Co-Founders and Co-Executive Directors

 

Amy (Simei) Li

I am currently in my second year of medical school at the University of Calgary.

Running with friends is an important part of my mental wellness. Personal experiences and spending the past 4 years as a crisis line volunteer have showed me importance of knowing available community resources. Being able work with such a dedicated and talented team to share my passion across Canada is an incredibly amazing opportunity!

A fun fact about myself is that I LOVE early morning runs. Nothing makes me happier than getting to start my day with a cup of coffee and a run!  

Reach me at: simeiamyli@outrunthestigma.ca 

Leah Shipton

I am a Master of Public Health candidate at the University of Toronto pursuing a career in the field of global mental health. I also work part-time on a research team in the Department of Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies at the University of Calgary.

I'm involved with OTS because I think investing in mental health and wellness should be a priority in our communities. I want our organization to contribute to reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and illness by engaging youth and community groups in a way that is respectful and inclusive.

A fun fact about myself is that I have hiked mountains and/or volcanoes in five countries: Canada, Guatemala, Peru, Rwanda, and Pakistan!

Reach me at: leahshipton@outrunthestigma.ca

Instagram: @leleships

 

Program Management Team

 

Amanda Lee, Program Director

I will be starting medical school at the University of Alberta in the fall.

Mental health is such an important aspect of overall health. Yet, our mental health is often the first thing we neglect when things become stressful or life throws us a curveball. Hence, I am involved with OTS because I feel that, by engaging all members of our diverse community and sharing stories in an initiative that connects physical health, mental health, and overall health, OTS can play a crucial role in eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health and mental illness and in advocating to Canada at large that mental health matters.

A fun fact about myself is that I love spending time in the mountains and I love fruit!

Reach me at: amandalee@outrunthestigma.ca

Jenna Dobry, Program Director

I have just graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and am looking into new job opportunities in the research field.

As someone who struggles with depression and anxiety I still deal with the stigma surrounding mental illness from not only society, but from myself as well. I have learned first hand how difficult it is to overcome stigma and I truly believe that through the support of the OTS NPO team, our chapters, and everyone we touch through our events, we get one step closer everyday.

A fun fact about myself is that I lived in Ireland for six months during my third year of university. 

Reach me at: jennadobry@outrunthestigma.ca

 

Outreach Team

 

Mohit Vohra, Outreach Director: University Partners

I have completed an undergraduate degree in biomedical sciences at the University of Calgary and will be beginning medicine at the University of Alberta in the fall.

I am motivated to promote positive mental health in the community and help dispel stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide. I am excited to be a part of OTS to help accomplish this goal.

A fun fact about myself is that in the future I would like to have a side job as a movie critic.

Reach me at: mohitvohra@outrunthestigma.ca

Monica Montgomery, Outreach Director: Business and Charity Partners

I am currently pursuing my Bachelor of Commerce degree at the Haskayne School of Business, majoring in Operations Management.

I am involved with OTS to fight the stigma surrounding mental health. I want individuals to feel loved and accepted no matter what illness they face.

A fun fact about myself is that both my parents are originally from Europe!

Reach me at: monicamontgomery@outrunthestigma.ca

 
 
 

Lucy Ni, Outreach Director: University Partners

I am entering medical school at the University of Alberta this coming September.

I am involved with OTS because I think it is crucial to initiate conversations on mental health, and educate people on the importance of quality mental health service and research.

A fun fact about myself is that I play the Guzheng, a traditional Chinese zither that has existed for 2500 years.

Reach me at: lucyni@outrunthestigma.ca

Alec Watts, Outreach Assistant Director: University Partners

I graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science from the University of Calgary. I am currently the program coordinator for a research program which assists individuals with Parkinson’s disease improve their gait disabilities through the use of music.  

Raising awareness about the stigma that surrounds mental illness is something I am very passionate about. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, I have personally experienced the detrimental impact stigma can have on one’s well-being. It is my conviction that organizations like OTS play a vital role in helping eliminate stigma within our community, so that no one will have to suffer in silence any longer.  

A fun fact about myself is that I love to sing classical music! Music plays an important role in my life by counterbalancing my scientific pursuits and helping to relieve stress. 

 

Special Projects Team

 

Raveen Virk, Special Projects Director

I am currently enrolled in my final year at the University of Calgary pursuing a BSc. in Biological Sciences w/ a minor in sociology.

My commitment to mental health was inspired by the realization of the societal and self-stigma surrounding the topic. I believe that each individual’s experiences with mental health are unique, however coming together in a supportive community can help engage and empower everyone alike.

A fun fact about myself is that I am a Bollywood enthusiast and enjoy performing Bhangra, which is an Indian folk dance. 

Reach me at: raveenvirk@outrunthestigma.ca

David Lau, Special Projects Assistant Director

I am currently an undergraduate neuroscience student at the University of Calgary.

I am passionate about mental health and to ending the stigma associated with it.

A fun fact about myself is that I am a fan of the Harry Potter series.

Reach me at: davidlau@outrunthestigma.ca

 

Communications Team

 
 

Clare Hickie, Communications Director and Special Projects Assistant Director

I am currently working as an undergraduate student researcher with the Campus Mental Health Strategy at the University of Calgary and finishing my last year of my BA in Psychology (Honours) with a minor in International and Local Development. I became involved with OTS because I have a huge passion for mental health. As someone with personal experience with mental illness, I can understand the struggle that millions of Canadians face every day as they work to lead active and healthy lifestyles. Outrun the Stigma provides a platform for people to come together and share their stories and experiences, as well as lend support to community initiatives

A fun fact about myself is that my middle name (Linnea) is a flower named after famed botanist Carl Linneaus - which jumpstarted my love for plants and community gardening!

Reach me at: clarehickie@outrunthestigma.ca

Rashmeet Dhillon, Communications Assistant Director

I am finishing up my 4th year of Biological Science at the University of Calgary and graduating in November while doing lots of volunteer work.

OTS gave me an opportunity to become part of a passionate team, all of us working towards creating a supportive community to fight against the stigma surrounding mental health.

A fun fact about myself is that I have been learning and performing Bollywood dance ever since I was a kid and I am also slightly obsessed with pugs.

Reach me at: rashmeetdhillon@outrunthestigma.ca

Shine Vazhappilly, Communications Assistant Director: Content Manager and Social Media

I am currently working as a research assistant at the Alberta Children's Hospital.

I am involved with OTS because I believe that mental health is just as important as physical health, and want to help ensure that the appropriate resources are available to anyone who needs it.

An interesting fact about me is that I love to go hiking and experience the outdoors!

Reach me at: shinevazhappilly@outrunthestigma.ca

 

 

Administrative and Evaluation Team

Gabby Wagner, Administrative and Evaluation Director

I am currently enrolled in my 4th year of a Bachelor of Science in Biological Science at the University of Calgary and I am also working as a research assistant in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences on the side.

I became involved with OTS because I know first hand what is it like to experience the stigma associated with mental illness and I am dedicated to starting a conversation around mental health in order to reduce the stigma and create an inclusive and supportive network.

A fun fact about myself is that I have swam in the ocean surrounding the Galápagos Islands with wild penguins!

Reach me at: gabbywagner@outrunthestigma.ca