During the 11 years of the SHINE Initiative’s annual Keep Your Mind OPEN celebrations, we have welcomed some notable speakers, among them Patrick Kennedy, Michael and Kitty Dukakis, author and suicide attempt survivor Kevin Hines, and filmmaker Paul Dalio.
We are especially excited to announce this year’s keynote speaker will be MARGARET TRUDEAU, former First Lady of Canadaand mother of Canada’s current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.
Her appearance at Worcester’s Mechanics Hall on October 12th will mark her first-ever speaking appearance in Massachusetts.
Canadians fell in love with Margaret when Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau brought her to the world stage in 1971 as the youngest First Lady in the history of that country. After three sons with Pierre, the marriage ended. She then remarried and had two more children. But the tragic loss of her son, Michel, in a skiing accident in 1998, and the passing of Pierre Trudeau a few years later, were too much to bear, and she became severely ill.
On May 5, 2006, she announced she had bipolar disorder.
Today, Margaret has rebuilt her life. She brings her formidable life story to the stage in her quest to help others, sharing her message of resilience with the goal of helping to inspire others and to erase the stigma surrounding mental illness. Margaret sits on the Executive Advisory Board of the University of British Columbia Mental Health Institute as a community advocate.
Margaret is the author of four books, including her bestselling title, Changing My Mind, which charts her life’s ups and downs and of living with bipolar disorder.
“We’re delighted to be welcoming such an iconic figure to Worcester, and especially to share her personal experience with mental illness and how she has achieved wellness,” said Paul Richard, executive director of the SHINE Initiative.
Since 2013 the SHINE Initiative has participated in more than 150 classroom presentations, teacher, parent and community forums, health fairs, and mental health and wellness conferences that have led to engagement with more than 27,000 students, teachers, parents and other adult caregivers.
Inspired by the interest and enthusiasm of young people, the SHINE Initiative recently created SWAT – Student Wellness Advisory Teams – that empower students to become mental wellness advocates in their schools and communities.
Proceeds from the October 12th SHINE Initiative gala will support the expansion of SWAT and mental health awareness and education in schools in Central Massachusetts.
The gala begins with a 5:00pm social hour, featuring hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction, followed at 6:00pm by dinner, awards presentations, and video presentation. The evening will culminate with Margaret Trudeau’s keynote address.
More information about the gala, including ticket and sponsorship information, can be obtained by calling the SHINE Initiative at 978-870-1494, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.