Centering Mental Health | Understanding and Combating Mental Health Stigma Around the World

October 4, 2022, 12pm ET

About This Workshop

One of the greatest barriers to receiving quality mental health care for individuals around the world is the pervasive stigma associated with mental illness. Join Richard Lui as he hosts a discussion with two leaders in the fight against mental health stigma: Mme. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and Jessi Wolz of the organization RefuSHE. We will examine:

  • What mental health stigma looks like around the world, and within various communities
  • How de-stigmatizing mental illness can support individuals' decision to seek help
  • How yoga professionals can de-stigmatize mental health in their classes and daily lives

Supporting Documents

Transcript (PDF)

About the Presenters

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau is a loving, inspired, adventurous woman and a mother of three children including two teenagers.

For the past 20 years, Sophie has been an engaged advocate for gender equality, mental health, emotional literacy and the importance of physical activity and contact with nature. In 2022, Sophie was named the first-ever National Volunteer for the Canadian Mental Health Association which aims to redefine and destigmatize mental health and illnesses. As a trained television host and interviewer, Sophie offers 60 minute interviews on ELLE CANADA AND ELLE QUÉBEC social media platforms where she allows public personalities to share their mental health struggles with fellow Canadians.

In 2018, Sophie received the Humanitarians Award from the United Nations Association of New York. Over the years, she has lent her support to Plan Canada’s “Because I am a Girl” initiative, the FitSpirit Foundation, and Parks Canada as an Honorary Guide for Families. In 2017, she was named influencer for the Deliver Good campaign for Women Deliver championing gender equality and the health of girls and women world wide. Nature Canada also named her « 100th Woman for Nature » personifying its mission to connect more Canadian youth and families to Nature.

Her intrinsic curiosity and her willingness to explore spirituality motivated Sophie to study hatha yoga and attain her teacher certification. She also completed her “Radiant Child” kundalini yoga training, a practice specifically for children, and has taught classes on a volunteer basis at a public school close to her home. As an outdoor enthusiast, Sophie loves to push physical and emotional boundaries by practicing various sports such as hiking, skiing, skating, mountain biking , swimming and more. And to maintain balance, she practices and leads relaxing Yoga Nidra sessions. Living life, one breath at a time.

Jessi Wolz lives in Nairobi, Kenya and is Chief Investment & Resource Officer at RefuSHE, where she spearheaded the integration of trauma-informed yoga into RefuSHE’s mental health program for refugee girls. Jessi is a global development professional with over 13 years of experience in the design, implementation, and assessment of social change programs around the world. In 2017, she completed her 200-hour YTT followed by a 40-hour trauma-informed yoga training with Hala Khouri and Kyra Haglund, after which she started a mind-body trauma therapy program for young gender-based violence survivors in Kibera slum in Nairobi. In addition to a master’s degree in international development, she holds a graduate certificate in Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery from Harvard Medical School, and she completed the Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR I) course at Eastern Mennonite University.

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