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Mental Health & Resilience

January 25th 2017 | 5:00PM to 7:00PM

Trying to navigate personal challenges with mental health while managing a career can be stressful. Meet professionals who have struggled with mental health challenges and hear how they have succeeded in having successful careers. 


Margaret Laurence Room, Ryerson Student Centre

55 Gould Street, Toronto, ON M5B 1E9



Dr. Diana Brecher ( Moderator )


Clinical Psychologist, Centre for Student Development and Counselling, Ryerson University


Dr. Diana Brecher is clinical psychologist who has been working at Ryerson’s counselling centre for 25 years. She is adjunct faculty in the Ryerson University Psychology Dept. and recently her long-standing interest in positive psychology and flourishing led to a year-long secondment to the ThriveRU program within Student Affairs at Ryerson University.  She has a certificate in Applied Positive Psychology from the Flourishing Centre.

Diana's goal has been to infuse programming and services with these principles of flourishing and to help facilitate a cultural change within the university to increase possibilities of thriving in all students.

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Jeremy Elder


Senior Manager, Social Media and Content Marketing, RBC


Jeremy has over a decade’s experience in social media marketing, brand management, content strategy and copywriting for some of the world’s biggest brands including RBC, Virgin, Bell, BlackBerry, Doritos and Microsoft. In his current role as Senior Manager, Social Media and Content Marketing at RBC he works bring to life global talent attraction programs for Recruitment, Technology, Campus, Diversity & Inclusion, and more. As Social Media Manager for 8 years at Virgin Canada he developed the social media strategy and programs for Virgin Mobile, Virgin Unite and Virgin Festival Canada. While creating on-site and influencer strategies for events ranging from Osheaga to the MUCH MMVAs to the Calgary Stampede. He also sat on Virgin’s global social media group and had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to volunteer for Sir Richard Branson in South Africa. While working as a social media consultant for Bell Canada, Jeremy designed the original social media and community response strategy for #BellLetsTalk Day, which has since grown into one of the most buzzed (and most tweeted) corporate social responsibility campaigns in the world and has committed more than $79 million to mental health awareness in Canada.

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Jillian Coey


Mental Health Advocate, Financial Services


Jillian Coey is a successful professional working in the financial services industry. Jillian knows first-hand what it’s like to live with a mental illness and uses her own experience to challenge stigma and demonstrate how a positive work environment can help. Jillian knows that by sharing her own story and demonstrating that someone with a mental health problem can overcome adversity through self-care, resiliency and support. A volunteer with Partners for Mental Health, Jillian is passionate about engaging people in conversations and changing attitudes about mental illness.

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Shayan Yazdanpanah


Student / Mental Health Advocate, Ryerson University

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Stacy-Ann Buchanan


Producer/Filmmaker/Mental HEALTH Advocate


Stacy-Ann Buchanan is a professionally trained theater and film Actress with numerous theater productions, commercials and film credits under her belt. In 2012 she landed the title of Producer when she created and produced her first event, The Mystic Effect; a show that embodies music, poetry, dance, fashion and film. The overwhelming success of the show prompted her to create her own production company, Stacy-Ann Buchanan Productions and on April 28, 2013, her company was launched. On March 8, 2014 she was presented with the Entrepreneur Award at the International Women Achievement Awards. Stacy-Ann prides herself on being a budding Philanthropist and part of the proceeds from every The Mystic Effect show went towards a charity foundation. In 2014, she established the Stacy-Ann Buchanan Scholarship-- a monetary gift that is given to a student entering his/her last year of high school or first year of College and pursuing Arts related studies or courses and is made available through the Jamaican Canadian Association. In October of 2014, she established herself as a Filmmaker by directing and producing her first documentary, the award winning, The Blind Stigma which discusses mental health within the Black community by chronicling and testifying the stories of five individuals (including herself) on their trials and triumphs with mental health. The Blind Stigma powerfully removes the veil of shame that clouds the topic of mental illness in the Black community, challenges that misconception, and gives a voice to Black Canadians living with mental illness, leaving the audience more informed and empowered. The documentary premiered on February 7, 2015 and has since won the Art with Impact award, featured on CP24, City TV, G98.7, AOL/MSN, The Huffington Post, Bell Let's Talk and featured in several film festivals throughout North America. Stacy-Ann's impact, work ethic and achievements in the community led her to being selected as one of 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada 2015 and was awarded the Young Fem Leader award for the same year. Adding to her credentials is her position as a Motivational Leader and Mental Health Advocate where she shares her intricately, powerful journey towards her success while inspiring others.


Ryerson Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

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