Hello! My name is Winnie and I am a UBC student in the PharmD Program. I have been involved in mental health awareness and advocacy since high school. I joined the Kaleidoscope External Committee last year and I am now a facilitator as well. My journey with mental health continues to be long, winding, and ever-changing. My passion is helping people, especially those in minority groups, live happier and healthier lives through healthcare and community building. In my spare time, I enjoy singing, dancing, painting, laughing and sleeping. I have learned so much from all the wonderful people here at Kaleidoscope! I hope to continue supporting my peers and making connections in the community.
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 a Peer Support Worker for two organizations. 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. I began facilitating with Kaleidoscope in 2011. Mental health challenges sprung up for me while I was in university, which completely interrupted the trajectory my life was on. In order to manage my mental health, I had to take a reduced course load, and from start to finish, my undergrad took 13 years to complete; however, this reduced course load has allowed me to explore other areas that are of interest to me, including getting involved in peer support work and research. I graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Social Work in 2019. Peer support has been my rock with my own mental health, and has been a fantastic jump off for a career in social work. I am now studying for my Master’s of Social Work through Dalhousie distance education, and loving it.
Hi! I’m Daphnée and a third-year UBC student hoping to major in English and 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. 🙂
Lia Hart graduated from UBC with a degree in Anthropology and a minor in African Studies in 2014. She is now a student in UBC’s NITEP- Native Indigenous Teacher’s Education Program after which she hopes to teach in Haida Gwaii. She became involved with Kaleidoscope late in her undergraduate career which helped her out. Later she became a facilitator, and initiated a group in Richmond, BC, and helped to train new facilitators on Haida Gwaii. She enjoys doing art, being involved in Haida Cultural Activities and spending time with family and friends. She is especially proud of the inclusive, secular and safe environment all staff at Kaleidoscope create for the well being of others.
Hi! My pronouns are she/her. I am a psychoogy student at Douglas College, and I became a peer-facilitator with Kaleidoscope in 2020. I am enthusiastic about mental health advocacy, particularly for those with ADHD (I’m an ADHDer myself). I believe that shared stories from those with lived experience are invaluable to inform mental health practices and I’m learning to use creative non-fiction to do that. I’m an avid rugby player and member of the rugby community. I backyard bird watch (I can see a Rufus hummingbird outside my window now!) and I’m a major CBC radio nerd.
I am recovering from a mental health diagnosis. I would love to help other people battle and overcome mental illness by promoting positive change. By facilitating for Kaleidoscope, I promote such change through caring and empathetic communication. Kaleidoscope provides much needed support, hope, and community to anyone who needs it. I want to help and support this organization as much as possible to foster inclusion and open communication channels for people struggling with mental health issues. Together, we can fight the stigma of mental illness and create emotional growth and change.
Hi everyone! I’m Lauren, a UBC graduate with a degree in Mathematics and Psychology. I am passionate about helping people live well, find meaning, and connect with others. For 3 years, I volunteered at the UBC Wellness Centre helping students through peer-to-peer support. I’ve seen firsthand how sharing our stories can help us feel more connected, which led to me joining Kaleidoscope as a group facilitator. I hope to foster a safe space where students feel understood and empowered. In my spare time, I enjoy improv comedy, singing badly, and playing Scrabble with my mom (although she beats me every time )
Hi, I’m a PhD Candidate at UBC. I am excited to be back in university, I did my masters degree in media arts 10 years ago. My research is related to mental health and education. I met with a lot of challenges and interruptions to my education. Therefore, I am super happy to be a participant and facilitator with Kaleidoscope, nothing like this existed where I did my last two degrees! I have met many inspiring people through Kaleidoscope. Outside and alongside my studies I enjoy painting, looking at microorganisms under my microscope and resolving challenges. I also knit and crochet. I love hiking the forest and beaches around UBC and other spots in the province. My favourite kicking it back activities are reading sci-fi and fantasy and watching British detective shows. I love my espresso coffee (decaf) every morning and I am an enthusiastic cook preferring to cook a meal rather than leftovers or eating out.
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!
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 and 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.