Meet Ampai Thammachack
I founded Step Above Stigma to create something that could not only raise funds and awareness but facilitate systemic change in our community. After watching so many friends and loved ones suffer from mental health issues without even knowing what mental health was, and going through many personal mental health struggles as well since I was young, knew that more could be done to tackle such an omnipresent deficit and challenge.
The biggest hurdle we hope to overcome as a team is to normalize what it means to have mental health and suffer from mental illness. Everyone deserves to know that they are supported both by our community and the policies that build our environments and dictate access to care. We also want build and continue conversations around mental health and mental illness as well as show without words that we stand together as mental health advocates.
The symbol of Step Above Stigma is the semi-colon with a heart. In written language it represents a place where the writer could have stopped, but instead continued writing. In the mental health community, the semi-colon symbolizes the continuity of mental health awareness, as well as solidarity and affirmation with addiction, depression, suicide and mental health issues. The semi-colon is a symbol of strength and support amidst suffering and hopelessness.
Since 2017 we have grown from a nervous idea and a few socks into a team of hundreds of volunteers across Canada working to eliminate the stigma around mental health, a mission that would not be possible without you. Thank you so much, truly.