Guest: Stephanie Jones
Stephanie takes a plunge into sharing how she has lived her life from a young age, coping with mental illness while learning to hide it from the outside world, including those she is close to. As an individual who has encountered trauma at age 15, worked through suicidal ideations, and combatted diagnoses of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, she openly speaks to what it has been like to navigate the mental health system and how she had to become her own advocate. Stephanie acknowledges that her journey has been long, colourful, and tumultuous, yet it came with numerous lessons along her way. While she claims she is currently at her most optimal state of mental well-being, it was a rough path that she endured, and it didn’t come without panic attacks, roller coaster-like emotions, and moments where she lacked motivation to get out of bed. It took Stephanie time to learn how to regulate her emotions and apply self-soothing skills she learned both inside and outside the therapy room. Her key message to the listeners is that: keep an open mind about where your support system can come from; don’t be ashamed about what you are going through and what you need; it is okay to speak up; push to find your right fit support – no therapist must be permanent, you have choices; there are a variety resources out there, so do your research; and always be honest with yourself.
Guest Bio: Stephanie focuses on bringing a new and modern narrative to mental illness while fighting stigma and breaking intergenerational trauma. Her aim is to fill the very large knowledge and experience gap between having and recognizing mental health challenges and successfully getting help. Stephanie has worked with prominent leaders from various industries including, banking, retail, government, farming, health care and community hubs; tailoring mental health programming and examining the complicated intersection between one’s workplace and mental health and what organizations can do to support their staff.
Stephanie is a second-generation Canadian born to West Indian parents and lives in Toronto, Ontario. Her debut fictional novel inspired by her journey with mental illness, ‘A Hidden Life’ will be released in the upcoming summer of 2022.
Passionate about: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) + Gene-guided treatment for mental health: https://www.camh.ca/en/science-and-research/institutes-and-centres/tanenbaum-centre-for-pharmacogenetics
CAMH webpage on pharmacogenetics: https://www.camh.ca/en/science-and-research/discoveries/camh-research-impact-report-2019/pharmocogenetics