Christine Cooper

My friends call me MamaCoop. I live in Caledon, Ontario (just outside of Toronto) and I have been married for 31 years to the world's greatest guy, Dennis. We have one daughter, the lovely and talented Megan, who I'm very proud to say is going off to get her Masters Degree in Urban Planning. I live by the tenet, "Eat well. Live Long. Love hard." It's pretty simple. When I have those days when I just can't feel settled I take to my garden and play in the dirt. There is something about the smell of Mother Earth's soil that lifts me up and reminds me that we need to respect this world and those in it.

I work as the Executive Director for an organization called FAME (Family Association for Mental Health Everywhere). This is simply the best work I've ever done in my entire life. Mental health issues are a global health issue and there is so much stigma around mental illness that so many who need help never reach out. I am on a mission to make some changes around mental health, here in my community, then slowly to make that reach across the country. I am very proud to be parts of initiatives such as the Mental Health Commission of Canada's development of a Caregiver's & Family Member's Guideline and most recently contributed to the Toronto Police Services independant review on excessive use of force by police in dealing with people impacted by mental health. I want to enact legislation that recognizes family in their roles of care giving & recovery. It is time to review the PHIPA and it is time recognize the importance of caregivers in the wrap around process of recovery.

I am also very involved and committed to teaching Social Tech for Social Change in showing and educating the not for profit sector how to effectively utilize social media. Even the smallest of organizations can move themselves on to a global platform, all it takes is for someone to show you the way. Life should be an engagement. I want to be a part of that movement and not a spectator on the sidelines. For an old broad, I think the best of me is yet to be realized and that is the energy and hope that drives me to reach out and dream big.