Spectrum Community School to Become the First Stigma-Free Zone School in Victoria, BC

A group of Spectrum Community School students is seeking to make the high school Vancouver Island’s first “stigma-free zone.”

The newly formed Spectrum Philanthropy Club, a group of mostly Grade 12 students, invited Robyn Thomas from the Stigma Free Society to help kick off the initiative last Wednesday morning.

Thomas addressed some 300 Spectrum students in the drama theatre about her own story of mental health, overcoming PTSD, and what can be done to break down certain stigmas including mental health, along with all negative stereotypes, she said.

“We’ll work with the school for the year to help it work towards being a stigma-free zone,” Thomas said. “It’s a process and at the end we’ll designate the school a stigma-free zone.”

Andrea Paquette Bipolar Babe – Columnist for Stigma-Free Magazine

Andrea Paquette

Columnist

Andrea Paquette, AKA the Bipolar Babe, is founder and President of the Stigma-Free Society, Formerly the Bipolar Disorder Society of BC. She is a mental health speaker, published author, advocate and above all a Stigma Stomper. Andrea has reached thousands with her message of hope and resiliency in schools, workplaces, and throughout various community organizations and events. Andrea’s personal message is to remember, “No matter what our challenges, we can all live extraordinary lives.”

http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/news/144/its-mental-illness-awareness-week

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

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 http://bipolarbabes.com. 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.

http://www.theprovince.com/health/courage/Courage+Come+Back+Bipolar+Babe+Andrea+Paquette+come+long/10966122/story.html

The Province Newspaper

Courage to Come Back: ‘Bipolar Babe’ has come a long way from depths of her illness

http://www.bphope.com/author/andreapaquette/

Bipolar Magazine: BP Hope Blogger – Andrea Paquette

Andrea is a blogger at Bipolar Magazine, BP Hope, so please do check out her blog and feel free to comment. Blogs range from personal stories, bipolar issues, and topics around mental health.

Andrea Paquette Visits North Western British Columbia

“Paquette is the President of the Stigma-Free Society, The Stigma-Free Society is a registered Canadian Charity and has designed programs providing education about stigma’s with an emphasis on mental health and peer support for those facing mental health challenges.

This afternoon, the Bipolar Babe visited the St. Veritas Catholic School, to talk with students in grades 7-9.

In the northwest, it can be challenging to find support for mental health and Paquette says it’s important to bring awareness to rural communities.”

Andrea Paquette Presents to St. George’s School to Students and Teachers

“As parents, we spend time encouraging our kids on everything from academics and athletics. We know the importance of sleep, nutrition and reduced screen time, but how many of us have discussed mental wellbeing with our children? One in 5 Canadians will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Speaker Andrea Paquette opens up the dialogue by sharing her own personal story of struggle and triumph since her bipolar disorder diagnosis in 2005. An award-winning mental health activist, speaker and spokesperson for the Bell Let’s Talk campaign, Paquette encourages acceptance of self and others by creating awareness of various stigmas. She will give practical, take home advice on how to open the discussion on mental health in your own family and encourage respect and resilience in our school community at large.”

Andrea Bipolar Babe Featured in ‘STIGMA FIGHTERS’

“I am passionate and extremely involved in mental health engagement in my community. I launched www.bipolarbabe.com in May of 2009 and created a logo with a talented artist titled ‘Bipolar Babe: Stomping out Stigma.’ Thereafter, I designed and distributed bipolar babe postcards, which read “Creating a World of Understanding, Empathy, and Acceptance for Those that Have a Mental Health Condition.”

Bipolar Disorder: My Curse, My Gift (Ageless Magazine) – By Andrea Paquette

My life changed forever at the age of 26, when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. A whirlwind of mania with overpowering energy shook me to the core, depression crippled my ability to function, and psychosis convinced me I was not of this world…

http://www.goldstreamgazette.com/news/309360931.html

Youth with Bipolar Sought for Research – Bipolar Youth Action Project

The Bipolar Disorder Society of BC and CREST.BD are looking for youth with bipolar disorder for the Bipolar Youth Action Project Research Forums.

The partnership is looking for youth between the ages of 16 and 25 and living with bipolar disorder to share knowledge and expertise at two upcoming research forums on July 12, 2015 and in the Fall of 2015.

Telus Victoria Community Board Grants Bipolar Disorder Society of BC $20,000

http://www.news1130.com/2015/04/13/courage-to-come-back-mental-health-recipient-stamps-out-stigma/

News 1130 Radio – Vancouver

She may playfully refer to herself the “bipolar babe,” but her life has been anything but fun and games.

News1130′s series of Courage To Come Back award profiles continues with a look at Andrea Paquette, the 2015 recipient in the Mental Health category.

BP Magazine for Bipolar – This is Me

http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivingmentalhealthstigma/2014/04/about-andrea-paquette/

Healthplace.com hires Bipolar Babe as their new Stigma Blogger

Andrea Paquette AKA Bipolar Babe is now blogging for www.healthyplace.com and is super excited to be stigma stomping.

http://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/community/212195571.html

The Comox Valley Record

Local Valley Business Supports Bipolar Babe Project

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/victoria-teen-speaks-out-about-her-bipolar-struggles-1.322432

Times Colonist: Local Victoria Teen Speaks Out About her Struggles with Bipolar

http://healthymindscanada.ca/bell-lets-talk-day/

Bipolar Babe Named Healthy Minds Bell Let’s Talk 2014 Social Media Team Leader for West Coast

http://about.telus.com/community/en/boards/victoria/programs/bipolar/

TELUS Community Investment – Enhanced Stigma Stomp Program

Jamie Van Gessel and Andrea Paquette are featured on Telus’ Community website for their participation in the Teens2Twenties Peer Support Group.

Telus funded the ‘Enhanced Stigma Stomp Program’ in 2013.

Thank you Telus!

http://miaw-ssmm.blogspot.ca/2010/06/bipolar-babe.html

The Mental Illness Awareness Week

http://tinyurl.com/cjbhfdo

SNAP Victoria – The 3rd Annual Bipolar Babe Benefit

http://tinyurl.com/dy3yow5

SNAP Victoria – The 2nd Annual Bipolar Babe Benefit

http://tinyurl.com/bw85hu8

SNAP Victoria – Bipolar Babe Benefit

http://www.beegreen.ca/team/andrea-paquette-aka-bipolar-babe

Contributor at BeeGreen Magazine

http://ring.uvic.ca/02nov14/paquette.html

Back from the brink: Going back to school pays off, believe me.

http://www.straight.com/article-255254/bipolar-babe-boosts-mental-health

Bipolar Babe Boosts Mental Health

https://soundcloud.com/todmaffin/taking-crazy-back-episode-2-bi

Taking Crazy Back: Episode 2 Bi-Polar Disorder and Psychosis with Bipolar Babe