The Blind Stigma podcast - hosted by Stacy-Ann Buchanan and Dr. Natasha Williams aims to provide a safe space that explores mental health within the black community, break down the stigmas attached and take back our narratives.
Hosted by Stacy-Ann Buchanan and Dr. Natasha Williams, The Blind Stigma podcast aims to provide a safe space that explores mental health within the black community, break down the stigmas attached and take back our narratives.
Jason Humphreys Kinte is an author, spoken word artist, entrepreneur and career coach, and a mental health advocate.
Jason has been featured in news articles, on TV and online for his service to the community. He overcame a bout with depression to found Phree Shares Inc. (the best at making people happy for free) in 1999 while completing a business degree and French minor at University of Toronto. He started Toronto Poets as a club that started the Increase the Peace campaign in 2002. In 2011 he started The Pen's Power and the Pen's Power Club, divisions of Dream Livers Club Inc., a for-profit, global version of a registered non-profit of Toronto Poets. Think Phreely Student Systems helps students to develop a healthy mindset and achieve all that they are capable of achieving in life.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jason.kinte and www.facebook.com/giftedlikeyou
Natacha Pennycooke is a Registered Psychotherapist, with the College of Registered Psychotherapist of Ontario (CRPO), and owner/operator of Natacha Pennycooke Psychotherapy Services. In her over 10 years of practice as a psychotherapist, speaker and consultant, her work is guided from an anti-oppressive, healing focused, trauma informed and anti-Black racism lens, to unpack and challenge Euro-centric ideologies, systemic oppression and generational traumas that have been detrimental to racialized communities. She has presented at a number of international and national psychological conferences; and, is sought after for her expertise on mental health, coping, racial trauma and healing to speak at various community and corporate events in the Greater Toronto Area, and beyond. She is a founding member and current vice-chair of the Association of Black Psychologists - Toronto Chapter (ABPsi-TO), and actively volunteers as the Mental Health Advisor with Keep6ix Organization.
Find her here:
Award winning Talk Show Host, Karen Carrington, is an Author, Mental Health Advocate, Certified Personal Development Trainer, recipient of the Top 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada Award and the Susan B. Anthony iLead Woman in Leadership Award. Her talk show, The Karen Carrington Show, features guests of all walks of life including her men's series reaching over half a million social media views worldwide. She is a member of Women in Film & Television, has been featured on CTV National News and Ever Talk T.V in Hollywood. Karen Carrington's life mission is to leave the planet a better place than she found it making sure everyone felt loved.
IG: @thekarencarringtonshow IG
After a traumatic experience leading to severe depression, Crystal was diagnosed with Bi-polar Disorder by her psychiatrist. A year after the diagnosis,Crystal had a near death experience that led to her decision to take her mental illness and mental health seriously. Almost four years later after almost being shot to death at the U.S border by police, Crystal launched - Mental Health Speaks Out and is a motivational speaker on mental health awareness, and the importance of the removing the veil of shame that has stigmatized mental illness. When Doctors told Crystal and her family that she will never be able to attain a degree - because of her mental illness....Crystal defied the odds placed against her and is now a recognized and honoured facilitator who works alongside the Durham Regional Police Service as a trainer on how to: communicate with persons experiencing mental health crises identify issues related to stigma recognize the role of the family access mental health services issues related to the use of force Crystal was awarded for her radio show, Mental Health Speaks Out on Riot Radio at Durham College which talks about mental health and is inclusive of professionals and organizations in the community such as; Durham Mental Health Services, Canadian Mental Health Association, Durham Regional Police Service-Mental Health Unit, Naturopathic Doctors, Nutritionist, Women’s Resource Counseling Centre of Durham etc. Crystal has spoken at Colleges and Universities, as well as churches, even libraries and multiple events across the GTA. Her work in the community as led her to being awarded the Starter Company Grant from the Business Advisory Centre of Durham. Pinnock is now studying to become a Mental Health Pastor and has recently completed a Bachelor of Science degree from Oakwood University and is working as a Mental Health Evangelist. Crystal is proactively working on a book about her life and her journey with mental health. Her goal is to eradicate the stigmas about mental illness especially in the Black community.
Youtube - Mental Health Speaks Out
Twitter - @mentalhealthbee
After a traumatic experience leading to severe depression, Crystal was diagnosed with Bi-polar Disorder by her psychiatrist. A year after the diagnosis,Crystal had a near death experience that led to her decision to take her mental illness and mental health seriously.
Almost four years later after almost being shot to death at the U.S border by police, Crystal launched - Mental Health Speaks Out and is a motivational speaker on mental health awareness, and the importance of the removing the veil of shame that has stigmatized mental illness.
When Doctors told Crystal and her family that she will never be able to attain a degree - because of her mental illness....Crystal defied the odds placed against her and is now a recognized and honoured facilitator who works alongside the Durham Regional Police Service as a trainer on how to:
communicate with persons experiencing mental health crises
identify issues related to stigma
recognize the role of the family
access mental health services
issues related to the use of force
Crystal was awarded for her radio show, Mental Health Speaks Out on Riot Radio at Durham College which talks about mental health and is inclusive of professionals and organizations in the community such as; Durham Mental Health Services, Canadian Mental Health Association, Durham Regional Police Service-Mental Health Unit, Naturopathic Doctors, Nutritionist, Women’s Resource Counseling Centre of Durham etc.
Crystal has spoken at Colleges and Universities, as well as churches, even libraries and multiple events across the GTA. Her work in the community as led her to being awarded the Starter Company Grant from the Business Advisory Centre of Durham.
Pinnock is now studying to become a Mental Health Pastor and has recently completed a Bachelor of Science degree from Oakwood University and is working as a Mental Health Evangelist.
Crystal is proactively working on a book about her life and her journey with mental health. Her goal is to eradicate the stigmas about mental illness especially in the Black community.
Youtube - Mental Health Speaks Out
Twitter - @mentalhealthbee
Natasha Halliday, MA, CYCP, - has been working in mental health for over 20 years with a specific focus on youth. She has worked in variety of settings including hospitals, schools and community agencies. Natasha believes that we all possess resilience. She is dedicated to uncovering the resilience already there, foster and build resilience where needed, and demonstrating how to grow through adversity. Halliday has facilitated trainings on mental health forensics, and conducted community presentations on a various mental health topics. She has been teaching in the Child and Youth Care Program for over 10 years and has shared her expertise at conferences, on radio podcasts, in workshops, seminars, mental health forums and community events.
Find her here:
Karen takes us on a journey of her childhood experiences of physical and mental abuse and rejection and lack of love from her mother that followed her into adulthood and landed her in a maze of confusion, anger, bitterness, depression, anxiety, seizures and memory loss.
This incredible woman sought professional help by joining a women's group that helped her to mentally and spiritually de-clutter, clarify and start the process of healing while walking bravely into her purpose.
Facebook: Karen Samuels
Instagram: @fierce.diva and @onelastcryjourney
Dr. Andre Marseille is an existentialist and positive psychotherapist who is very concerned about climate change and mental wellness - which will be one of the foremost significant issue in the next 10 to 20 years.
To learn more about Dr. Andre, please visit:
Facebook: Andre Roger Eggleston Marseille
Dr. Anita Ewan is a consultant and researcher for the Government of Canada. She also is a university instructor. Her dissertation research explored the racial-gendered experiences of Black women living in Toronto social housing and the effects of housing policy and neighbourhood revitalization on their lives.
Celina Caesar-Chavannes is a business consultant, coach and international speaker. She was the former Member of Parliament for Whitby, Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Parliamentary Secretary for International Development. During her term as a Member of Parliament, Celina was awarded:
•Champion of Mental Health Parliamentarian Award by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (2017)
•Ontario Black History Society, Daniel G. Hill Award for Community Services (2017)
•Black Parliamentarian of the Year (2017)
•Featured in the April 2018 edition of O (Oprah Winfrey) Magazine entitled, “What would you stand up for?”
•Salon International de la Femme Noire, Viola Desmond Award (2019) •Named Chatelaine Magazine’s Woman of the Year (2019)
Before entering politics, Mrs. Caesar-Chavannes was a successful entrepreneur, and recipient of both the: Toronto Board of Trade’s Business Entrepreneur of the Year for 2012 and the 2007 Black Business and Professional Association’s Harry Jerome Young Entrepreneur Award.
She has a: Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, an MBA in Healthcare Management, an Executive MBA from the Rotman School of Management and is currently enrolled in a PhD program focused on Organizational Leadership
Social Media: @iamcelinacc
Certified Life Purpose Coach, Speaker and Women’s Change Agent, Shelley Meche’tte is extremely passionate and dedicated to the empowerment of women through strategized personal and professional development. She is the author of, 70 Days of Happy: Life is BETTER When You Smile and founder of the women’s organization, The PowHERful Woman. Shelley challenges women to take responsibility for the actions (both positive and destructive) of the person staring back at them in the mirror, while reminding them of the fact that they are POWERFUL, valuable and unique.
Instagram: Shelley Meche'tte
Facebook: Shelley Meche'tte
LinkedIn: Shelley Meche'tte
With a life and career dedicated to assisting others with mental health challenges, Rwenshaun Miller serves the community—and the world—as an award winning Therapist, Author, and Social Entrepreneur. He uses his personal experience living with Bipolar and surviving multiple suicide attempts to educate others, break the stigma, and create change in the mental health field.
On the Season One FINALE we meet, Dwayne Beckford - Financial Professional, Motivational Speaker, Writer, Actor and Singer.
Beckford dealt with sexual abuse by both male and female as a child and had bouts with depression while navigating through a divorce and separation from his children. After getting shot in 2016, Beckford struggled immensely with PTSD but has found the need and strength to keep pressing on.
Personal page @only1profeci Creative page @profecispeaks Business page @iamwfg_dwaynebeckford .
Shenikqwa is the Program Manager for Black Women in Motion, Youth Worker for Delta Family Resource Centre, and Co-Lead for ReCon&Quest; a travel study initiative for undergraduate Black Students. Her passions are with serving her community and learning to create constructive and accessible spaces. Her main focus is working towards developing her future in African Diasporic relations and environmental sustainability.
Facebook: Nikqwa Golden Phillip
Founder of A Walk In My Stilettos, Makini Smith, is an award-winning entrepreneur. She has successfully crafted a business in personal development as a mindset coach helping women reach their goals, a certified Proctor Gallagher consultant for her mentor Bob Proctor, and 4-time published author. Her first book is titled “A Walk In My Stilettos: How To Get Through The Struggle With Grace” with the foreword written by Linda Proctor (wife of Bob Proctor), her second book “A Walk In My Stilettos: 111 Affirmations To Help You Heal” was inspired by the encouragement of her readers. Makini created her third book “A Walk In My Stilettos: The Gratitude Journal” to share her success tools with other women which was followed by “The Couples Gratitude Journal” inspired by her relationship with her partner. She is also the host of, the 5 stars rated, A Walk In My Stilettos Podcast for women looking for the tools and motivation to conquer their fears, own their story and uncover the potential hidden within. Her passion to improve the quality of people’s lives includes making an impact in which she contributes her time spreading awareness of mindset, providing expertise on media platforms globally. She’s been seen on Huffington Post, xoNecole, BET, NBC, CBC, Vice News and much more. Makini does more than talk the talk; she walks the walk by being an example of leadership serving in the community including her recent run for Member of Provincial Parliament in the 2018 Canadian Election.
On episode seven we hear from Michelle Nicole Colthrust.
Michelle has always felt a deep passion in becoming a helper, so much so it persuaded her to obtain her diploma as a Social Service Worker. After obtaining her diploma, she landed two jobs one working specifically with women and the other working with children & youths. Through her work Michelle managed to form great relationships, while serving the community. This then began her creative idea to begin her own brand called Made BeYOUtiful. Made BeYOUtiful was created to provide an outlet to discuss and educate women and girls on topics such as self-love & healing, healing after trauma, understanding anxiety and understand what abuse looks like specifically narcissistic abuse. She also volunteers her time as a peer bereavement supporter, mostly supporting victims of homicide. Michelle’s goal is to show all those who follow or support her, the new and older generation love. As simple as that may seem, life already hits many of us hard and we don’t need to beat ourselves up about it. Michelle is about spreading love through speaking her truth.
On episode six we meet Donovan McKenzie.
He founded Heart of a Man to offer an alternative and the organization is making an impact in our community.
Donovan is a community mental health advocate with special interest in men's issues. He has spent years helping people to challenge ideas about what it means to be a man. His insights will offer you a fresh take on culturally acceptable norms for males and expose dangerously limiting definitions of masculinity.
Donovan's experience with depression and PTSD has made him passionate about ending the stigma. By sharing his story in a vulnerable and creative way, he challenges listeners to shift perspectives and develop the courage to reach out for help.
He founded Heart of a Man to offer an alternative and the organization is making an impact in our community.
Telisann is a patient of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). She is stems from the island of Trinidad and grew up in a household where mental illness wasn't spoke about and was easily dismissed.
Throughout her adolescent years she was molested and beaten. She struggled with muting her pain for years but now stands firmly in sharing her truth with hopes of inspiring others that they too are not alone, and they too can facilitate their own own healing by taking control of their narratives and speak out.
Facebook: Alisa Fuller
Pamela A. Davis is the founder of Queen of Resilience Inc. She believes to be a true Queen and that God must be the center of your life. She created QOR to provide women, especially college women, with quality support in mental health awareness. She encourages, mentors and empowers women to become the best version of themselves by instilling the true essence of resiliency while becoming conquerors. Davis is an Empowerment Speaker, Event Manager, HR Professional, and Singer who is determined to increase Mental Health Awareness “One Queen at A Time.”
Cleoni Crawford - a woman on a mission. Conqueror of challenges. Mental health advocate. A leader in her own right. Cleoni is a U of T graduate who has become a young, passionate and resilient entrepreneur on a mission to raise awareness about mental health by courageously telling her story in a new book entitled “The Music of My life.” Due to unfortunate circumstances that would take the lives of her sister and sister’s best friend, Cleoni’s struggle with bipolar disorder inspired her to take a leap of faith and devote her life to mental health awareness. Her journey to recovery has propelled her to further her studies at Centennial College in the Addictions and Mental Health program.
Since being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2006, she has been hospitalized 26 times, homeless, incarcerated, and suicidal. Despite this, she has taken her story to fuel her passion to give back as a mental health advocate and speaker.
Twitter and Instagram: @onlycleoni
Youtube: OnlyCleoni TV
Actress. Filmmaker. Mental Health Advocate and TEDx Speaker.
Buchanan's impact, entrepreneurial work ethic and achievements within the last few years has led her to being listed as one of the 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada, one of the 150 Black Women Making Canada Better, one of the 150 Leading Canadians for Mental Health and one of the 30 women (internationally) to make the Highly Fabulous Women's Power List for 2018. She was also awarded the Young Fem Leader award and the Entrepreneur of the year award.
Stacy-Ann made Canadian history when her award winning documentary, The Blind Stigma debuted as the first documentary produced in Canada that takes a look at how mental health is perceived in the Black Community.
Her most recent accolades includes accomplishing her first TEDx Talk and being recognized for her Entrepreneurial Spirit and an Inspiration of Change at the 2019 International Women's Day award ceremony held at the Jamaican Canadian Centre.
Adding to her credentials is her role as co-donor of The Buchanan Scholarship - This award is given to a student entering their first year of post-secondary education in the Liberal Arts or the Fine Arts program and is is based on a demonstrated financial need and having an excellent academic record.
Ms. Buchanan is a Motivational Leader and a Mental Health Advocate who boldly shares her intricately, powerful journey towards her success while inspiring others to turn their "Pain into Power" and to "Make their Passion their Paycheck."
In the inaugural season and episode of The Blind Stigma podcast, we hear from Dr. Natasha Williams. Dr. Williams moves women from “typical self care” to radical self care by redefining selfishness so that they can improve their physical, emotional and mental health. During her 13-year career as a registered Clinical Psychologist and the Clinical Director of her own practice “Allied Psychological Services” she has empowered many women to challenge their gender, cultural and ethnic paradigms in order to create a new narrative for themselves so they can work through their healing process, live their life on their own terms and ultimately become the best versions of themselves. Dr. Natasha Williams’ work is published in academic journals, she is also an accomplished professional speaker and a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. She has traveled across Canada and the United States as well as around the world to places such as Hawaii, Peru, Japan, South Africa, Trinidad, Suriname, Haiti, Jamaica and India where she has spoken at major conferences, trained medical staff and lectured at post-secondary institutions.
Find her on:
Facebook: Dr Natasha Williams
LinkedIn: Dr Natasha Williams