Salima and Andrea on Dare to Share Your Untold Story Podcast

Episode 8: Depression can appear in disguise of one’s smile

Guest: Andrea Accinelli

Andrea provides insights into her journey of depression and how it may not be captured while looking at her from the outside in. For Andrea, it took something of intense caliber to realize that she needed to get the help, and she shares that when a person is faced with depression, they do not have to wait for things to feel so out of control or overwhelming before asking for some help. She shares what it is like to be on anti- depressants, what the adjustment was like when she first started on the medication, and how she is grateful that along with being equipped with a strong support system and healthy coping strategies, the medication has been her lifeline to manage on a regular basis. She shares that it is important for her to remind herself that asking for the help and then doing the work to heal is something she wants to keep in the forefront of her mind, and she doesn’t hold and shame for asking for what she needed at the time – and doesn’t ever want to forget. Andrea’s message to listeners is: don’t be afraid to ask for help, it is available, and you don’t have to go through it unassisted; when you do ask for help it is a step forward; and attending to basic physiological needs — this is a helpful start to getting you to take time to put the focus back on yourself to get back on track.

Guest Bio: Andrea from Unionville, Ontario, is the mother of two teenagers, three cats and married to her lovely husband. Even though her kids are known to keep her busy, she still has time to pursue business opportunities, especially helping others live their best life through the gift of Isagenix. Helping others manage their weight loss journey and earn an extra income at the same time are her business passions. She attended Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. She was very happy to publish a book of short stories for young adults in 2007 titled: ‘Matching Panties: 13 Tales of Unmentionables’. She enjoys running thrilling Spartan races – she has completed two Spartan Trifectas and multiple other mud races. She can also be found at fitness kickboxing and lifting weights at the local gym. Andrea is an energetic and devoted business coach.

Passionate about: CMHA Fundraising events; A Facebook Group
proudly run by Andrea — Happy and Healthy YOU. Click Here!


Salima and Neilin on Dare to Share Your Untold Story Podcast

Episode 7: A Mother’s Perspective of her teen’s mental health voyage

Guest: Neilin Dhanji

In this episode we hear from Neilin, who is the mother of one of our earlier guests — Khayali Dhanji who had shared the depth of her own mental health journey. With Khayali’s permission, her mother Neilin shares her own take on this mental health voyage that is parallel to both of them. Neilin describes how scary it was to see her child in that much emotional pain, knowing that it was her daughter’s journey, and there is nothing that Neilin can do to fix it for her daughter. She also recognized through process of relinquishing control, knowing that the onus was on her teenager to ask for help, follow through and learn her own triggers, was a big task to take on, but one Neilin knew she had to surrender to and to date is grateful she stuck to it. Her message to listeners, particularly other parents, is that it is helpful to let your child get help, a parent may want to fix everything, however professional help is okay; if your child suffers with mental health this doesn’t mean your child is broken; if you are accepting professional help, let them do their job; support your child with unconditional love; relinquishing control actually allows you to feel more in control.


Guest Bio: Neilin Dhanji is a woman who being diagnosed with major depressive disorder as a pre-teen, she has spent most of her life battling through mental health fog. Today, after more than 25 years she is in what she calls a remission thanks to a combined approach incorporating therapy, medication and healthy lifestyle choices.  Her own journey has prepared her to walk alongside her daughter – a daughter who now grapples with her own diagnosis of generalized anxiety + major depressive disorders.  Neilin also has a son and is happily married to her high school sweetheart.  She can often be found cooking, baking or taking an incessant amount of photos.


Passionate about: Medical Systems and Mental Health Supports & Access that exists in the community.


Salima and Gulshan on Dare to Share Your Untold Story Podcast

Episode 6: A Heroine’s Journey filled with Grief, Sadness, Discovery and Resilience

Guest: Gulshan Alibhai

Gulshan shared the unexpected grief that she encountered after losing her husband, with unexpected turns to follow. She had to take a step back from a life that not only she was thriving in, but she was also deep in her career path and enjoying all parts of her life, particularly spending time with her husband and children.

As Gulshan shares and her journey unfolds, she talks about post traumatic growth, how she turned to a holistic means of healing and developed and experienced her own spiritual growth. She talks about how to detach from the pain in order to reflect and go inward and experience all parts of herself. She takes the time to share her perception on grief, loss, the death of someone close, and how she found new meaning towards how to keep the loss of her loved one alive. Gulshan’s message to listeners is that: grief is not a linear process; there is more than just the medical model to heal; pay attention to your own judgement and socialization of grief; there is a need to shed your past; and there is sweetness even with ‘the bitter’ encounter.


Guest Bio: Gulshan has earned a Master’s in Social Work degree and has put this to excellent use as she has worked with diverse populations, including immigrants, refugees and individuals struggling with various mental health issues. She currently teaches within the social work programs both at Wilfrid Laurier University and Seneca College. After the sudden death of her husband in 2013 — she hit pause on her social work career as she had to take quick action and took over her husband’s iconic 400-seat restaurant known as Lahore Tikka House in the heart of Toronto’s ‘Little India’, and by doing so — she has kept his dream alive of bringing the sense of community together.


Passionate about: The medicine of gathering people who heal, such as — Clarity Barton;


Salima and Karen on Dare to Share Your Untold Story Podcast

Episode 5: The Inner Tale of Shifting from Self-Hate to Self-Love

Guest: Karen Day

Karen shares her intimate journey of how she captivated love for herself, after a dire suicide attempt, and how this became her benchmark for the work she does now as a therapist herself, where she leads the role of guiding people through their ‘dark soul of the night’.

Karen talks about how she has worked her path so deeply and intuitively that she is no longer emotionally triggered as she thinks back vividly to such a dark time in her life. Karen expresses that she can feel all her feelings and still feel fully intact — because for her, integration has occurred, and she now has the capacity to talk about the painful experience, remain present in the here-and-now, and not be triggered. Karen unveils how this single experience, the attempt on her life, changed her and with openness towards metaphysical literature, and commitment to life above all else.

Karen’s message to listeners is to start with a spiritual practice if you don’t have one already even if you are not religious; learn to sit in silence and transcend your thought-based way of living; don’t waste a good crisis; whatever you do, don’t have tea with the monster; invite self-compassion in and really let it sink in.


Guest Bio: Karen Day is the President of Daybreak Therapy and Training – an international network of professionals dedicated to mind-body-spirit connections in counselling, coaching and the healing arts. She is the author of ‘Breaking The Worry Trance’ e-course, and is also lead developer of “Creating Sacred Spaces” — Canada’s only annual conference dedicated solely to the advancement of best practices in holistic psychotherapy. Karen is a Registered Social Worker and Clinical Counselling Hypnotherapist, specializing in integrative psychotherapy with anxiety and trauma related issues.


Passionate about: HeartMath Institute,