Anita participated in the Peer Researcher Training in 2017 and soon after, joined the research project. Anita gained even more experience through the Mental Health Commission of Canada when she participated in the SPARK training workshop for Knowledge Translation and became a Mental Health First Aid Instructor in 2018.
Through her peer experiences and learning opportunities, Anita discovered her passion for working in mental health, reducing stigma and helping others with lived experience. She is also a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) facilitator and works as a Peer Education and Advocacy Support (PEAS) facilitator for patients in Acute and Patient Assessment Unit at Vancouver Coastal Health.
Anita’s background includes a Bachelor of Arts in English from St. Mary’s University (Halifax) and a Media Diploma from Capilano College (North Vancouver). She spent over twenty-years working in web marketing, communications and writing before transitioning to research and mental health.
Anita volunteers on mental health committees to improve the patient experience and collaborates on research projects through Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care. She is also a board member of Liberation in this Lifetime, a retreat for people recovering from substance and/or a mental health crisis.
Anita is currently an ambassador for Dress for Success where she speaks about her personal journey and participates in special events and fundraisers. Anita has also been invited to share her experiences as a guest speaker at conferences. Her most recent projects include writing, storytelling and performing stories focused on mental health and recovery.
During her downtime, Anita enjoys cuddling with her cat “Caaaaaat”, stretching her imagination by writing and doing improv theatre, and finding balance through yoga and meditation.