call for speakers for mental health camp vancouver 2011

the 3rd edition of MentalHealthCamp vancouver is happening soon!  on july 23rd, precisely.  the conference is about the intersection between social media and mental health.

is this a topic you’re interested in?  would you like to talk about it, or lead a workshop? 

here’s your chance – our call for speakers.

we are looking for session leaders who speak from personal or professional experience with mental health or mental illness. please note that this is unpaid – we are entirely volunteer-run.

we will have approximately 10 45-minute slots, with 6 slots for prearranged speakers (e.g. approved by the selection committee), and 4 slots for “mental moose” – a continuation of the unconference tradition of moosecamp at northern voice.  during “mental moose”, participants who are interested in leading a session can pitch them on saturday morning with a quick 30-second talk.  everyone will then vote on which sessions will be presented, and the winning sessions will be scheduled.

the theme for this year’s MentalHealthCamp is


diversity of opinions
diversity of religion
diversity of ideas on how to deal with mental health
diversity of sexual orientation
diversity in age
diversity in ethnic backgrounds
diversity in socioeconomic status
diversity of ability
and … ? (please feel free to add!)

each one of these topics contains vast, interesting fields in and of themselves. just think of the topic of mental health among british columbia’s south asian population; the diverse/diverging of the radical psychology group (here with another diversity topic: gender and bodily difference); or mental health and christian churches. we could even look at diversity from yet another point of view – adding the topic/twist of mental health to existing bodies of research, such as the growing area of research into tourism and mental health.

since MentalHealthCamp is about the intersection between mental health and social media, speakers and participants will discuss issues that touch on both topics, in whatever weird and wonderful and different ways. also, this will continue to be a grassroots-based event. as long as a speaker has something interesting and constructive to contribute, it is of no consequence whether she or he has a PhD in psychiatry or is a master in the art of living a life touched by mental illness. come one, come all! it is, after all, about diversity. on the other hand, MentalHealthCamp is not an ideal venue for very general talks on stress reduction, time management or the like.

once again, we might also have a virtual session.  if you’re unable to attend the conference in person but have the technical know-how, let’s talk about using technology to bring you right into our conference here in vancouver.

if you’re interested in presenting, please send us a short (100 words or less) description of the proposal, together with a short (50 words or less) bio about yourself by june 16.  please send it to moritherapy at shaw dot ca.

the conference will happen on july 23, 2011, from 8:30am  to 5:00 pm, at vancouver’s gallery gachet at 88 east cordova street .


  1. Okey Dokey … I’d like to do a presentation on “Loonecy is an Equal Opportunity Employer”.
    I am an Employment Counsellor and I am also a mental health survivor. I’ve done my time on Psych wards both with clients and with myself and I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone is a bit wacky. That being said, every gender, ethnicity, age, ability, does, at one time or another (or constantly) experience all the symptoms and issues described on psychotropic medication bottles. So, what’s a mental health patient, what’s “normal” and why would anyone want to be “normal” anyway.

  2. what about ” the truth about reading is not black or white”? i wonder if my co-speaker is up for it?

  3. “Judge My Character, Not My Diagnosis: Overcoming Mental Adversity”

    Dennis Coppola

    “Dennis’ workshop will re-energize and motivate you to do better.” – Malik R, Massachusetts
    Know someone who is defeated? Either by the hard knocks of life or by mental illness? Dennis will help build your confidence by changing the way you look at the stigma of mental health diagnosis, You will learn strategies and techniques to overcome mental adversity, while learning how accept yourself and others for who they are based on their character not their diagnosis.
    ” Dennis is a very detailed listener, thinker, and problem-solver. In our discussions, he has always been great about reflecting back the essence of what he has heard me expressing, then he asks if that is correct. He then takes it to the next step by asking thought-provoking questions. Dennis is a great coach and his style makes me feel valued and heard, and he gives me great ideas for moving forward! Thanks Dennis, I appreciate you! ” – Karen H, North Carolina
    • How to practice non-judgment with everyone
    • How to build a tenacious mindset to help you when you are in despair
    • How to help others in despair and inspire hope
    • Learn how to breakthrough self-limitations

    “I highly recommend Dennis, as he is both an excellent speaker and motivator. I have found all of his presentations instructive and useful. ” – Ed K, Massachusetts
    Dennis Coppola is the founder and CEO of Life Leadership Developers. Dennis Coppola is an expert on overcoming mental adversity. Dennis helps organizations and individuals build confidence and mental health awareness to empower decisions and choices. Dennis’ reach and teach 50,000 people by 2015 campaign will help increase mental awareness. Dennis has a Masters Degree in Teaching and Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, both from Northeastern University. Dennis is a Licensed Massachusetts Teacher. Dennis resides in Boston, MA.

    Dennis Coppola, MAT, CPS

  4. Hello Isabella,

    I have first hand knowledge of working with the mental health system on behalf of a close family member. My precious Mom, a sweet soul, had been trying for years to get the help she needed for chronic PTSD as a survivor of severe childhood abuse. She overdosed three months ago due to the “system” (multiple doctors) attempting to medicate her pain away, both emotional and physical. She was in the hospital for about two months getting better after going through breathing tubes and a tracheotomy. She was up and walking around a little each day, had started eating and wanted off the cocktail of medication. Just when we thought she was close to release, she had what I believe was a heart attack and died. Mom was only 64 years old. The hospital called it “going into distress” and that’s all the info they have. The staff knew nothing about treating a patient as a holistic human being, never mind one with a chronic and serious stress disorder. For our society to become healthier, we MUST improve treatment for people with mental health illnesses from hospital stays through to community care. As Ruth said above, at some time many of us will go through challenging periods in life where mental/emotional help is needed. Its too late for my Mom but I’d like to contribute to creating positive change for others facing similar circumstances. I have spoken to groups in a marketing/PR/social media capacity and could integrate my story/message in with social media once I had some time to think of how. Please keep me in mind for any upcoming related events on mental illness and the health care system. Many thanks and appreciate what you are doing to bring awareness to a growing and critical issue.

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