The Stigma-Free Society, Formerly the Bipolar Disorder Society of British Columbia, has a true grassroots history, which was first a project ignited by Andrea Paquette, who created a Bipolar Babe t-shirt and Bipolar Babes website to share her personal experience, so others did not have to suffer in silence like she once did. Her efforts led to meeting supportive and dedicated individuals in the local Victoria community who formed the Bipolar Disorder Society of British Columbia in 2010. The Charity changed their name to the Stigma-Free Society in August 2016, to expand their mandate and include the conversation around all stigmas, with a focus on mental illness.
The Stigma-Free Society is a registered Canadian Charity since 2010 and has designed programs providing education about stigmas with an emphasis on mental health and peer support for those facing mental health challenges with a special focus on youth.
The Stigma Free Society’s Vision, Mission and Values
We live in world of understanding, respect and acceptance of ourselves and one another
Stomp out stigma through awareness, education and support.
What People Are Saying
"Because of your presentation, I feel less nervous about meeting my biological father who has bipolar disorder. "
— ~ Grade 11 Student, Edward Milne Community School
" I have taken a few courses on mental illness because my mom has it and she found out at the age of 11. It is really hard for my mom because she dealt with a lot of depression but now she is 53 and getting back into things. I love seeing her smile and I love seeing her happy. "
— ~ Grade 7 Student, Lansdowne Middle School
"“Andrea is the most engaging and charismatic speaker that I have had into my classroom in the past 10 years as she has a lasting impact on the students, and I have no doubt that my class will remember this experience for years to come."
— ~ Scott Gordon, Planning and Psychology Teacher, Stelly’s Secondary
"Every week I am blessed with the opportunity to go and have a chance to share my ups and downs, my confusion and frustrations, and my joy and happiness. It is a place for laughter and tears."
— ~ Bridget, Participant with Lived Experience, Women’s Support Group