Hi there! I just graduated from UBC, after a grueling 8 years… I did it 🙂 I studied human biology and psychology; right now, I’m working at Butter (an awesome bakery), and receiving training to become a Youth Peer Support Worker with Fraser Health. It’s been a long road, with poor mental health getting in the way of my academic career, relationships, and life in general. I’ve been with Kaleidoscope for 7 years now, and I love working with so many amazing people. Kaleidoscope helped me significantly through the beginning stages of my recovery, being a place where I could relate to people with similar experiences and be true to myself. I am very happy that, now further along my recovery, I can give back and hopefully provide the same space for others that it has provided for me. As a facilitator, I continue to learn and grow every week with my peers. Outside of school and work, you can find me going for outdoor adventures, eating yummy food, being weird, attempting to write, watching Grey’s Anatomy, chilling with some close friends, drinking tea and trying to find kitties to play with. 🙂
Hi! I’m Tracy. In high school, I started to experience fluctuations in my mood. I could feel depressed for months at a time, and then suddenly be on top of the world. I didn’t really know what was going on, but because of the way I was thinking and acting, I was hospitalized and given a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Receiving this diagnosis was a double-edged sword; while it came as a welcomed explanation for how I’d been feeling, it was difficult for me to accept that I have a mental illness. I have worked on overcoming self-stigma and I’ve learned to empower myself to manage my symptoms, live my life the way I want to, and not let my illness dictate my path. By disclosing my first-hand experience with people who come to Kaleidoscope, I hope to encourage those struggling to believe that they can and will overcome the challenges that can come with having a mental illness.
Hi! I’m Daphnée and a third-year UBC student hoping to major in English/Creative Writing. I initially moved to Vancouver two years ago, but it is only in the past year or so that I’ve been introduced to the amazing peer support groups on our campus, including Kaleidoscope. After years of struggling with my mental health and three psychiatric hospitalizations in the past year, I’m finally learning how to be well again. I’ve returned to school and got a job as a peer writing consultant. When I’m not engaging with my studies, you can usually find me hanging out with my friends, reading Harry Potter, journaling or completing jigsaw puzzles. I also volunteer once a week at Writer’s Exchange, helping inner-city kids with reading and writing. I also particularly enjoy sharing my story to connect with others, and I do so by publishing vulnerable pieces with The Mighty and ThoughtCatalog. I believe that writing has been a therapeutic process for me, and has helped me heal. 🙂
Hi! I’m Drew and I’m enrolling at UBC for third time this calendar year. I’m an English Lit major in my fourth year eager to complete my degree. In my time away from UBC I completed my Education Assistant certificate at Capilano University and have just been hired by school district 43 as an on call EA. Outside of my Lit degree I’m interested in learning to glass blow, the French language, and eating healthy and exercise. I’m excited to be involved in Kaleidoscope once again and want to do my part to de-stigmatize mental health conditions as well as empower those who have lived experience. Looking forward to meeting you!
Lia Hart graduated in May 2014 from UBC with a dedicated interest to promote good mental health. She initiated a group at the Cambie Community Centre in Richmond which ran for one scholastic year with the support of fellow teammate Tracy Windsor. She now co facilitates Kaleidoscope at Douglas College. Lia also enjoys being outside, sports, singing and working in the kitchen of a lively Main street restaurant. She is especially proud of Kaleidoscope’s inclusive, secular, and safe environment all staff create for the well being of others.
Hello, my name is Robyn Putnam. I graduated from UBC in May 2013. At the moment I’m pursuing a Masters in Counselling Psychology. For the first three years of my degree I struggled with depression and anxiety and I didn’t know where to go to receive help. As a result, I ended up having to take a break from my studies. When I returned to school I found Kaleidoscope and I’ve been involved ever since. Since then I have had many ups and downs (I was diagnosed with Bipolar II in March 2013) but Kaleidoscope has always been a safe place where I can go and connect with other people struggling with similar challenges. I continue to attend Kaleidoscope in order to receive support for my own health, but I think it’s equally as important to give back and support others. We love to have new faces!
Dr. Steven Barnes is a faculty member in UBC’s Department of Psychology, co-deputy director of CREST.BD, and has lived experience with Bipolar Disorder (BD). His neuroscientific expertise lies in the areas of psychiatric disorders, epilepsy, learning and memory, and neuroplasticity. He is also a talented web programmer and web designer, having worked both in industry and as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Interactive Art and Design. He currently has a keen interest in the translation and visualization of knowledge–especially from current research on BD. He is also an accomplished artist–his current art practice is centered around the production of new media pieces that aim to inspire dialogue on the ways we think about and use modern technologies. He is a talented educator with multiple teaching awards, and co-author of a best-selling textbook on Behavioural Neuroscience, Biopsychology. (Pearson)
Hey, I’m Trevor, an on/off research assistant in various UBC labs and current Langara student. While neuroscience is by far my greatest passion, I’ve also devoted time to art and design. My interest in mental health began when I wrote a research essay in high school titled “The Neurobiology of Depression”, which was influenced by my experiences with bipolar disorder. I later went on to volunteer for a few mental health organizations, as well as epilepsy and LGBT awareness organizations. It’s really important for me to give back to the communities that have given so much. They were there for me when I didn’t think anyone else was, and gave me answers to questions I didn’t think had answers. In my free time, I like to ride my fixed gear bike, go on urban photography adventures, listen to ridiculous music on my iPod on full blast, and generally act like the fabulously awesome guy that I am. I have the good fortune of not being able to take myself seriously; after spending some time with me you will leave with a smile on your face…and a newfound appreciation for British boy bands.
I have lived in Vancouver my entire life & plan to stay! I am a mental health researcher, but most of my free time is dedicated to photography, music, & reading. Seeing the creation of The Kaleidoscope was important to me as I realized that mental health research was having trouble improving treatment due to lack of community support. If we work together to mitigate the stigma surrounding mental illnesses, individuals facing them can access much-needed help. My hope for this project is for it to be helpful to students & to inspire others to be proactive in fostering inclusiveness on their campuses & in their communities.
I’m a local lad who’s spent most of his adult life as a working artist. I’ve recently returned to UBC to complete/reorient my degree towards Counseling Psychology. I have a special interest in the study of Concurrent Disorders. I’m a grateful member of the Mood Disorders Association. I sit on the board of directors for the Grunt Gallery and enjoy a firm friendship with the Gallery Gachet. I’ve an 11 year old Blue Heeler named Matilda. I have innumerable likes and dislikes. I am very chuffed to be involved with The Kaleidoscope and look forward to mutual insight through our interactions. I still play music. www.myspace.com/thebluealarm
As a researcher and educator in the field of addictions and mental health, I am excited to be involved in the unique and student-led effort that Kaleidoscope represents. I am originally from Michigan (USA) and moved to Vancouver a few years ago. I fell in love with the city and the surroundings, and decided to pursue a career here as best I can. I love teaching and learning, music, good conversation and craft beer. My large and friendly cat plays an important role in maintaining my own mental health.
Hi, my name is Victor, medical student and previous student in psychology and neuroscience. Vancouver is home, and I have spent several years actively engaged in mental health projects in my communities. Mental health is an often-neglected topic, and I believe that there needs to be a greater push for understanding, education, support, and communication about mental illness. I am quite proud to be a part of this important initiative here at UBC and look forward to everyone I will cross paths with being a part of The Kaleidoscope. Outside of my time as a student, I play music and work with children that have Autism and other developmental disorders.