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
Homme de cœur au service des autres, Jean-François a d'abord œuvré comme avocat en pratique privée au tout début de sa carrière pour ensuite se diriger dans le domaine des services financiers.
Au cours des dernières années, il a occupé un poste de planificateur financier spécialisé auprès des professionnels et des chefs d’entreprises jusqu’au jour où sa vie a littéralement basculé. Personne n’est à l’abri de la dépression et Jean-François était loin de se douter qu’il en ferait un jour les frais.
Convaincu que son histoire peut influencer la trajectoire de quelqu’un d’autre, il a entrepris une carrière de conférencier pour ainsi faire de la prévention et de la sensibilisation.
Il est extrêmement fier de pouvoir rejoindre l'équipe de Relief à titre d'ambassadeur pour faire de la santé psychologique une priorité au sein de nos organisations.
biography: Florence K.
Dès la sortie de Bossa Blue, en 2006, son tout premier album studio, Florence K se fait remarquer pour son aisance au piano et sa facilité à écrire et à chanter en cinq langues, dans tout autant de styles latins et jazz. Le coup de foudre du public pour cette artiste montréalaise est instantané et Florence enchaîne les tournées et les spectacles tant au Québec et au Canada qu’en France, à New York, en Asie, au Brésil, au Pérou, et à Cuba. Musicienne libre et ouverte à tous les vents, elle récolte un disque platine et deux disques d’or et remporte au courant de sa jeune carrière deux prix Félix, le prix Gilles-Vigneault de la SPACQ, ainsi que plusieurs nominations aux prix Junos.
Aujourd’hui, Florence cumule près de 10 albums dont le dernier intitulé Florence a été acclamé par la critique et le public. Artiste accomplie ayant à cœur la cause de la santé mentale, elle s’implique activement auprès d’organismes comme porte-parole, ambassadrice et bénévole. De plus, elle a animé, en 2020, pour Savoir Média la série télévisée Vivre en funambule, dont chacun des six épisodes portait sur un trouble de santé mentale. Elle est aussi à la barre de l’émission hebdomadaire C’est Formidable, sur les ondes de CBC Radio et de CBC Music, dans laquelle elle fait découvrir les trésors de la musique francophone aux Canadiens d’un océan à l’autre. Finalement, parallèlement à sa carrière musicale, Florence a fait paraître deux livres et un troisième est prévu pour l’automne 2021.
biography: Nicholas Routhier
Nicholas Routhier is a serial tech entrepreneur in the information technology and multimedia sectors with more that 25 years of experience. He started in 1998 when he founded his first venture, SENSIO Technologies, driven by his passion for 3D. He led the company as its President and CEO from its early days as a tech Startup to a publicly traded company working with world-class partners and customers such as Samsung, Disney, the NBA and FIFA. Since 2016, within his latest venture Mindtrick Innovations, he has been pushing the boundaries of stereoscopic technologies with the goal of democratizing 3D and creating a vibrant and universal immersive experience ecosystem.
Nicholas is an experienced speaker, having presented and participated to various panels at international trade shows such as CES, NAB, Electronic Imaging, SATIS (France) and CEATEC (Japan). As a seasoned technologist, he is named as an inventor in more than 15 patents (granted or pending) for innovations which have generated millions of dollars in licencing revenues throughout the years. Nicholas is also committed to giving back and supporting the entrepreneurial community, coaching and mentoring numerous young tech entrepreneurs, emphasizing the importance of their mental wellbeing.
biography: Paul Simard
Paul Simard is the father of three beautiful girls, as well as a trained mental wellness guide and small-group facilitator, focusing on men and couples, as well as small-to-medium sized organizations.
He uses a variety of tools to create safe spaces for participants to move through a range of experiences, from stress and anxiety to addiction, abuse, and trauma. His primary goal is to help participants to create a deeper sense of alignment within to set the foundation for more empowering and fruitful relationships, whether that is at home, in the community or in the workplace.
He is also the founder of huMENity and The Dad Cave peer-driven support communities that encourage men (huMENity) and fathers (The Dad Cave) to connect more deeply with their emotional and physical selves, as well as a facilitator and men’s coach. His work focuses on men of all ages, in small group work as well as one-on-one coaching.
He has written multiple articles on mental wellness, masculinity/femininity, 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.