About the Author
MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE
MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK CANDIDATE
To make things better for others, Kristin started writing letters to the editor in 2015 about the shortcomings of mental health care. Her advocacy on behalf of other mental health patients has continued in the media and through ongoing communication with community groups, online forums, MPPs, MPs, and other government agencies. In 2016, she participated in a video produced by London Health Sciences Centre to help their staff better support patients with mental illness. Knowing the confusion and frustration that comes from growing up with mental health challenges, in 2016, she wrote and published a series of children’s books, one each on: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and ADHD. Teaming up with a local teacher, Kristin created a comprehensive educational package for teachers to use in their classroom. She has partnered with the Rotary Club of London, which has purchased her books for use in local schools. She has shared her story and spoken to sociology and disability studies students at King's University College and Western University. In May of 2018, Kristin was the recipient of the Sharon Johnston Champion of Mental Health Award for Youth through the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health. She was also named a mental health champion through CMHA-Middlesex. More recently, Kristin's advocacy has extended to her engagement on several boards, committees and advisories. She is a past council member of London-Middlesex's Mental Health and Addictions Council and currently serves as a London Police Services Board Mental Health and Addictions Panelist, a Youth Engagement Advisor with Wellkin Child and Youth Mental Wellness, and a board member of King's University College's Centre of Deaf Education and Accessibility Forum. For Kristin, mental health advocacy is not what she does, but is who she is.
In Kristin’s free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, watching Netflix, and cuddling and playing with her cat, Charlie.
Kristin Legault-Donkers is a first-year Master of Social Work (MSW) Candidate at the University of Windsor. She holds an honours degree in psychology and disability studies from King’s University College at Western University. During her undergraduate studies, Kristin conducted research on the use of mental health bibliotherapy for children, supervised by Dr. Karen Bax. Kristin intimately understands what it is like to cope with mental illness. She has struggled with depression and anxiety since she was 13 years old. That diagnosis was changed to bipolar disorder after experiencing a mixed episode during her first year of university. Her ongoing struggles with mental illness motivated her to take action.