Stand Up to Stigma

Speakers Dr. Newman, Gord Hein and Walt McKinley May 27 event

A Light in the Dark: Overcoming Stigma
An Evening of Inspiration, Strength, Hope

5 to 10 p.m., Friday, May 27
Donald Gordon Centre, Kingston, ON

Join us as we present three passionate speakers who will share their stories of mental health and addictions, trauma, stigma and recovery:

  • Walt McKinley: The best-selling author of Monsters in My House: A True Story, will join the event via Zoom from Arizona. McKinley's book is a memoir of the horrific abuse he experienced as a child and his rise from tragedy to triumph to become a leader and speaker on the topics of living your best life.  “At almost 16 years old I chose to fight for myself,” he says.  “The path to healing my trauma didn’t happen overnight, but it showed me one choice can dramatically change the outcome of our future. Your history does not define your legacy.”
  • Dr. Adam Newman:  A well-known local physician and addictions specialist, Dr. Newman will speak on personal and professional experiences with addiction and recovery.
  • Gord Hein:  A practicing social worker in the ICU of a Saskatchewan hospital. Mr. Hein will talk about mental health and addictions in hospitals.

General admission tickets:  $45, which includes a copy of Monsters in My House

Online only tickets: $25

Click here to register now. 

The  Light in the Dark event is one of many initiatives sponsored by our Mental Health and Addiction Care program as we work to boost awareness about the impact of stigma through our Stand up to Stigma!  Let's Talk Mental Health campaign.

This initiative aims to foster supportive, thought-provoking and challenging conversations about stigma and mental health. Its goals are to encourage everyone to look at their own mental health and well-being and to have people recognize that many of us have experienced some form of mental illness or addiction in our lives – depression, anxiety, smoking, gambling and so many more. Through education and awareness we aim normalize the conversations about mental illness and addictions and to gain a better understanding of those affected. We want to create a stronger sense of compassion and understanding in our homes, workplaces and communities. 

To actively promote greater awareness of stigma we are presenting a range of opportunities to hear from those with lived experience of stigma and from mental health experts who can speak to the various dimensions of stigma and how we can address them for more positive outcomes.  Along with A Light in the Dark on May 27, other featured events in 2022 include:

Stand Up to Stigma Silent Auction

Bidding is underway for an amazing selection of items, everything from spa gift certificates to weekend getaway packages to a personal portrait session.  New auction items are added regularly .  Supported by the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation, the auction is raising funds to support stigma campaign events this year and going forward as we continue to prioritize our efforts to reduce stigma in our community.  Get your bids in...the auction action wraps up May 31.

Check out the amazing items generously donated by local merchants!  Follow this link to the online auction site, bid and win!  

Speaker Series (webinars)

We have a powerful roster of speakers eager to share their experiences and knowledge of stigma, mental health, addictions and more.  Click on the links below for topics and speakers, and check back regularly as we add to the roster of presentations:

Thank you for helping to support and be part of the change.  Thank you for joining us as we Stand Up to Stigma!