MentalHealthCamp Presentations

2009 April 15

Finally – here is the list of speakers for MentalHealthCamp.  A few things aren’t completely ironed out yet (e.g. you will see that not everyone has a length of presentation assigned to them yet) but we’re a god 95% there!

Darren Barefoot, Julie Szabo and the Mental Health Foundation of BC

Brainstorming Session: Forming an online mental health community – 55 minutes

The Mental Health Foundation of BC wants to build a pair of online communities on two particular topics: mental health in the workplace and mental health and youth. To this effect, they’ll run a brainstorming session to explore what form these communities should take, the issues they should address and the ways they should interact with the larger mental health online space.

Background: The BC Mental Health Foundation is the fundraising arm of the BC Mental Health and Addictions Agency. Their mission is to change the face of mental health by supporting breakthroughs in public understanding, research and knowledge exchange.

Darren Barefoot is a local marketer, writer and technologist. The co-founder of Capulet Communications, a web marketing firm specializing in high-tech and sustainability clients, Darren writes a blog at


Airdrie Miller

ERROR 404 Page Not Found – 30 minutes

After years of blogging about her personal story, Airdrie Miller decided to take her blog down. What she discovered by doing this is now part of her journey to mental wellness and freedom from the societal stigmatization of people with mental illnesses.

Bio: Airdrie Miller lives in Burnaby, BC. She is a highschool teacher, wife, and mother to two daughters.


Sandra Kiume

Mental health marketing using social media – 55 minutes

This session will discuss a hashtag suicide prevention experiment on Twitter (#unsuicide) and You Tube video contests that crowdsource mental health anti-stigma PSAs. What do these concepts have in common? Tagging and remixing mental health info into social media, by using new media. People are sharing their experiences and their creativity to help each other in new ways that weren’t technically possible even a few years ago. This is an ideal interactive Twitter discussion session and is intended to inspire some video makers too.

Bio: Sandra Kiume is an early adopter with over a decade of experience blogging about mental health, stigma, and psychological science research. She is a pro blogger at as well as a hobby blogger. Vlog Channel N curates brain and behaviour videos, while Twitter account @unsuicide is a unique suicide prevention peer crowdsourcing initiative. For fun, she makes animated Twitter mashup videos and moblogs discarded clothing.


Isabella Mori

Blogging Ourselves Home – 55 minutes

Blogging as writing, and writing as self expression and creativity: How can we “blog ourselves home” – to a safe, comfortable, relaxed, creative, supportive and healing place from which we can launch ourselves into the world and be brave, wise and have fun as we share our stories and ideas with hundreds and thousands of readers.

The title is reminiscent of Kimberley Snow’s workbook “Writing Yourself Home” that looks at personal growth both on an individual and societal level.

This will be done in an interactive workshop format, and will be informed in part by the writings of James Pennebaker, Kimberley Snow, Louise Desalvo and others.

Bio: Isabella Mori is one of the workshop organizers. A counsellor in Vancouver,  she helps people make a better life for themselves so that they can make the world a better place, and blogs at change therapy.


Lorraine Murphy

Anonymity and pseudonymity: Freedoms, dangers and responsibilities – 80 minutes

In this presentation I’ll discuss the postive and negative uses of pseudonymity and anonymity, its freedoms, its dangers, and its responsibilities. Indeed, in a world where new identities can be formed at the click of a button, we have a larger burden of duty than we would in one where our reputations could follow us around for the rest of our lives. As well, we will examine the principle of privacy as it applies to online activities, particularly with regard to its limitations. We will touch on role theory as well as look at some examples of sites using the concept of identity in a fluid and creative fashion.

Bio: Lorraine Murphy has been blogging for many years; her flagship blog is raincoaster.  Ms Murphy is the author of Terminal City: Vancouver’s Missing Women. As one of the cornerstone volunteers in the technical help forums, she has long experience helping beginning bloggers develop fluency and achievement online.


Pete Quily

ADHD – Busting the myths, breaking the stigma, showing reality, one post and tweet at a time – 80 minutes

Pete Quily will give an overview of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), its positive and negative sides, and some of the other conditions that often come with ADHD how it interacts with other diagnoses (e.g. Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, etc.) He will talk about ways to deal with ADHD, famous people with ADHD, and then launch into the stigma of ADHD and its consequences. We’ll discuss

How can social media stigmatize, attack, judge, condemn and trivialize?

How can social media can be used to break the myths and stigma around ADHD and show real people’s stories?

Bio: Pete Quily is an ADHD coach in Vancouver and blogs at Adult ADD Strengths.


Karen Fung

Mental Health and Cultural Sensitivity – Services and Stigma in Vancouver’s Ethnic Communities

A discussion about the stigma of mental health in ethnic communities, language-specific mental health resources in the Lower Mainland, and mental health services provided to non-English speakers and/or immigrants.

A UBC study looked at how likely doctors from the Chinese Canadian community were to diagnose mental illness, as well as breakdowns of usage of mental health services like counselling.

The discussion will also include the experience of counselling service providers with a focus on services in languages other than English, and whether online visibility through blogging and people sharing their experiences has helped more people to be aware of and/or access their services.

Bio: Karen Quinn Fung is a community-oriented communicator based in Vancouver, B.C. with an incurable knack for combining seemingly-unrelated things in unexpected ways. A Canadian-born, Vancouver-raised youngest child of immigrants, Karen received her bachelor’s degree in Communication in 2008, focusing on the interaction of society with technology. Her latest focus is the master’s program in sustainable urban design and transportation planning at UBC.

Twitter – @counti8; blog –


Dr. Keely Kolmes

Social Networking, Visibility, and the Therapeutic Alliance – 55 minutes

How do clients and therapists feel about sharing online social spaces? Come participate in a conversation for therapists and clients alike to explore how these issues are coming up in the therapeutic relationship. This talk involves high audience participation and will provide a unique opportunity for both clients and therapists to share ideas and to explore the intersection between online space and therapy.

Bio: Keely Kolmes, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in San Francisco. She has also been a staff psychologist at Stanford University’s Counseling & Psychological Services for the past six years where she has treated students dealing with anxiety, depression, OCD, sexuality, relationships, and identity in their online and offline lives.. She is fascinated with the intra and interpersonal challenges and opportunities presented by the Web 2.0 world. Her full C.V. and blog are available on her website.  She can also be followed on Twitter as drkkolmes


Taryn Gunter, Canadian Mental Health Association, Vancouver/Burnaby Branch

Tales from a Rookie, Or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love to Blog – 30 minutes

Why we, as an organization, decided to get involved with blogging and other social media; the joys of lurkerhood – social media use by “regular” folks; reaching out to people who don’t the CMHA’s resources regularly; and using social media as a more organic way to be accountable to our participants, to the community, and to each other.

Background: CMHA Van/Bby has a track record of developing many of the most innovative and effective new approaches to realing with mental illness available in the community today. Its response to the crisis of mental illness ranges from prevention, education, and information services, right through to rehabilitation and community support to those recovering from mental illness.


Terra aka @zoeyjane

Stigma – Challenging Perceptions – 80 minutes

Stigma is only present when we let it be.

Terra will speak about her experience as a mommy blogger who struggles with mental health issues, and the real-life consequences of that.

Because she is outspoken, she is known in some circles as a ‘real’ blogger and writer, one of the few moms who are blatantly honest about the struggles of parenting with mental illness (or hell, even with toddlers), and the ways we cope. She is often someone people feel comfortable letting their demons out to, or to ask for advice from.

Terra will ask questions like, what does a person with bipolar disorder (supposedly) act like? What is a mommy blogger? Does someone with bipolar disorder have the ability to parent?

She’ll delve a little into her own history and will give examples of other mommy bloggers who are “out” about living with mental illness.

Talking about mental illness is starting to become accepted now, not something to hide, in shame, as it was even three years ago. Even in the momosphere.

Bio: Terra is a Vancouver-based freelance writer and blogger. A single mother with a string of diagnoses in her past, she thrives in the beautiful West End with her two year old daughter. Her blog is Mommy Is Moody


Christine Rondeau

Give your brain a rest with Yoga Nidra – 15 minutes

Our brains are constantly on the go, thinking, worrying, dwelling on past events and sometimes focusing too much on the negative. Wouldn’t it be great if you could give your brain a break and it to be more positive? Yoga Nidra can do just that and all you need is 10 minutes. Even better is the fact that you can do this sitting down while listening to your iPod. In this short demonstration, we’ll take you through a very brief session to show you how great it can make you feel.

Bio: Christine Rondeau has been practicing yoga for over 5 years. Initially focused on healing a physical injury, she soon realized that the mental benefits were quite substantial. She now maintains a regular yoga “diet” that keeps her sane and happy. Christine’s online home is at Blue Lime Media


Raul Pacheco

Telling Your Personal Story via Social Media Tools as a Method to Cope with Mild Depression Associated with Academic Pressure

I am an academic, although I claim no knowledge of mental illness. However, there have been a few instances during my academic career that I have felt down, maybe even depressed. I started blogging as a diversion, a distraction and now I can safely say that when I am having even a very mild case of depression, I use social media tools as a coping mechanism. I am going to share my story in hopes that it may encourage those who feel the pressure of academic success to release frustrations and/or deal with depression via blogging/twittering.

Bio: Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega (PhD, The University of British Columbia) is a Vancouver-based educator, researcher and consultant in the field of environmental policy, who happens to blog. He has 3 years of experience sharing his day-to-day life in Vancouver and is passionate about de-stigmatizing issues associated with mental health. He also firmly believes that sharing one’s story is just one of the many pathways to alleviate depression and other similar mental ills.

6 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 April 16

    Oooh, these all look like I’m going to need to pack a full day of snacks, a notebook or two and about five pens. I’m excited!

    Terra (aka Zoeyjane)’s last blog post..On You

  2. 2009 April 22
    Roberta permalink

    Is there a cost to this event? and if so, how much?

  3. 2009 April 22

    Hi Roberta,

    The event is by donation, but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. What that means is that even if you can’t pay a small donation, you still will be able to participate in Mental Health Camp.

    Raul’s last blog post..Happy birthday, brother!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. On Opposite Awards | Mommy is Moody
  2. mental health camp: speaker list, diagnosis, and the history of stigma
  3. MentalHealthCamp Soon | World of Psychology

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