our ambassadors' club
Because there are never enough people to raise awareness about the realities of living with anxiety, depression, and bipolarity.
We are proud of our Ambassadors’ Club and each member’s commitment. Thank you for lending us your voice to spark a conversation around mental illness in the workplace. Your stories enable us to continue to destigmatize issues and to remind people that, just like physical illness, mental illness can happen to anyone—regardless of age, gender, professional level, social status, nationality, or ethnicity.
Your vulnerability and transparency touch and inspire lives.
Author, Speaker, Coach
biography: Jean-François Lacasse
A man with a heart for helping others, Jean-François began his career as a lawyer in private practice, before moving into financial services.
In recent years, he worked as a specialist financial planner for professionals and business leaders, until the day his life literally turned upside down. No one is immune to depression, and Jean-François had no idea that he would one day suffer the consequences.
Convinced that his story could influence someone else's path, he embarked on a career as a speaker to raise awareness and help prevent depression.
He is extremely proud to be able to join the Relief team as an ambassador in making psychological health a priority within our organisations.
biography: Florence K.
Florence K has always been passionate about music and writing. A successful pianist and singer for over twenty years, she has won several artistic awards, including two Félix (ADISQ) awards and numerous JUNO nominations, for one or the other of her ten albums.
In 2015, following a major depressive episode, Florence wrote her story and published her first book, Buena Vida (Libre Expression). It quickly became a bestseller, reflecting the importance of discussing mental health openly. This was followed by “Nueva Vida: Leading the Dance with Bipolar Disorder” (Libre Expression, 2021). She is currently working on her next book, “Quand ceux qu'on aime sont en détresse”, “When those we love suffer”, in collaboration with the Relief organization (to be published in 2025 by Libre Expression).
Florence K is currently pursuing her PhD in clinical psychology and research at UQAM and her research focuses on the links between creativity and mood disorders. She also devotes much of her time to destigmatizing mental health and promoting access to psychological care.
Since the beginning of her studies, she was awarded the Grande Diplômée de l'Université TÉLUQ and the diplômée d'honneur du département de communication de l'Université de Montréal, in addition to receiving a Fonds de recherche du Québec grant, a perseverance grant and a commitment grant from the Université de Montréal, as well as an excellence grant from the Fonds de l'Université du Québec.
Her conference "Mental Health: Leading the dance" is in great demand in the community, educational, corporate and healthcare sectors. Florence also hosts the weekly radio show C'est Formidable! on CBC Radio and CBC Music.
And her new album, Brésil mon amour, is a tribute to Brazilian composer Antônio Carlos Jobim.
biography: Nicholas Routhier
Nicholas Routhier is a serial tech entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in the information technology and multimedia sectors. He notably co-founded SENSIO Technologies and led it from its inception to its initial public offering, collaborating with world-class partners and clients such as Samsung, Disney, the NBA, and FIFA. His journey was marked by significant successes but also major setbacks. The closure of SENSIO in 2016 marked the beginning of a challenging period that culminated two years later with the suicide of a former colleague. This experience triggered a significant personal journey of grief, recovery, growth, and well-being that transformed his life and his entrepreneurial perspective.
Since 2016, he has been mentoring leaders of tech startups in achieving their success and realizing their dreams. Having personally faced episodes of stress, anxiety, and psychological distress, Nicholas now advocates for a more humane entrepreneurial approach based on respect, compassion, and mental well-being for founders. Driven by this vision and a desire to be a catalyst for change, he decided to join Relief as an ambassador in 2021. He openly shares his experiences, successes, failures, and the lessons learned without reservation, in order to pay it forward and enable a new generation of entrepreneurs and businesspeople to navigate their professional journeys with greater serenity.
biography: Paul Simard
Paul Simard is the father of three beautiful girls, a speaker and writer, a death doula, and a trained mental wellness guide. He focuses on small-group facilitation, primarily with men and couples, as well as small-to-medium sized organisations.
He uses a variety of tools to create brave spaces for participants to move through a range of experiences, from stress and anxiety to addiction, abuse,trauma and our relationship to death and dying. His focus is to support individuals and organisations to engage in the “Dangerous Conversations” that they never knew they had to have, but that support their overall health, well-being and success.
Throughout his life, Paul has navigated a wide range of mental health challenges, with significant impact on his psychological and physical well-being, as well on his personal and professional life. With a commitment to being a more supportive father and global citizen, he has come to believe that one of the most important shifts we can make around mental health is the relationship that we have with our emotions and experiences.
He has written multiple articles on mental wellness, death and dying, masculinity/femininity, decolonization/ repaganization, and leadership, has been a guest on multiple podcasts, and is a TEDx Speaker (The Mythical Man).
biography: Petrona Joseph
Petrona's planned suicide 10 years ago was a cry to God. And when a friend of hers joked about her being "bipolar", she brushed it off. Years later, while suspended on a 30,000 feet bridge and having the worst panic attack of her life, she was forced to face her mental illness. She will probably always live with suicidal tendencies, but now understands how to ride the waves of her depressive episodes. She knows that hope and despair come and go in waves and her job is to make my way back to the shorelines of hope.
Sharing her story is one way that she can contribute to breaking the cycle of stigmatization, shame, fear, and guilt that compounds our efforts to heal our mental health. Her book Stigmatized, an Amazon Best Seller, exposes the tremendous power of hope and healing and is told to offer new hope to others who are coping every day with mental illness.
biography: Martin Enault
A creative business leader with an explorer’s ingenuity and drive, Martin Enault embraces new ways of experiencing the world and doing business differently. Chief entrepreneur in residence at Centech, one of the top 10 business incubators in the world, Martin brings entrepreneurs to build companies structured solidly both financially and with strong human values. He was previously COO of Felix & Paul Studios, an EMMY® Award-winning immersive entertainment studio, where he collaborated on projects such as the first captation in VR within the International Space Station. He was also COO of C2 Montreal and CEO Asia-Pacific for C2 International. He’s collaborated with some of the world's leading minds such as Richard Branson, James Cameron, Chelsea Clinton, Snoop Dogg, Yuval Harari and Steve Wozniak, on events he produced in various continents. In 2009, he co-founded and became CEO of Intellitix, the first company in the world using RFID for access control and cashless for large events, he implemented the technology for the world’s largest festivals.
Martin has been involved in bringing changes in mental health for the past 15 years. As Chairman of the non-profit Relief, he has been sharing how his struggles with anxiety and depression have shaped his life and career.
biography: Christian Kindundu
Christian is an executive in the Healthcare industry with 15+ years of experience who has personally faced “Professional Burnout”. After facing and overcoming this struggle, Christian is hoping that sharing his experience and learnings will inspire and help individuals to become aware for themselves and others to prioritize mental health.
“On November 29, 2018 my world collapsed, I learned the hard way and did not anticipate that I would be spending several months away from work on disability. #Burnout or “épuisement professionnel” is multifactorial, no one can point out one single real cause... but it happens to the best of us!”
“This journey has been a blessing in my case due to the love, understanding, and support of my family (Bérengère - my better half, Adrien and Axel - my boys), my friends, and the help of professionals (Chantal - my family physician, Céline - my soul doctor) and my corporation. Their kindness has been the most powerful source of renewable energy that shaped me today into a better version of myself!”
After facing and overcoming this challenge, Christian is grateful every day and believes that giving back is not an option but rather an obligation. It is therefore only natural for him to partner with Relief to openly discuss and reduce the stigma associated with mental health in the community and workplace.
Christian has been fortunate to live and work in many different countries (Congo DRC, Guinea, Belgium, France, and Canada). He hopes that this multicultural experience will allow him to further connect with individuals who want to discuss mental health.
biography: Joëlle Pouliot
Joëlle Pouliot started her career as a journalist in 2010 and was attracted to the human side of news. Her works include print, radio and television news for Agence-France Presse in London, United Kingdom, the CBC, the BBC, The New York Times, Agence QMI (Quebecor) and The Montreal Gazette.
She experienced her first depression at the age of 27, going through typical symptoms of “professional burnout”. A few years later, she received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, type 1.
She worked in communications for the NGO Mouvement Santé mentale Québec, to highlight the importance of caring for the human mind as much as the body. In 2021, she became a documentary film director, with her first series entitled « Better », in partnership with Relief. The series demonstrates the true impact of mental illness on caregivers.
biography: Scott Simons
For the past twenty years, Scott has dedicated his life to health and wellness. His mission is simple: inspire a daily wellness practice. To achieve this mission, he began by co-founding two non-profit organizations: the Padua Community Wellness Center in 2004 and DESTA Black Community Network in 2006, a project aimed at providing employability services, entrepreneurship and education to the black community. In 2006, he also created Organik Santé Corporative to support the health and well-being of companies and their employees across Canada. In 2020, he co-founded the Be Human Club, an eco-responsible clothing line, event planning as well as a podcast focused on cultivating a proactive mindset. Scott has over 2,000 hours of health and wellness training. He has been teaching yoga and meditation since 2009, health coaching since 2004, and has given over 500 conferences in schools, community centres and businesses since 2007.
The origin of Scott’s inspiration and motivation to promote wellness can be traced back to a 3-month stay in a rehabilitation centre at the age of 19, as well as three deep and dark depressions over the following 20 years. For years, Scott was trapped by mental turmoil and violent inner voices that repeatedly paralyzed him and his energy. Today, he is determined to share his story, impart the strategies that aided him in reclaiming control over his mental health, and demonstrate that it is indeed possible to rise up and take the power back!