Chris Nihmey

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We are extremely pleased to announce our special guest speaker for our event:
Chris is an Ottawa-based mental health and wellness advocate, author, motivational speaker, and teacher. He was just awarded the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre 2019 Personal Leader for Mental Health Inspiration Award and alongside this, he received an Ottawa Catholic School Board 2019 Director of Education Commendation Award. In 2018, he had the honour of receiving Ottawa's 2018-2019 Mayor's City Builder Award for his extensive work in mental health in Canada and beyond. In 2017, Chris was selected as a 2017/18 Face of Mental Illness for the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (www.camimh.ca).
In 2013, Chris released his poignant memoir "Two Sides To The Story: Living A Lie" This book has now sold approximately 4000 copies and is a source of hope and inspiration for sufferers and supporters. His illustrated picture book on the homeless and mental illness, "Sally", was released in 2015, a story of empathy, compassion, and acceptance. His latest, "Reflections From Another Side: Mental Illness Survivors and Advocates Unite to Write" an anthology of writings by sufferers and their advocates, will be released in the fall of 2018. All three books are published with Chipmunka Publishing in the UK.
In 1998, Chris began his teaching career before succumbing to his various illnesses. He was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2001. Subsequently, he was diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. He resigned from permanent teaching in 2000, a painful decision preventing him from moving forward in his life. For decades, Chris battled these three life-debilitating illnesses. In combination, they nearly destroyed him. Knowing the extreme dangers of stigma in society, he made a decision to hide his illnesses, living only one side of his life in front of others. He hid behind an unexpected ally, writing, and found hope through words.
"I share my story to give people hope. Healing does happen."
Chris Nihmey
Survivor, Advocate, Author & Presenter