LGBTQ+ Mental Health: What We Need to Know
Date: Jun. 16, 2022
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Stacey Chomiak (Bachelor of Animation ’09) is a writer, artist and an LGBTQ speaker who just recently released her coming-of-age memoir, Still Stace. Stacey will share her experience of her teenage and young-adult years of heartbreak, family conflict, trying to become ex-gay and finding love. Hear Stacey’s story and how she was able to overcome all of these obstacles and learned to love her full self and become the best of everything.
Following Stacey’s story, we will have a panel discussion with Stacey, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and the Positive Space Network. The panel will discuss the challenges LGBTQ+ youth experience and how it can impact mental wellness. The panel will offer information, support and strategies for parents, caregivers, peers, and the community, as well as support and strategies on access to mental health care and services for LGBTQ+ youth.
Date: June 16, 2022
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Stacey Chomiak, Bachelor of Animation ’09
Stacey Chomiak is an artist, author, LGBTQ speaker and art director in the animation industry. She got her start on the well-loved series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. While she continues to lend her talents to various children’s animated shows, she also illustrates and writes kids books that represent the queer community. Both Still Stace: My Gay Christian Coming-of-Age Story and Rainbow Boy published in 2021. She lives happily nestled amid the tall trees of the West Coast, not far from Vancouver, Canada. Stacey identifies as a gay Christian, and loves to advocate for the LGBTQ community and have conversations around faith and sexuality. More info on staceychomiak.com.
Melanie McGregor, Manager, Quality Improvement and Development at Canadian Mental Health Association – Halton Region Branch
Melanie McGregor has been part of the CMHA Halton Region Branch team since 2012 where, among many other things, she helps people learn more about mental health, wellness, and how they can care for themselves and support others. She teaches both Mental Health First Aid and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training courses and writes a bi-weekly wellness column for local Halton newspapers.
Phi Trân Trinh (They/He/She), Program Coordinator at the Positive Space Network
Phi is a former Halton resident and is a program coordinator at the Positive Space Network. They are committed to creating safer opportunities for QTBIPOC youth to explore their identities in ways that meet their desires and needs.
Phi attended Toronto Metropolitan University from 2014 to 2019 where they completed the Bachelor of Social Work program and developed an interest in Kari noodles. In 2018, Phi received the EDI award for their work in the university's International Student Support program.
Phi has worked frontline in community-based settings over the past six years as a facilitator, interviewer, storyteller and consultant. They initiated the “Expressive Zine Program” in 2017 to celebrate the stories of strength amongst the QTBIPOC youth in Halton. Phi is passionate about breaking down barriers to support youth in ways that allow them to have fun, and generate a sense of belonging in the community. When Phi isn’t developing programs, they are watching drag, reading comics and checking out zine festivals.
Dr Cherie Werhun, Strategic Lead, Signature Learning at Sheridan College
Dr Cherie Werhun is the Strategic Lead for designing Sheridan’s new signature learning experience for students, faculty and staff across the College. Previously the Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning, Cherie worked with colleagues in the development of faculty to support Sheridan’s commitment to delivering exceptional learning experiences that focus on principles of universal design, inclusivity and accessibility.
With a PhD in Psychology and a focus on the psychological experience of stigma, stereotyping, and discrimination on learning and the development of self, her professional experience includes faculty and administrative appointments at the University of Winnipeg, OCAD University, Rotman School of Business and the University of Toronto.
At the heart of Cherie’s passion is working with others to co-create spaces where people feel they can thrive. She has been recognized nationally for her teaching and mentorship. She has mentored university campaigns on positive space and inclusion, and ran a national institute on designing inclusive education. She is an active member of Sheridan committees focused on EDI, has designed courses and programs on unconscious bias, and is one of the founding members of Sheridan’s Indigenous Education Council.
She identifies as queer, is married to her partner, Chrissy – they live in Toronto in the Beaches, and her pronouns are she/her.
Canadian Mental Health Association
Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is the most established, most extensive community mental health organization in Canada.
We are a federated charity, which means we are a collective of organizations bound together by a brand and mission. Together, we identify and respond to Canada’s most pressing mental health priorities. At the national level, we push for nationwide system and policy change. At the community level, millions of people in Canada rely on CMHA’s extensive grassroots presence.
Positive Space Network
The Positive Space Network builds community and creates safer spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ youth ages 6–24 in Halton Region by creating youth-focused programming, providing mental health support and cultivating community partnerships. We are actively working towards a future in which diverse 2SLGBTQ+ youth, individuals and families live in a welcoming and supportive world.