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Next up at the Sarnia Speaks forum: anxiety

Published on

Tara Jeffrey

The next installment of the successful Sarnia Speaks series is a personal one for event creator Danielle Cooper.

“I’ve really been waiting for a while to do this topic because it’s something that has severely impacted my life since I was a child,” she said of the discussion on anxiety March 1 at the Sarnia Library.

Danielle Cooper
Danielle Cooper

“For so long I felt like generalized anxiety disorder robbed me of years of my life. Friendships, jobs, school and family all suffered while I was going through the worst of my struggle.”

Cooper says it wasn’t until she launched Sarnia Speaks last year that she finally started to embrace her own experience and suffering.

“I never imagined that I’d be thankful for this struggle, but I am, because it’s led me to do this.”

The upcoming event — which includes a panel of speakers followed by an open dialogue with the audience — follows a successful January forum that focused on child and youth mental health, drawing more than 300 people.

“When you see all of this coming together — the number of people who came, volunteers stepping up ensuring people have seats, people standing at the back — it honestly brought tears to my eyes,” said Cooper. “Every time we hold a dialogue, I am always amazed that people are actually coming together to openly discuss and support those who live with mental illness.”

She’s already secured a lineup of various topics to continue through 2017, in addition to the mini-speaks series’ in partnership with Lambton College’s Let’s Face It group, as well as the Good Grief Committee.

She’s also launching a new project, “My Story,” which will welcome a featured speaker in a smaller, more intimate setting. The first installment will host Paulie O’Byrne, a Lambton College grad and creator of the “I’m 1 in 5” movement, a non-profit organization dedicated to the one in five Canadians affected by addiction, mental illness, trauma and victimization. That event will be held April 6 at theStory in Sarnia.

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WHAT: Sarnia Speaks – Anxiety

WHEN: Wednesday, March 1, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Sarnia Library Theatre

DETAILS: Admission is free; open to the public


Upcoming Sarnia Speaks events include:

March 10 — Resiliency

June 28 — Gender Identity

July 27 — Racism

Sept. 28 — Experiencing Poverty

Nov. 30 — Addiction

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