Our first four Have Hope Champions are, Lindsay Byrick, Andrew Hurst, Amber McAuley and Danielle Smith. These four remarkable, resilient and inspiring people know what it means to face mental illness head on and they have hope.
This is a piece of Lindsay’s story, a small glimpse into Lindsay’s experiences with OCD and a mood disorder. Together Lindsay and her family have taken on challenges as they appear and they stand with strength and resolve. Lindsay has faced mental illness and may face it again but she is not her diagnosis. Lindsay is a much loved daughter and sister, an amazing aunt, a great friend, an environmentalist, a hard worker, and a friend to all animals. Everyone who meets Lindsay is captivated by her smile, her kindness, her compassion, her bravery and her infinite capacity to care for others. Lindsay is changing the world with her commitment to the environment and dedication to helping others faced with mental health issues.
This is part of Andrew’s story, but only a small part of a much larger story. Andrew has faced addiction and Bipolar disorder and although this has been part of his life, his life has been filled with so much more. Andrew is a man of adventure; mountain biking, snowboarding, motorcycling, exploring mountain faces and testing the limits of his body. Andrew embraces life’s challenges and he has faced more than his share but he has persevered. Andrew is part of a wonderful family, he is a hardworking, valued employee, a friend to many, and a respected mentor for those who are working on their own recovery. Andrew is a strong voice in the chorus of people working to make mental health a priority.
Amber McAuley finding a quiet moment to be present, and enjoy tea and some music
This is part of Amber’s story, a small glimpse into the life of this advocate for mental health, teacher of mindfulness, mother, partner and friend. Mental illness is part of Amber’s life but just one part of a very full life. Hospital admissions and a variety of mental health services have helped and at times challenged Amber on her journey but she keeps learning and moving forward. Amber’s energy and commitment to enriching her community and the lives of others is contagious. Warm, fun, driven, mindful, caring, charismatic, authentic, inspiring, are just a few of the words that describe Amber. From hospital board rooms to small coffee shop tables, Amber is changing the future for people faced with mental health issues.
Danielle Smith reflecting on time spent with friends, especially Will, who brought her comfort and a reason to smile during some of the most challenging days
This is a piece of Danielle’s Story, a snapshot of a much larger story of great successes, lifelong friendships and at times challenges. Danielle knows how to make the most of life: weekends with family and friends, workdays with clients, community events, concerts, lacrosse, slow pitch, basketball, crossfit, you name it she can do it. Some days living a full life also means taking time for quiet moments, time to recharge batteries and when needed taking a step back and reaching out for help. At times General Anxiety Disorder has kept Danielle from doing things she enjoys and spending time with the people she loves. With this perspective and an understanding of stigma and how it feels to be sick with an anxiety disorder, Danielle has made it her mission to create a reason to be hopeful and a brighter future for everyone faced with mental illness.
To become a Have Hope Champion you can:
- Take a picture with the people, places or things in your life that make you feel stronger, more resilient, comforted, content, happy or just a little brighter. If you feel comfortable, share a little bit about your journey to mental health. Once you have your photo and your caption ready use #havehope and share on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
- Contact us and let us know if you would like to be a featured Have Hope Champion.