Sharing Stories of Mental Illness and Recovery


  • This dynamic 8-week workshop ran successfully in 2012 and is returning in 2013. In a supportive peer group, (up to 6) participants will embark on a journey of exploration, focusing on writing and speaking about the personal experience of mental illness and recovery.
    • Are you living with a mental illness?
    • Are you curious in exploring what ‘Recovery’ means to you?
    • Are you interested in decreasing stigma about mental illness?
    • Are you keen to educate and inspire others by sharing your story of hope and recovery?
    • Are you interested in acknowledging accomplishments you’ve made on your journey?
    • Are you willing to dedicate yourself to writing your story of recovery, attending all eight workshop-sessions and completing assignments on your own?


    If so, this workshop may be for you!

    Participants will become the author of their recovery story, each week discussing new concepts for story-telling. Through guided writing and sharing activities, participants will organize and articulate their experiences into a fluid story that provides insights into the experience of mental illness and key components of one’s personal recovery journey.


    Workshop Outline:
    Session 1 – Author of Your Recovery
    Session 2 – Create Structure
    Session 3 – Express Experience
    Session 4 – Transform
    Session 5 – Reach Beyond the Page
    Session 6 – Communicate Your Message
    Session 7 – Connect, Inspire, Engage
    Session 8 – Reflect on Recovery

    By the end of this workshop, participants will:

    • Build confidence and respect for themselves and the skills gained during the recovery process
    • Discover elements involved in recovery for self and peers
    • Select aspects of one’s overall journey to share in the finished story
    • Complete a written story of one’s personal recovery journey
    • Practice maintaining boundaries around private topics
    • Develop skills for managing questions from an audience about one’s story
    • Gain experience sharing one’s story with peers
    • Be preparing to present their story at the Graduation Event held during National Mental Illness Awareness Week (May 5-11, exact date TBD)
    • Receive a Certificate of Completion

    Interested people will meet with the facilitator prior to registration to ensure group members have similar goals and needs. Pre-registration is required. Space is limited to six participants. Please contact facilitator Seia Roots at with inquiries.

    Facilitator Bio:
    Seia Roots is dedicated to helping people empower themselves. This empowerment results in improved personal well-being and healthier communities. Seia’s personal experience with mental illness and recovery has inspired her to engage others living with mental illness to grow and fully live their own recovery. Sharing the insights gained from recovery journeys is a powerful way of changing attitudes and instilling hope for those affected by mental illness. As a community educator with The Canadian Mental Health Association, Vancouver-Burnaby Branch, Seia leads ‘Responding with Respect’ workshops to help the general public increase awareness about mental illness and how to best support the recovery process. Since 2002, Seia has been regularly sharing her personal story of mental illness and recovery. Currently writing her memoir, Seia is delighted to have this opportunity with the Consumer Initiative Fund to learn and share in this dynamic workshop.

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