Events Entrepreneur & Mental Health Advocate in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I'm a suicide survivor, mental health advocate and a passionate international events professional. My professional background consists of 7 years of multi-disciplinary sports and events experience within Canada, UAE (Dubai), and Barbados. Former employee of the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Organizing Committee, currently the Founder of Eluma Productions and involved with the Invictus Games of Toronto 2017 organizing committee.
I have battled anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember, especially school related anxiety. 8 years ago I attempted suicide after leaving University of Waterloo, where the doctors told my parents I wouldn’t make it, but I did and was given a second chance to live.
Because of the stigma that is associated with mental health, I stayed silent for 8 years, even while studying psychology. I never shared with anyone, suffering in silence, wishing I had someone to connect with on the same level.
I finally spoke out at the United We Speak event I co-created in Barbados through my business Eluma Productions. I now feel empowered and free from shame and fear and have hope for the future. We as a society need to talk openly about mental health. No body should feel the need to be silent about any illness/injury and it is important we change that. It is important we start giving equal importance to mental illness/injury as we do for physical illnesses/injuries.
Today I stand here a survivor and an advocate.