Stephanie Vicente is a mental health advocate and public speaker, as well as a writer. She's been outspoken about borderline personality disorder and its challenges while trying to debunk the stigma that surrounds a diagnosis such as BPD.
Throughout her life, Stephanie turned to writing as a way to express her struggles and inner demons. In 2012, she co-founded Herd Magazine, an arts and culture print publication in Ottawa, which ran on a quarterly printing cycle. In the coming months, Herd will be re-launched with a focus on documentary filmmaking and online content that shines a light on what it means to be human. The new funding format will support established and emerging artists and businesses, non-profits and charitable organizations, as well as content creators. Over the last four years, Stephanie has worked at Shopify where she's continued her mental health advocacy efforts.
You can find her on Instagram @stephyvicente and Twitter @StephyVicente. You can follow Herd on Instagram @herdmag and Twitter @herdmag or sign up for their newsletter at herdmag.ca.
About Mary-Lyn Kieffer
Mary-Lyn Kieffer is a mental health advocate and board member of Made of Millions Foundation. In 2019, Mary-Lyn joined the foundation as the Director of its Canadian branch. She oversees all event production, digital programming, advocacy and fundraising initiatives taking place in Canada. Prior to her advocacy work, she was a marketing and business development professional in both the financial and legal industries, as well as an event producer, producing educational events for executives from Fortune 500 companies. Mary-Lyn holds a Master's Degree and Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Economics and Finance.
In 2018 she left the corporate world after experiencing severe symptoms of OCD. Her personal experience opened her eyes to the lack of accessible mental health care, and drove her to seek out advocacy initiatives that allowed her to give back to the community. In addition to her work at Made of Millions, Mary-Lyn is an active member of the Toronto OCD community. In 2018, she completed the Peer Support Training program at Mood Disorders Association of Ontario. Using her knowledge to help others, she co-facilitates the Obsessive Compulsive Anonymous Support Group, as well as an OCD peer support group held at Sunnybrook Hospital.
About Ask the Advocates
Millions and millions of people around the world live with mental illness, but their stories are not all the same. They come from different places, cultures, communities and countries. They like different things, have different kinds of friends, and cope with their symptoms in different ways. When talking about mental health, it's important that we highlight these differences and explore how they shape our experiences. Mental health narratives should be as diverse and unique as we are.
Ask the Advocates is an ongoing Q&A series with outspoken mental health sufferers from around the world. Guests will open up about their experiences living with a wide range of conditions and symptoms, and answer your questions about pain, growth, healing, treatment and more. Before each episode, spend some time learning about the scheduled guest and come prepared with questions that are relevant to what they've been through.