Andrea Paquette, also known as Biploar Babe from the Stigma Free Zone, does a presentation on mental illness for school children. She and fellow Stigma Free Society member Robyn Thomas will speak tonight at a free event in Victoria. Black Press files

Victoria partners on ‘Stigma-Free Zone’ event tonight

Free event will see discussions around mental illness and reducing existing stigma in the community

In partnership with the City of Victoria, the Stigma-Free Society is aiming to declare City Hall a stigma-free zone.

“I’m excited to say that once we’ve completed this work – it’s a work in progress – that Victoria would be the first city with this designation,” said Coun. Jeremy Loveday. “This is really important to the City, working toward eliminating stigma and promoting mental health and community wellness.”

A ‘Stigma-Free Zone’ community event happens tonight (March 20) from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Garry Oak Room of the Fairfield Community Centre next to Sir James Douglas elementary.

According to the society, the purpose of the event is to encourage dialogue around mental health and the stigmas that exist.

“When talking to residents, especially young people, they state that mental health is one of the issues they are most passionate about,” said Loveday, who’ll be joined by Mayor Lisa Helps at the event. “They want to see more of an effort for this to be addressed by governments, local organizations and the community as a whole.”

The Stigma Free Society’s Andrea Paquette, president; and Robyn Thomas, community development manager for Vancouver Island, will share their personal journeys through mental illness and stigma.

Elected officials, community leaders and the public are invited to attend, however tickets are limited. You can pre-register here.

anna.james@vicnews.com

 

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