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Andrea Paquette      

Mental Health Advocate; Founder & President of the Stigma-Free Society

BIOGRAPHY Andrea Paquette, is the President and Founder of the Stigma-Free Society, formerly the Bipolar Disorder Society of British Columbia (BDSBC). She created the Bipolar Babe Project in 2009, and thereafter, an impacting website, which offered people a place to connect and find valuable mental health information. The Bipolar Babe Project evolved into her Charity in 2010, with the collaboration of seven dedicated Board of Directors.The Charity has been renamed as the Stigma-Free Society and offers six programs on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland under the Stigma-Free Zone branding. Their service delivery includes a number of mental health peer support groups and presentations programs for both youth and adults. The Society offers presentations to schools and the community on the topic of stigma, with a focus on mental health. Their purpose is to create awareness and understanding of various stigmas, while encouraging people to be accepting of themselves and others. Andrea promotes a stigma-free culture and co-founded a stigma-free zone movement across British Columbia, which aims to create awareness, understanding and acceptance.

Andrea is passionate about educating today’s youth in schools and adults in the community about the stigma surrounding mental health and additional societal stigmas that negatively affect people’s perceptions of themselves and others. She shares her passionate personal story of struggle and triumph since her bipolar disorder diagnosis in 2005 throughout multiple venues across Canada.

She is an award winning mental health activist, educator, facilitator, speaker and published author. Andrea has presented her story at over 350 schools, workplaces, community organizations and events, reaching over 30,000+ people. Andrea is the 2015 Courage To Come Back Award Recipient in the category of Mental Health given by Coast Mental Health, the 2013 Mel Cooper Citizen of the Year in Victoria, BC, and she is also the Winner of the 2013 Award for Youth Mentorship from the National Council for Behavioral Health, Washington, D.C. Andrea is recognized as the winner for Vancouver Island's Business and Community Award - 2015 Top 20 Under 40 Award. Andrea has also been named as an official spokesperson for the 2016 Faces of Mental Illness Campaign for the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH). She has been featured on a Bell Let’s Talk Public Service Announcement aired nationally and multiple media outlets that showcase her personal story. Andrea is a 2018 Nominee for the Women Influencer Awards from the Women’s Collaborative Hub and a 2017 nominee for the YWCA Women of Distinction Community Champion Award.

Andrea shares her message far and wide,"No matter what our challenges, we can all live extraordinary lives."

Speech Topics

Bipolar Babe: My Personal Journey

Bipolar Babe: Stigma in Our World

Bipolar Babe: Mental Wellness and Reaching Out


The Island's top 20 under 40

Andrea Paquette.jpg ANDREA PAQUETTE Bipolar Babe Project Executive director, BDSBC Paquette created the Bipolar Babe project in 2009. She is the ...

Courage To Come Back: Recipients of 2015 awards make ...

Courage to Come Back: 'Bipolar Babe' Andrea Paquette has come a long way from depths of her illness · Courage To Come Back: 'Dying in hospital' changed ...

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