Faces of Mental Health - Steven's Story

Mental illness is not anonymous. Those who struggle have names and faces, lives and families, passions and challenges. To help break the stigma, the Outrun the Stigma Edmonton planning committee reached out to the University of Alberta community to share stories on mental health.

Hear their stories and their experiences.

Steven Planden

Steven Planden, Edmonton

Steven Planden, Edmonton

I have bipolar disorder and was diagnosed in 1999. After strong treatment and work with my doctors, and other healthcare professionals, I have come to realize that the disorder does not own me but rather is a little part of me. It comes as part of the total package. 

My self-worth and identity are not tied to mental illness, but rather to family, friends, and relationships that shape me. It took time to understand this but through things like working, recreational activities, and openness and understanding from others; I am very self-aware of who I am and how my disorder impacts my life both positive and negative. 

My strength is my ability to adapt to change and grow as a person. People who have mental health issues are not disabled but rather able with the right treatment and direction from all who can erase the stigma that follows it


Want to join the Faces of Mental Health campaign?

Email us at edmonton@outrunthestigma.ca to learn more, or direct message us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook @outrunthestigma

We would like to thank the brave individuals featured in this campaign for their openness and resiliency in the face of struggle. Thank you for opening up and sharing your stories!


Do you need support?
If you in immediate danger of hurting yourself or someone else phone 911. For other support please call:
Calgary: Distress Centre Calgary - (403) 266 HELP (4357)
Edmonton: The Support Network Distress Line - (780) 482 - HELP (4357) 
Are you somewhere else in Canada? Find a crisis line near you. 
International? Find a crisis line near you.
To chat with someone live online go to 7cups.com.