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Andrea Paquette          

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

Andrea Paquette is the President and Co-Founder of the Stigma-Free Society, formerly the Bipolar Disorder Society of British Columbia (BDSBC). She created the Bipolar Babe Project in 2009, offering people a place to connect and find valuable mental health information.

An award-winning mental health activist, educator, facilitator, speaker, and published author, Paquette has presented her personal story of struggle and triumph since her bipolar disorder diagnosis at over 800+ schools, workplaces, community organizations and events, reaching thousands of people with her hopeful message. She is passionate about educating the community about the stigma surrounding mental health and additional societal stigmas that negatively affect people’s perceptions of themselves and others.

The charity is now named the Stigma-Free Society and offers programs across Canada, including educational mental health and anti-stigma programs for both youth and adults. The Society offers virtual presentations to schools and the community on the topic of stigma with a focus on mental wellness. Paquette's purpose is to create awareness and understanding of various stigmas, while encouraging people to be accepting of themselves and others.

Paquette was named YWCA Woman of Distinction nominee for Metro Vancouver, was recognized and has received numerous awards for her work in the mental health space, including the Courage To Come Back Award in the category of Mental Health, Vancouver Island's Top 20 under 40 Business and Community award, the Mel Cooper Citizen of the Year in Victoria, B.C., the Award for Youth Mentorship from the National Council for Behavioral Health in Washington, D.C., and the President's Commendation from the Psychiatric Association of Canada. She has been featured on a CBC documentary and a Bell Let’s Talk Public Service Announcement that aired nationally across numerous media outlets, which led to her becoming the official spokesperson for the Bell Let's Talk Faces of Mental Illness Campaign for the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH).

Paquette shares her message with passion far and wide that truly, "No matter what our challenges, we can all live extraordinary lives."

Speech Topics


Andrea’s Personal Story & a Chat with Andrea AKA Bipolar Babe (30 min +30min)*

Andrea shares her personal story of struggle and triumph about her bipolar disorder diagnosis. This talk is especially helpful for those who are curious about how life can be like for someone who has a mental illness. Andrea’s talk is inspiring, hopeful, entertaining, and shared in a transparent and authentic manner. Her presentation is engaging as a hybrid of bright beautiful pictures on the computer screen and her speaking virtually while addressing a captivated audience online. This particular presentation offers a Q and A session with Andrea for up to 30 min. Andrea is an engaging individual who is at ease with an audience curious about mental illness, stigma and is excellent at offering answers to the many important and difficult questions that people may have.

Bipolar Babe: Living Stigma-Free & My Personal Bipolar Journey (1 hour)*

Andrea possesses extensive expertise in the field of mental health having created a Charity specifically dedicated to mental wellness and the elimination of stigma. Andrea discusses images of stigmatized people and circumstances that are damaging to those living with a mental illness. She also shares her story of struggle and triumph of living with bipolar disorder and offers an anxiety reducing exercise online. Lastly, Andrea shares practical tips on how to stay well our mental health. She also is open to answering up to 10 minutes of Q and A with her talk as many people often feel inspired to learn more about mental health and Andrea’s story.

Bipolar Babe: An Intimate and Honest View into my Journey with Bipolar Disorder (30 min)*

Andrea shares her personal story of struggle and triumph about her bipolar disorder diagnosis. This talk is especially helpful for those who are curious about how life can be for someone who has a mental illness. Andrea’s talk is inspiring, hopeful, entertaining, and shared in a transparent and authentic manner. Her presentation is also engaging shared as a hybrid of bright beautiful pictures on the computer screen and her speaking virtually while addressing a captivated audience online.

News


Andrea Paquette | Stigma-Free Society
Combating stigma of all kinds with a focus on mental health - Stigma-Free Society
This New West woman helps youth cope with COVID-19 and mental health
The Stigma-Free Society recently launched a new toolkit providing a wide range of offerings to help youth cope with COVID-19 - and to help their parents and educators support them. Founder Andrea Paquette speaks to thousands of B.C. students each year about mental health.
This ‘Bipolar Babe’ Stomps Out Stigma With Storytelling
The deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade prove that anyone can be isolated by the stigma around depression, says Andrea Paquette of the Stigma-Free Society.
Andrea Paquette | bphope
Andrea Paquette is the president and cofounder of the Stigma-Free Society, formerly the Bipolar Disorder Society of BC, and she is also known as the Bipolar Babe. A mental health speaker, published author, advocate, and—above all—a Stigma Stomper, Andrea won the 2019 President's Commendation Award from the Canadian Psychiatric Association.
Rising Stars: Meet Andrea Paquette
My name is Andrea and I am President and originally founded a Charity – Bipolar Disorder Society in 2010, which led to renaming and co-founding the Stigma-Free Society in 2016 along with Dave Richardson.

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