I have been with the MILE 5 program for 10 months.
My favorite moment speaking with a class was my first time, the students were very receptive and asked poignant, knowledgeable questions. I came away feeling inspired and empowered for the youth of today.
My favorite question was what is your favorite sports team?
I enjoying playing Santa Claus every year. It is okay to be open about mental health.
Driven by life and inspired by music, Chelsea is a singer/songwriter. The University of Manitoba student sings with the Winnipeg Youth Chorus and is also an executive member. Chelsea believes that even when broken music heals. Her favourite quote is: “When words fail, music speaks.”
Chelsea had been a victim of cyber-bullying when she was in high school. Since becoming a speaker, she has become a more confident young woman who has become a role model to many younger students and peers who have looked up to her for guidance. Chelsea received the Youth Peace Medal in 2013 from the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg for her role in the Hateless project. She was honored to be a 2015 Manitoba Hero and 2016 Pride Winnipeg Youth Marshal.
She not only speaks about cyber-bullying but also the topics of mental illness, body image, self-love, and suicide.
My partner sent me a CMHA link to the speaker training for the MILE 5 program, and the rest is the present moment. Community engagement and mental health are two very important pursuits I strongly believe in, so combining the two creates a dialogue around a lot of underneath the surface experience we all share. Story and storytelling are critical in healing, to share and know we aren’t alone. Sharing my story is also healing for myself. Finding new ways to relate to my past and share the ongoing pursuit of ‘riding the waves of life,’ allows me to look at my past in a healthy and realistic fashion. In my opinion, question period from the students is the most interesting part of the MILE 5 program. CMHA does a great job preparing the students, and it shows in their thoughtful and insightful questions. It is through the questions and my responses where I learn the most. No script and on the spot honesty is an intuitive experience which respects everyone involved.
Meet Michelle Go! Michelle is an enthusiastic public relations specialist with over a decade of experience in communications, and professional speaking.
Driven to succeed and powered by people, Michelle brings a strong voice to her passion for professional speaking.
Michelle gives back to the mental health community by volunteering to share her story with the United Way and the Canadian Mental Health Association, Manitoba and Winnipeg’s MILE 5 program. She began sharing her personal experience with mental illness in 2014, in memory of her late father.
Michelle shares her story helping to break down the stigma around mental illness and promote self-care and wellness in schools and the workplace.
Michelle’s presentation covers a variety of important topics such as: mental health, wellness, self-care, suicide prevention, peer pressure, self-awareness, overcoming challenges, and the power of positive choices.
Some of Michelle’s favourite moments and highlights being involved with the CMHA’s MILE 5 program include: connecting with youth through storytelling, answering questions, and empowering youth to reach out!
Nada Rim Moussa
My name is Nada Rim Moussa. I’m 26 years old. I’m from Morocco and I graduated from the University of Saint-Boniface with a Business Administration Diploma. I’m recently got married to a Canadian guy whom I share my interests with (music, singing, drawing, poetry and acting). I’m an animal lover as well. I love learning new languages and I speak three languages (English, French and Arabic) and I’m learning my fourth which is American Sign language. I struggled with severe depression for 5 years during my teens.
I love sharing my story because I know it gives a wakeup call to everyone who needs help before it is too late. Especially when I get calls for help like that time when I started answering questions after the presentation when I came across this piece of paper that said: “Nada, I need help” and had a boy’s name on it as well. I took care of that case and it made me so happy that I made a difference. I also love answering the student questions since it gives them clarity and lets them know that there is always a solution to every problem and allows me to share my hobbies with them when they ask about coping with my depression.
Ray is interested in sharing his story about his lived experience with a mental illness. He believes that by talking openly, we can reduce and help eliminate the stigma surrounding this illness. He hopes that students will be able to seek the help they need to deal with a mental illness and that more students can empathize and respect individuals who are dealing with it. He is honoured to speak with students about mental illness and has been involved with the MILE 5 program for one year.
The very first class Ray shared his experience with was his favourite. The students were compassionate, empathetic and engaged. They understood that he was nervous!
Ray’s favourite question was: “Did any teacher at school help you with your mental Illness?”
Ray enjoys working with youth, especially coaching basketball.
Ray hopes that students will take away three things from sharing his story about his lived experience with a mental illness: Help is always available; Healing can happen and Hope for better days is possible.
My name is Sadie Silverstein and I am a second-year student in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba, determined to specialize in mental health and family dynamics. I have been an avid volunteer for the Canadian Mental Health Association since 2013, participating in numerous community events aimed at raising awareness and reducing the stigma so often associated with mental health issues. Through their MILE 5 program, I have been so fortunate to have shared my story of struggle, strength and resilience with so many students in Winnipeg. Mental health is of utmost importance to me and I aim to expose the reality and prevalence of youth mental health issues. It is a passion of mine to help those in need, and I gain so much gratification from being able to connect with struggling youth on such a personal level. I am currently looking for more speaking opportunities so that I can continue to raise awareness.
Starting from a young age, Tara has experienced bullying which has led to being diagnosed with Social Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety, Severe Depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.) I started working with CMHA this year after receiving a valued award, which I was pleased to present to CMHA for all of their wonderful work. Since then, I have been asked to be a speaker with the MILE 5 program, which I know will be a great experience and opportunity to be able to share my story, and spread words of wisdom to help others living with mental illnesses. On October 3rd 2016, it was my first time speaking in a classroom at the University of Manitoba which was a great experience! Aside from working with such a great cause, I work at a veterinary practice helping family pets which is very exciting and motivational. When I share my story, I do have some people who will feel emotional, and that just goes to show that I have impacted their lives, and they will look up to me. I always leave the classes with the saying “You’re beautiful, you’re loved, you’re needed, you’re alive for a reason, you’re stronger than you think, you’re going to get through this, I’m glad you’re ok, and don’t ever give up!”
I was interested in being a MILE 5 speaker because I wanted to help educate kids about mental health. I wanted to share my story to help encourage students that may be experiencing similar struggles as I did when I was in middle school. I also want to speak out to help normalize mental health and reduce the stigma around it. I have been a speaker in the MILE 5 program for almost a year now and am looking forward to the new school year and new opportunities for sharing and educating.
My favourite part about speaking is when I receive encouraging comments from the students after sharing my story. It reminds me why I am doing this!
My favourite question I’ve ever received was “How did depression change your personality?”
A bit about me is that I love growing and collecting plants. You can usually find me walking around university with a plant in hand!
What I really hope people will take back from my story is that people will understand that they are not alone and that a lot of people struggle with their mental health. I hope that people will be encouraged to be strong enough to ask for help when they need it and know that it is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about.