FACE Mental Illness

Face-to-Face with Shana Calixte

Shana is completing her PhD in Women’s Studies at York University, is the leader of a community organization, and is a loving partner and parent. At the age of 16, Shana was diagnosed with severe seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and after the birth of her son in 2006, she began to experience postpartum depression. Despite her lifelong struggles, Shana decided not to allow mental illness to be a barrier to a fulfilled life. Today, Shana is the Executive Director of the Northern Initiative for Social Action (NISA), a consumer/survivor initiative, where she proudly provides assistance to others living with mental illness. Shana attributes her recovery to putting her heart into her work, community support, speaking publicly about mental illness, and leading a healthy lifestyle. As a role model to people from all walks of life, Shana directly challenges stereotypes often attributed to those living with mental illnesses. By raising awareness and increasing understanding of mental illness, Shana inspires others to realize their gifts and their own potential to live a full, rewarding life. For Shana, Recovery is Possible.