• Halifax Central Library, Room 301 (map)
  • 5440 Spring Garden Road
  • Halifax, NS, B3J 1E9
  • Canada

Come join a number of media experts talk about the history of how mental health issues are reflected in modern media and how some Haligonians are working to change perceptions portrayals of mental health in today's media. This event is offered free of charge to everyone!

Attendees have the opportunity to win a mental health workshop for their agency or corporate partner or group facilitated by panel host and reachAbility CEO Tova Sherman, valued at $2500. One ballot per attendee.

This panel is presented in partnership with our host partner, reachAbility!

There will be ASL interpretation provided at this event.

If you require accommodations for any event (nothing special about that), please reach out to 902-209-4304 or baff@reachability.org.


Tova Sherman.jpg

Tova Sherman is CEO and co-founder of reachAbility (2000-present), an award-winning agency that provides comprehensive programs and services for and about our most disenfranchised citizens. Ms. Sherman is credentialed by Cornell University (Executive Management) and her success has been recognized across Canada (The 2013 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal of Honor, YWCA Woman Entrepreneur, CBA: Canada Law Day Award, Mel Hebb Award and more). Her passion for helping people, shifting paradigms and the everything-ness that is culture has helped her build reachAbility and BAFF to what it is today. 

For nearly three decades, Cathy Jones has been an audience favourite. Her catalogue of performances extends across television, film, and theatre, where she has evolved her talents to become a household name in Canadian comedy. After co-founding the award-winning comedy troupe CODCO, she became an original cast member of This Hour Has 22 Minutes. She is the only performer to star in all 26 seasons of the legendary CBC comedy show. Cathy’s accolades precede her reputation, winning the ACTRA Award of Excellence in 2013, as well as an incredible 18 Gemini Awards for her work as a writer and performer. On top of this, Cathy was honoured with the Canadian Screen Icon Award in 2016. Beyond her lengthy career and many achievements, Cathy is a passionate advocate for the environment, a Buddhist, a mother, and a proud grandmother who works and writes from her eco-home on the East Coast.

Tyler Simmonds speaks openly about his experience living with mental illness, reminding people that recovery is possible and emphasizing the importance of talking to getting well. His is clearly a message that resonates with many. In 2016, the Huffington Post named him one of the “10 Inspirational people under 30 you should be following on Twitter.” With a history of severe depression and anxiety, Tyler credits his recovery journey with helping him finally talk about his issues. Now a motivational speaker, he tells his story to inspire others. Last year he found success with a new medium, receiving a Best Local Short Film award at the Bluenose Ability Film Festival for his film In My Mind.

Laura Burke works in the field of mental health as a counsellor, drama therapist, and researcher. She moonlights as a poet, playwright and actor who uses the arts as a means of advocating for those impacted by mental illness. Much of her work involves deconstructing sanism and stigma and supporting others in redefining extreme states of mind, and reducing mental health discrimination. Laura lives in Halifax, NS, where she enjoys exploring, and spending time with 12 urban chickens.

Joel Kelly is an award-winning marketer and writer who's worked with some of the world's largest tourism and hospitality brands on their digital marketing, and currently helps businesses and organizations of all sizes do more in-house marketing with the team and resources they already have. His clients have included Pebble Beach Resorts, Nassau Paradise Island, Dalhousie University, and CBC.