Mental Health Advocacy and Activism: Perspectives on Systems and Social Transformation

Participants will be introduced to systems transformation goals and activities of mental health advocates/activists in Manitoba, Canada.


About this event

This is an online event. You can register here.
Note: You can register for free with the code “Freebie.”

Co-sponsored by Mad in America Continuing Education and Brandon University

All webinars are recorded and posted at:

The participants will be introduced to highlights on social justice and systems transformation goals and activities of mental health advocates/activists in Manitoba, Canada based on an oral history project. Lisa Walter and Nigel Bart will discuss their own perspectives on mental health advocacy and education, barriers to collaborating with health care providers, the links between creativity and advocacy, and tools for mental health advocacy. The intention is to invite discussion of issues involved in living experience-based practices working for system and social transformation.


Lisa Walter, BFA, is a social change educator, and has worked with the Empowerment Council and the Psychiatric Disabilities Anti-violence Coalition, among many others. She has also co-instructed courses in post-secondary/continuing medical education, and designed training for service user educators. Lisa is a visual artist and has presented artist talks at galleries and universities across southern Ontario.

Nigel Bart, BFA, was the Founder and Studio Facilitator of Artbeat Studio Inc. Music and art play a large role in Nigel’s life and were a great resource in his recovery after the onset of schizophrenia at the age of 19.

Recognizing a strong connection between mental health and creativity, Nigel and his parents opened Artbeat Studio Inc. in 2005 to offer free studio space to artists recovering from mental illness.

Nigel has a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Video Major, has produced an award winning anti-stigma video “Inside Out” and has had his work exhibited at the National Art Gallery of Ottawa. He is an active mental health advocate, spokesperson, and presenter and has been the recipient of several awards including an honourary artist award from the MB Foundation of Arts and The Flag of Hope Award from the Schizophrenia Society of Canada.

Presently, Nigel has accepted a position at the Golden Prairie Arts Council (GPAC).

Dana Naismith is a registered psychiatric nurse and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatric Nursing in the Faculty of Health Studies at Brandon University. Dana’s research interests include gathering data through personal narratives of those experiencing mental health struggles. Dana has studied and published in the area of Recovery and Student Mentorship experiences and is an advocate for those with Mental Illness.

Moderator: Stan Rossowski is a person with lived experience of mental and emotional distress living in recovery from disorder and dysfunction who uses that experience to support others seeking recovery and a life worth living. Stan is a helper and someone who receives help, a lifelong learner as well as a teacher, an activist for social justice, a peacemaker, and a real nice guy.