Our Champs are more than just the face and voice of Unsinkable. They are advocates and mutual partners in bettering mental health spaces. And what excites me about the Community Champions Program is together we can motivate individuals while being an example for other organizations.
Seeking speaking opportunities and has knowledge in the following lived experiences: Sharing her experiences on living with anxiety, workplace wellness and burnout, overcoming depression, and chasing motherhood (living with endometriosis and PCOS).
Amanda Bernardo is an Ottawa-based writer, photographer and public speaker who has used the power of storytelling to build community, conversation and change. Using her company Little Voice Books, Amanda has helped create important conversations on mental health at home and in the classroom, while donating a portion of all proceeds to mental health initiatives across Canada. Her own lived experiences with anxiety and depression have allowed her to translate her story for all ages in order to advance the goal of ending the stigma whether it be online, on stage, in her photographs or writing.
Amanda can be found on:
Seeking speaking opportunities and has knowledge in the following lived experiences: Grief, confidence issues, youth activism, and perfectionism.
Arissa Roy is a 16-year-old high school student in Toronto Canada, a youth activist, author, and the founder of an international organization- Project Power Global, or PPG for short (www.projectpowerglobal.org). She fights for access to education within I do because I believe that when we work towards an educated world, we are working towards peace and equality. She has collaborated/volunteered with organizations such as Unsinkable, Project Giveback, Plan International etc, and has been featured on major media including “Assembly”, the Malala Fund newsletter, CBC, Readers Digest and more. She strongly believes in the power of storytelling and that is why her unique story is at the forefront of all her endeavours. Moreover, Arissa uses social media platforms including Youtube to spread messages of positivity and kindness.
Arissa’s story dates back to 2017 when she visited a small school in the slums of Delhi India. During this experience, she was able to work with children her age and younger who were suffering from poverty and inadequate education. She could not believe the conditions these individuals were in and knew she wanted to dedicate her life to changing these circumstances.
In early July of 2020- amidst a global pandemic, Arissa realized the importance of following your passions, as well as the power of a voice, and decided to finally launch her organization. A yea r and a half in, she is working with a team of over 15 youth from around the world on projects that improve the quality of education coast to coast.
Additionally, Arissa serves in many other organizations including Unsinkable, as the chair of the youth council, Fridays for future, and CanWaCh (Canadian Partnership for Women and Children Health).
All in all, Arissa aims to teach youth around the world that we cannot wait for others to make a change. We all have a voice and it should be used.
Arissa can be found on:
Seeking speaking opportunities and has knowledge in the following lived experiences: Depression, anxiety (social, agoraphobia, GAD), suicidality, Blackness/racism, cis-male hetero privilege.
Asante Haughton has emerged as a leader in mental health and diversity. A veteran of the speaker circuit, Asante has presented across the globe, including a pair of TEDx talks telling stories detailing the impact of family trauma on mental health. Through his work, Asante was also named as a CAMH 150 Difference Maker, being awarded the distinction of being one of the top 150 difference makers in Canadian mental health. Recently, Asante’s poetry and writing was featured in AfriCANthology, a collection of poems, stories and essays from Black Canadian artists and thinkers (www.africanthology.ca). Since 2019 as the host of Cypher (www.storiesforcaregivers.com), a web show that takes caregiving stories and turns them into songs. In addition, Asante is a contributing editor to Inspire Magazine (www.kbiinspires.com), a wellness resource for youth, and a co-host of Inspire Magazine’s podcast, LIfe Outside the Box. In June 2020, Asante co-founded the Reach Out Response Network (reachouttoronto.ca), an advocacy organization that played a leading role in successfully lobbying the City of Toronto to implement four crisis response pilots that will remove law enforcement as first responders for wellness checks and other non-emergency calls.
Finally, in his 9 to 5 life, Asante is a manager, designer and facilitator for Peer Support training programs at Stella’s Place (stellasplace.ca) and for the City of Toronto’s Community Healing Project, which supports youth exposed to community violence with wellness and capacity building.
Having firmly entrenched himself in the mental health space at large, Asante is now devoting his time, energy and focus to the intersections of race and mental health, seeking to amplify the myriad experiences of Blackness across the diaspora in order to shed light on the ways in which being Black in a world that seeks to diminish Blackness impacts the mental health of Black people. Asante believes in confronting current and historical truths about our world and the human condition, however uncomfortable those truths may be, in order to move toward healing.
When not trying to save the world, Asante can be found laughing at his own jokes, Netflix’ing, checking his fantasy football stats, watching cartoons, and being frustrated with Toronto sports teams. Though Asante can be pretty laid back, he is loud about his advocacy and drive for change as he aims to deliver a message of social awareness, justice, community betterment, and above all, hope.
Asante can be found on:
Seeking speaking opportunities and has knowledge in the following lived experiences: Mom-life, divorce, toxic marriage, break ups, sexual assault support, restorative justice, aging, supporting children through trauma, secondary trauma and starting over in life.
Barbie has a BA in Psychology and is a Certified Life Coach, Reiki & Energy Healer, International Retreat Facilitator and a Personal Trainer. She is an Advocate for Restorative Justice, Societal Healing, and the Reclamation of Elder Women in Society.
A 60 year old divorced Mom to three amazing adult Humans, and Mother-in-Law to one. Barbie’s story became known when her daughter’s sexual assault case become the first in North America to conclude with restorative justice.
Since then, she has coached hundreds of women to reclaim voice, value and worth and walk with empowered confidence as they cross thresholds into next chapters.
Barbie challenges conditioned societal perspectives, heals generational wounds, and shifts individual mindset; teachings gathered along a personal story of healing and self reclamation following a toxic marriage and the secondary trauma experienced after her daughter’s assault.
Barbie guides women to heal, release and reclaim. To celebrate their transition through years, to embody the power of their wisdom, and to rise in empowered self-love and acceptance, as they walk through life’s chapters. She embraces the knowing that endings offer beginnings, and she offers her clients a loving space to become all that they are here to become.
Barbie can be found on:
Seeking speaking opportunities and has knowledge in the following lived experiences: Mental health & addiction, family suicide, opioid crises and mental health/addiction recovery.
Chris Cull is a two-time cross Canada Cyclist, Filmmaker, Motivational Speaker, Founder of Inspire By Example and recovering opioid user. Using his personal experience with opioid addiction and stories documented across Canada, Chris has advised numerous institutions and organizations in the prevention and treatment of substance misuse. His advising includes, but not limited to, the Federal Minister of Health, the Policy Committee of the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine, 2017 Opioid Prescribing Guidelines for Chronic Non Cancer Pain, the Lived Experience and Family Advisory Panel at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the Opioid Strategy Action Group at the Central East Local Health Integration Network, the Municipality of Durham Region’s Opioid Task Force, and the National Advisory Council on Prescription Drugs. Chris also serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.
Chris can be found on:
Seeking speaking opportunities and has knowledge in the following lived experiences: Concussions, ADHD, depression, anxiety, mental health and gaming, overcoming obstacles, and finding your internal hero.
League of Valiants Founder, Lightstream Partner, Mental Health Champion, Rogue Energy Affiliate, Podcast Producer and Director, and Public Speaker.
Dave can be found on:
Seeking speaking opportunities and has knowledge in the following lived experiences: Speaking and public speaking, suicide, loss, and mental health and suicide awareness.
Jacob Grosberg is a Canadian mental health advocate, motivational speaker and philanthropist. At the age of 14, he founded a charity fund in honour of his dad after he died by suicide. Jacob and his charity, The Conan Fund (conanfund.org) work closely with many well known organizations, charities and hospitals to advocate and support for mental health and suicide prevention. Jacob is a former speaker for WE movement @ WE Day Toronto, WE Day Montreal and mini WE day Niagara Falls, as well as a previous speaker for schools within the York catholic district school board and Toronto catholic district school board. Jacob and his charity have raised over $14,000 and supported hundreds of thousands of people. Jacob has been featured in many news articles, news segments and even has his own place in the Ontario shores foundation for mental health sciences hospital in Whitby, Ontario after him and his charity made a large donation. Jacob is also a founding ambassador and community champion for a well known mental wellness organization, Unsinkable stories, founded by silken Laumann. Jacob and The Conan Fund have also completed many other initiatives to support mental health such as the support the homeless initiative that was completed in 2019. For more information on Jacob, visit his charities website conanfund.org.
Jacob can be found on:
Seeking speaking opportunities and has knowledge in the following lived experiences: Depression, PTSD, anxiety, discovering mental health, and trauma healing journey.
Jenille Patrice is a mental well-being champion and cheerleader. After a slew of untreated traumatic life events, her mental health quickly deteriorated started to show up physically in her life forcing her to address and being her healing journey from traumatic childhood, teenage and young adult experiences. Jenille shares her journey and learnings with others through online inspiration and motivation and accurate, non-judgemental conversation surrounding mental health. Her main goal is to provide a space where the stigma and stereotypes associated with mental health and and mental illness are not blockers to others beginning their own mental well being journey.
Jenille can be found on:
Seeking speaking opportunities.
I am a police officer, wife, mother, dog mom and an avid runner. I have been a police officer for 24 years, I am a proud mom of two beautiful teenage girls. One that struggles with mental health. She has been diagnosed with ADHD, ODD and anxiety.
I run 6 days a week. Running for me, is my “Me Time” and Metal Wealth. I need to run! It truly keeps me grounded.
Laurie can be found on:
Seeking speaking opportunities and has knowledge in the following lived experiences: Anxiety, depression, CPTSD, BDP, Bi-Polar, addiction, eating disorder, bullying, immigration, stigma, and navigating the mental health system.
Maria Estrada is a mental health advocate, motivational speaker and child and youth counsellor specializing in mental health and addictions. Maria has dedicated her life to raising awareness about mental health. After immigrating to Canada as a child, Maria experienced bullying, anxiety, depression and the stigma associated with mental health. After a failed suicide attempt at the age of 15, Maria realized she needed help. This led to a journey of self-advocacy, mental health diagnoses, addiction, relapse and recovery. Now, Maria uses her personal story as a way to help others. She is the recipient of the 2017 United Way Halton Hamilton Community Speaker Award and 2019 Vicky Award for Shine In Shine Out. Maria is currently writing a book in hopes to inspire others along the way.
Maria can be found on:
Seeking speaking opportunities and has knowledge in the following lived experiences: Mental health challenges (bipolar disorder and anxiety), addiction, and grief and loss (overdose).
Megan Kee is a social entrepreneur and passionate advocate (for mental health supports, affordable housing, harm reduction, and climate action). In 2018—two years after her brother passed away from an overdose, she founded Twentytwenty Arts, an organization that produces socially impactful art projects, in his honour. In 2021, she founded Twentytwenty Design, a design and marketing agency that works with charities and non-profits to help them maximize their impact.
Megan can be found on:
Seeking speaking opportunities and has knowledge in the following lived experiences: Depression, OCD, suicidality/attempt, hospitalization, the mental healthcare system (as a patient + now working in the field), and crisis response.
Mikaela Brewer is an author, speaker, researcher, mental health advocate and activist. She has played basketball for Team Canada and Stanford University where she graduated with a B.S. in Human Biology, minor in Creative Writing, and a Notation in Science Communication in 2020. As a multi-disciplinary writer & researcher, Mikaela has published poetry, fiction, neuroscience & sport psychology research, news, features, and op-eds for a variety of platforms, journals, and organizations. Mikaela is passionate about exploring the intersection of science and storytelling as it relates to mental health. She currently lives in Barrie, ON, and is the Head of Content & Research with Timeout Software.
Mikaela can be found on:
Seeking speaking opportunities and has knowledge in the following lived experiences: Public speaking, meditation facilitation, fitness, health, mental and physical health and their connection, retreats and events, exercise, body dysmorphia, body image, binge eating, depression, over exercising, self sabotage, disconnection from self and purpose, connection and therapy with horses, and connection to purpose and self.
Pamela Fitzgerald has worked in the fitness industry for 15 years. After graduating from the Fitness and Health Promotion program at Humber College, Pamela continued to further her knowledge of human anatomy and the neuromuscular system through the specialized education programs; Muscle Activation Techniques and Resistance Training Specialist. Pamela has done extensive work with specialized cadaver dissection programs providing her with a thorough understanding of the muscular system and human body.
Pamela helps those she works with to increase strength and muscular output, enhance range of motion and improve mobility.
Pamela is committed to helping people enjoy all the activities they love with a strong and healthy body, mind and spirit. She delivers the tools people need to connect to a love of self through mindfulness and movement. Pamela is a certified yoga instructor and meditation facilitator.
Pamela is a published fitness model and former physique competitor giving her unique perspective on body image and mindset struggles. She works as a public speaker, personal one on one muscle specialist, group training instructor, Yoga instructor, anatomy instructor, nutrition coach and meditation facilitator.
Pamela hosts empowerment events which usually include the therapeutic element of horses. She is committed to providing events and experiences that allow us to create the moments that inspire us to be our true selves.
Pamela can be found on:
Seeking speaking opportunities and has knowledge in the following lived experiences: Men’s mental health and healthy masculinity.
Ryan Forsyth is an Award-Winning Mental Health Speaker and Advocate, host of the Life in Red Podcast and Promotions Coordinator for JUMP! 106.9 and boom 99.7 in Ottawa. He is a music geek and sports fanatic who’s passionate about helping people open up about their mental health and redefining a healthier version of masculinity.
Ryan can be found on:
Our Community Champions are mental health advocates, from across North America, that serve as the inclusive, inspiring and positive voice of Unsinkable. Their stories, insights and strategies help build our community while breaking stigmas and creating positive impact. We work together to help move their advocacy work forward.
The program is implemented through:
We’re here to amplify our Community Champions’ stories, causes and connect them with members of our community. We are looking for Community Champions who want to share their ideas, insights and support our brand and initiatives. Our aim is to help support you and your passions while inspiring our community with your voice.