The Stigma-Free Society, formerly the Bipolar Disorder Society of BC, sponsored by Coast Mental Health, conducted the first Stigma-Free Speakers Training Workshop in Metro Vancouver and will continue to work with Coast mental health peer support workers on an annual basis. Participants learned about technical presentation skills in a one-day six hour session and engaged in broader discussions around societal and self-stigma, which encourages reflection and personal growth.


Participants gained practical speaking experience on how to share their personal story in a public forum through a varietysociety-logo-temp of hands on activities facilitated by Andrea Paquette and Meredith Graham. Meredith is the Co-Facilitator for the Program, a spoken word poet and the 2016 recipient of Coast Mental Health’s Courage To Come Back Award in Social Adversity. Andrea is the Executive Director of the Stigma-Free Society and Lead Facilitator for the Stigma-Free Speakers Training. She is also known as the Bipolar Babe, the 2015 Courage To Come Back Award Recipient in Mental Health and national spokesperson as a Face for Mental Illness for Bell Let’s Talk. Feel free to view Andrea’s bio for more information.

Registrants were invited to attend two events for the Stigma-Free Speakers Training that was offered in Metro Vancouver, B.C.

  • Stigma-Free Speakers Training ‘Meet and Greet’ Luncheon
  • Stigma-Free Speakers Training one-day 6 hour Workshop 

The first Stigma-Free Speakers Training workshop was completed on October 22, 2016, and proved to be a great success!

A big thank you to Brent Seal who is a passionate and engaging speaker on mental health and high performance wellness; he contributed greatly to the success of the day. You may find out more about Brent at his website:

We thank all of the Coast Mental Health Peer Support Workers who took part in this workshop. You are truly the reason for the success of the day!


Thank you Coast Mental Health for sponsoring the Stigma-Free Speakers Training Workshop. We are all deeply grateful for your valuable contribution to the lives of Coast’s Mental Health Peer Support Workers.