A little about Sharon
Sharon lives in beautiful Northwestern Ontario in Thunder Bay. She holds a diploma in Social Service Work and spent twenty years supporting individuals with various special needs and their families. She is an avid volunteer and has held leadership positions with many community organizations including the Pass Lake Volunteer Fire Department, Canadian Red Cross, Thunder Bay and Area Victim Services, Thunder Bay Family Network, Family Alliance Ontario and the Thunder Bay branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association. Sharon is an Oder of the Red Cross Member and, in 2015, received the Governor General’s Sovereign’s Medal for her community work. In 2019 Sharon took on the volunteer role of Northwestern Operations Manager for Boots on the Ground, a 24/7 peer support service for first responders. She works full time in the field of emergency management. In 2021 Sharon was recognized as a Champion of Mental Health by the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment.
One of Sharon’s many passions is her work to promote education and awareness regarding mental illness and thereby remove the stigma and misunderstanding that often surrounds it. For over forty years she has waged a personal battle to overcome the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Complex PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. During her career in social services, Sharon also witnessed the effects of trauma with the many clients she supported on their paths to overcome issues such as addiction, homelessness, abuse, and violence.
After decades of hiding her illness and living in silence, she embarked on a journey of recovery through a variety of methods and sought out support from friends, family, and mental health services. It was during this time that Sharon found her voice and began advocating through public speaking and education on mental illness and wellness. Her personal and professional experiences provide valuable insight in to the darkness that can come from trauma but also the resilience each of us has to pursue recovery and make positive changes.