Recently I spoke at a book launch for Lee’s recently released book,  A Quiet Strong Voice.

Lee’s mission is to bring hope & inspiration to people struggling with mental health issues. ‘Going Blue for You’ is a meaningful campaign to raise funds for crisis lines and build awareness for the nearly 7 million Canadians who are impacted by mental health.

If you’d like to support Lee in this worthy cause, head on over to this page and watch the video to learn more about how you can help.

And if you’d like to listen to my speech check this out :: we all have a story

If you’d like to read the speech, forge ahead…

I am honored to celebrate Lee and her Quiet Strong Voice.

We all have a story. I want to tell you three short stories tonight. That’s it, no big deal, just three short stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots…this is my story.

I started this life in struggle and suffering. Sexual abuse darkened my childhood. I felt the devastation of depression. Panic attacks stole a portion of my adolescence. I let fear dictate my every decision and thoughts of suicide stifled my early adulthood.

They say we teach the lessons we need to learn. That’s my life story, summed up in a sentence. I have suffered…and searched for answers to relieve my suffering because I wanted to find solutions. To heal myself — and others.

In my search for knowledge, I found wisdom. I began to see the purpose in my pain. It was my suffering that drove me to my life’s work. It drove me to feel deeply and love fiercely.

The second story is about a fork in the road…this is my story of meeting Lee

After a decade of searching for answers I ended up with a few degrees in psychology and hung out my shingle in hopes that I might be able to help someone. I entered my profession and began telling people that I was a psychologist. I now know, that I was hiding behind my degrees and credentials hoping that someone might like my professional story and want to work with me.

Then I met Lee.

Lee brought courage with her. And thankfully, she left a little behind for me.

Lee inspired me to share my own story of darkness and suffering, a story I never thought I would share with the world. Lee helped me to see the truth: it is in sharing our stories that we can really begin to change the world in a meaningful way. I decided to start sharing my story and that is what has made all the difference. Lee helped me to take the road less travelled. And for that I am eternally grateful.

The third story is about offering light in darkness…a story of a quiet strong voice.

I have learned that the most important journey we can take is the one that takes us into knowing and loving ourselves. “A Quiet Strong Voice” is a story of that journey. This book hits home for me because I took that same journey and I’ve walked beside my clients as they find their way.

When living in the depths of depression and behind the veil of anxiety, trying to find your own way out can be difficult. What I love about this book is that it is a map for those who are lost. It’s an engaging story that emphasizes the lessons that Lee gleaned throughout her struggle.  It is a toolbox of practical strategies. It is a reservoir of inspiration to help others find their way.

There is someone in my life who is very precious to me. Recently, she was struggling and in a very dark place. When she told me what was going on for her– Lee and A Quiet Strong Voice was what came to mind.

Out of hundreds of books I have in my library and the thousands of resources that I have access to, I knew without a doubt, that this book was what I wanted her to have.

If you have a loved one who is going through a tough time, I would encourage you to reach out, offer your love and support, and provide them with this valuable tool.

The benefits of hearing the real life experience of someone who has struggled through depression and anxiety are undeniable. Hearing about the journey from someone who is open, real, self-aware and courageous can be tremendously healing.

It is in sharing our stories that others come to see that they are not alone.

I would love to see A Quiet Strong Voice in the hands of everyone who needs hope and support.

And as you move into the story of your life…may you find comfort and strength in your quiet strong voice.