Tickets are $30 cash at the door or only $18.99 at Tickets Tonight.

Please visit the Sam Sullvan Public Salon Website for tickets and more information. Join us!

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


Thursday, February 23, 2017

VGH_MeToo_Vol6_poster_VancouverThe 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 our final event of this six-part series.

For Me Too Vol. 6, our key note presenter is sports broadcaster and talk show host Michael Landsberg, who will share his own personal experience with depression and the ways in which stigma has impacted his journey. You’ll also hear from Kimberly Rutledge and others.

Expect to leave this event feeling inspired and hopeful, with a better understanding of what stigma is and how we can take action to bring mental illness out into the open.


Michael Landsberg
Michael Landsberg is one of the most prolific and recognizable sports broadcasters in Canada, having hosted nearly 10,000 TV shows over his career with TSN/CTV. In 2009 he shared, on air, his struggle with severe depression and saw first-hand the tremendous impact his sharing had on others. Blessed with exceptional insights and a passion to make a difference, he tells his journey to whoever will listen, coining the phrase #sicknotweak to describe how he sees mental illness. In 2014, Michael was honoured with the Humanitarian Award at the Canadian Screen Awards. To this day, he remains committed on a daily, even hourly basis to sharing his struggles without shame or embarrassment, so others will be empowered to feel the same.

Kimberly Rutledge 
Kimberly Rutledge is 20 years old and currently studying science at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna. She is a huge advocate for mental health as part of and believes that there is so much power in conversation. It is her hope to curate change by creating positive spaces where there is an open dialogue and no more silence.

Monica McAlduff
Monica is currently the Director, Vancouver Mental Health and Substance Use Acute, Tertiary and Urgent Services with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH). As an avid advocate for clients and families, her current focus includes improving patient care in the Psychiatry setting and involving Family and Clients in Clinical Practice decisions about their care. Monica has over 20 years of experience in Health Care: Mental Health and Substance Use, from front line nursing through to her current leadership role. For the past several years, Monica has led the Vancouver Mental Health and Substance Use Redesign which is transforming mental health and substance use programs and creating greater access for all Vancouver adults. Monica is a member of the Douglas College Psychiatric Nursing Program Advisory Committee and works within her community and abroad challenging and inspiring health service providers to create better access to services for all populations.

Date: Thursday, February 23, 2017
In-person: Doors 6:00pm | Start 7:00pm
Live webcast:  7 pm PST | view the event from this web page
Where: SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts – 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC

To RSVP for this event, please email

Join the Me Too conversations online by sharing ‘me too’ stories on Twitter with the hashtag #MeTooVan and by tagging @VGHFdn

Recovery is possible. Want to start taking action now? Download our PDF to join the conversation on mental health and find out where to go for support.

This event is sponsored by the Andy Szocs Foundation, Kelty Patrick Dennehy Foundation, Vancouver Coastal Health and VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.


Why Take Part in Giving Tuesday?

stigma free zoneDONATE 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 giving and give back.

Starting on #GivingTuesday – November 29 until December 31, 2016, we are raising funds to expand our Stigma-Free Zone Superheroes’ Classroom Presentations Program, and we invite you to become one of our champions!

We have been offering school education programs on mental health and stigma-stomping since 2010, and annually reach over 3,000 youth- and we’re not stopping there! With your support we aim to expand our program to an additional 30 schools in Metro Vancouver and Victoria, BC.

That is 30 extra schools! The cost of reaching each of these locations is approximately $300 per school, which makes our CHAMPION CAMPAIGN goal $9,000.


You can make a HUGE difference in a young person’s life by making a donation today.

Every gift receives a full tax receipt and major gratitude, however with a $300 donation, or $25 monthly commitment, you will underwrite 100% the cost of one of these programs, and receive these additional benefits:

  • verbal and written recognition as a school Champion on our extensive social media contacts;
  • report on the impact of your gift;
  • a story written by a participating student; and
  • an exclusive invitation for you and a guest to join us for a presentation to see your gift in action.


Help us reach our goal by December 31, 2016! Whether you make a one-time gift or become a monthly donor you are helping to change perceptions and attitudes about stigma and bringing mental health support to countless youth.

Join the movement!


What is a Stigma-Free Zone Superhero Classroom Presentations Program?

stigma free zoneThere are numerous stigmas in society, such as mental health issues, that contribute to many young people feeling alienated and not being accepted and understood by their peers. This Program encourages students to be agents of change, and become Stigma Stomping Superheroes, by learning about the stigmas that cause others to be seen as ‘different.’ Students learn about the trauma caused by bullying and recognize the negative consequences. Most importantly, youth are prompted to take action against stigma in their school and as part of their daily lives. The Stigma-Free Zone Program also offers students the opportunity to “claim” their classroom, and eventually their school, as a ‘Stigma-Free Zone.’

Watch Andrea Paquette, Founder and Executive Director’s personal story and the creation of the Stigma-Free Society. Courtesy of Coast Mental Health – 2015 Courage To Come Back Awards.

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 bipolar and the tremorous shocks it unleashes on all of her family members. Lifting us to the high mountains of mania and then pulling us into the devastating valleys of depression, this rock musical will leave you torn wide open.

Portraying the subjective experience of mental illness is nothing short of difficult, yet the production masterfully visualizes the mother’s experience of grief and psychosis. At times we aren’t sure which reality is the most real. It seems everyone in the family is spiraling down into their own illusions, yet beneath the pain and frustration and despair is a core of immense caring, strength, and love. A must see for all Victorians. Next to Normal will not only educate, but perhaps push the boundaries of the human heart.

Next to Normal plays at the Langham Courth Theatre in Victoria until October 15th, 2016.

Author, Robyn Thomas



CAMIMH Faces of mental illness bell lets talk

Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) – Faces of Mental Illness Campaign Sponsored by Bell Let’s Talk

The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) has announced the four Canadians selected for its annual Faces of Mental Illness campaign. CAMIMH received dozens of nominations, the most ever, from across the country of people living in recovery from mental illness.

Over the next year, the Faces will take part in events to educate Canadians about the realities of living with mental illness, and the effects that mental health has on the lives of all Canadians. The Faces of Mental Illness campaign is sponsored by Bell Let’s Talk. The stories of the Faces of Mental Illness will be featured on posters and postcards distributed to Canadians across the country. Also, they will participate in a national media outreach campaign as well as mini-documentaries which will be shared with federal policymakers at a marquee event on the Hill during Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), October 2 – 8. Spreading Awareness, Reducing Stigma is the theme of MIAW this year.

The 2016 Faces of Mental Illness are:

Andrea Paquette: After suffering greatly from her bipolar disorder, Andrea got help and decided to inspire others to share their personal stories by creating a website called With the launch of the website, she created supportive and impacting programs and founded the Bipolar Disorder Society of British Columbia, which is now named the Stigma-Free Society. Andrea encourages others to change their attitudes towards mental illnesses by explaining that while people can have a mental illness, they are not defined by their condition.

Samuel Breau: An engaged leader and advocate since a young age, Samuel’s journey towards recovery began during university. After moving from rural New Brunswick to Ottawa and facing the high expectations from school, scholarships and peers, Samuel became aware that he may be living with a mental illness, and subsequently sought treatment for a generalized anxiety disorder. Today, Samuel combines professional and personal experiences to deliver powerful messages that seek to reduce stigma and promote psychological health and wellness for all.

Dexter Nyuurnibe: An African-Canadian mental health advocate who understands the importance of breaking the gender stereotypes that define masculinity in order to erase the stigma associated with mental illnesses. He’s shared his story many times, having presented a TEDx talk and at a joint session of the World Bank and W.H.O in Washington, D.C. He continues to speak up about his experiences of suffering from dysthymia and generalized anxiety disorder and recovery.

Stéphanie Fontaine: Stephanie understands the struggles of coping with a mental disorder, having bipolar disorder. Her successful experience in corporate workplaces while fighting towards recovery makes for a hopeful story. She put aside her career as an actuary to join Revivre, a non profit organization supporting self-management for people with anxiety and mood disorders in the province of Quebec. She reaches out to the public to make others aware not only that anybody can suffer from a mental illness, but also that anyone can recover from it.

To learn more about the campaign, or to order campaign materials, please visit CAMIMH would like to thank their generous sponsors who make this campaign possible: Bell Let’s Talk, Lundbeck Canada Inc., The Mental Health Commission of Canada, Innovative Medicine’s Canada, and Impact Public Affairs.

For more information, please contact: Charlotte Webber Communications and Public Relations 613-233-8906


Bipolar Disorder Society of BC – 2016 Annual General Meeting

The Bipolar Disorder Society of BC Requests Your Support & RSVP Today to Confirm you will join us!

Please RSVP Today for our One-Hour Annual General Meeting!

Hi everyone, Andrea AKA Bipolar Babe here! I know it is summer and many of us are out enjoying the sun, but I was hoping you could spare one hour of your time to attend our brief Annual General Meeting. 🙂

We are required  to have an Annual General Meeting once a year with an adequate number of members to maintain our charitable status. We are requesting one-hour of your time and we will have many refreshments for you! We would love to share our very exciting developments with you and appreciate your support over the years!

Date: Monday August 15th @ 6:30pm, Doors open at 6pm

Location of AGM:
Camosun College, Lansdowne Campus,
Fisher Building, Room 100, Lecture Hall
3100 Foul Bay Road, Victoria BC

See you there an thank you for all that you do to support our impacting work in the community! 🙂

Bipolar Youth Action Project

Announcing the 2nd and Final Bipolar Youth Action Project FORUM


The 2nd and Final Forum will be held on November 15th, 2015. It’s about YOUTH and their expertise.

To be eligible you must be 16-25 years old, with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder (Type I, II, or not otherwise specified).

Forum 1 was dedicated to the exploration of strategies that youth use to stay well. Forum 2, on November 15, 2015, will focus on how to communicate these valuable findings with the community. The structure of Forum 2 is created by the BYAP Youth Leads and Members!

REGISTRATION: FREE. Lunch is included.To thank you for your time, you will receive $30.

The event will be taking place at the Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad Street, Victoria, BC., at 11:30am.

Live outside Greater Victoria? Travel & Accommodation bursaries are available, but space is limited! Contact us for info.

To Register: E-mail | or call Nusha, the CREST.BD Research Coordinator, at 604-822-7247

Note to Media: Media interested in interviewing Andrea Paquette are asked to contact her at by e-mail at

Visit: and for more information.

Join us at Movie Monday – August 11 w Andrea Paquette and Erin Michalak – Hosted by Bruce Saunders

Movie Monday – August 11, 6:30 pm Eric Martin Pavilion JOIN US at Movie Monday!
“The great thing about ‘Of Two Minds’, a documentary on bipolar disorder, is that it doesn't dwell on the clinical or pharmaceutical. We hear from the experts, and we learn about medications and health insurance nightmares. But this is a film about people, brave souls willing to reveal personal stories of the torment raging inside their brains. 
Writer-directors Doug Blush and Lisa Klein (whose late sister suffered from bipolar disorder), took great pains and untold hours documenting a wide range of folks who share their histories and emotions through interviews, videos, artwork and journals” We also see the rich, creative lives many on the bipolar spectrum live.
This documentary is a fantastic starting point for discussion with the Co-Leads on an exciting new collaborative project with youth who live with bipolar disorder: The Bipolar Youth Action Project! 
Dr. Erin Michalak of the UBC Dept. of Psychiatry and Andrea Paquette, the renowned Bipolar Babe and Executive Director of the Bipolar Disorders Society of BC, will join us for a lively conversation about mental health, to share information about the Bipolar Youth Action Project and how you can get involved, and, especially, to answer your questions. 
Learn more before you join us!                                                                                       
Visit online: 
•  CREST BD                     
•  Bipolar Babe  http://                          
•  Mood Disorders Association of BC

Hiring For the Bipolar Youth Action Project – Peer Researchers

We are seeking creative, curious youth,

19 to 25, who live with bipolar disorder, for

The Bipolar Youth Action Project!

Excited about this project?

Apply if you are:

an English speaker between 19 and 25

-with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder

willing to commit to a 2 year project

a resident of Victoria OR Comox/Courtenay/Campbell River

an English speaker between 19 and 25 

Visit us online at or for full project and application details, then submit your application to Andrea Paquette, Co-Lead Researcher, at

Find us here for more information and full application at

We look forward to hearing from you