FACE Mental Illness

Faces of Mental Illness 2010

Meet the Faces of Mental Illness Awareness Week 2010


Dr. Ted Jablonski
Dr. Ted Jablonski
Marie Asuncion
Marie Asuncion
Jennifer Ashawasegai
Jennifer Ashawasegai
David Albert Newman
David Albert Newman
Christine Dubois
Christine Dubois

Face-to-Face with Christine Dubois

Christine Dubois

Christine is a mother, support worker, author, and volunteer from Asbestos, Québec. She has spoken publicly about mental illness for various organizations since 2004. Christine has been affected by generalized anxiety disorder since childhood, and was officially diagnosed at age 27. Three years later, she was also diagnosed with depression. The diagnoses ushered in a period of significant change for both Christine and her family. Christine wholeheartedly believes in taking on new challenges as part of her recovery.  Her book « La depression, le plus beau cadeau de ma vie », describes depression as the greatest gift of her life. Christine believes her book  can be a source of motivation not only for those living with mental illness, but also a tool for maintaining good mental health.  Christine hopes that by writing and sharing her story, she can help put an end to the stigma and discrimination often associated with mental health issues. Christine believes everything happens for a reason, and that the challenges she’s faced have shaped the person she is today. For Christine, Recovery is Possible.

Face-to-Face with David Albert Newman

David Albert Newman

David is an Internal Audit Project Leader with the Province of Manitoba and is currently pursuing his Masters of Business Administration degree in Winnipeg, and then his Doctorate of Business Administration. David had a difficult childhood and often experienced depression and severe anxiety. He found it difficult as a young adult to keep a steady job and even relate to some members of his family. David was hospitalized in 2005 and was finally diagnosed with schizophrenia. With medication and social support from family, and from a highly skilled and empathetic Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Rehabilitation and Recovery worker, David has learned how to live with his mental illness and is open and honest about his experiences. Love and support from his family and girlfriend, leisure activities, and volunteering with the CMHA Winnipeg Region as Board Treasurer, help keep him balanced. He advocates for stigma reduction by positioning mental illnesses as similar to other health problems that require medication. David challenges others, including the media, to reconsider how they label people with mental health issues. For David, recovery is easier when the stigma is removed. For David, Recovery is Possible.

Face-to-Face with Dr. Ted Jablonski

Dr. Ted Jablonski

When he isn’t moonlighting as “Dr. J”, the singer-songwriter who has 6 indie CD releases, Ted is a family physician who has taught and practiced family medicine for 25 years in rural Manitoba, northern Saskatchewan, northwestern Ontario and Calgary, Alberta. He has always had a special interest in mental health and wellness, which is a large part of his day-to-day clinical work. Ted has Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is challenging but also makes him an empathetic healthcare provider, as he better understands his patients’ struggles. Professional treatment, exercise and healthy lifestyle decisions help Ted manage his mental well-being. Ted believes a positive attitude and a holistic approach are essential to treatment and recovery. As part of the SAD no more Canadian Tour 2010, Ted will run, cycle and speak across Canada this fall to raise awareness of depression, specifically SAD, and inspire action to end the stigma associated with mental illness. For Ted, recovery is about regaining one's balance, and embracing life to the fullest. For Ted, Recovery is Possible.

Face-to-Face with Marie Asuncion

Marie Asuncion

Marie is a 25-year-old musician and English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher from Toronto. As a teenager, Marie became unorganized in school and began to hear voices telling her what to do. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 15, but doesn’t let her illness define her. With the help of medication, family support and her faith, Marie has been running towards her goals and has hit her stride – she was even chosen as a Torch Runner for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. She graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Music and has a private music studio teaching piano and harp. She also performs harp at weddings and events around Toronto. In addition to teaching harp and ESL to students, Marie is active in the Filipino community and volunteers across the province raising awareness and talking to youth and their families about schizophrenia and psychosis. She has also been featured in documentaries, radio ads and newspaper articles for her advocacy efforts. For Marie, giving back is something that comes naturally. For Marie, Recovery is Possible.

Face-to-Face with Jennifer Ashawasegai

Jennifer Ashawasegai

Jennifer is an Anishinabek Nation citizen from Henvey Inlet First Nation, Ontario. She is a journalist who has written stories for North American Indigenous newspapers and is currently producing a national radio program reporting on Aboriginal news, culture and entertainment. Jennifer also lives with bipolar disorder. From the age of 12, she experienced alternating periods of depression and extreme happiness. Jennifer sought professional help and combines medical treatment with traditional First Nations healing methods that focus on body, mind and spirit. Her connection with her culture and her two children keep her grounded and focused on her goal of wellness. Creative outlets like writing, photography and art, and participation in cultural ceremonies, help her manage her illness. She is also a proud member of women's hand-drum group Min We We.  As a journalist, Jennifer has written about mental health issues to raise awareness and help reduce stigma.  Jennifer has realized bipolar disorder does not define her, but it has shaped her life, and she has learned to live with it successfully. For Jennifer, Recovery is Possible.