Meet the team behind Step Above Stigma.
Hailey Rodgers, Co-President
Mental health advocacy changed my life completely. Advocacy allowed me to accept myself as I am and to not be ashamed of my past or any battles that I am currently facing. It allowed me to share my own story with the world without shame or doubt. Moreover, I never thought that I would one day find meaning in these battles. I never thought that my battles could help someone else. The moment I opened up about my story, individuals began to confide in me about their stories and asked me to point them in a direction where they could receive help. Sharing my story opened the door for someone else to share theirs. You see, through your struggle, there is incredible strength. Your strength can positively impact the lives of many people. Storytelling acts as a catalyst for change. As soon as we begin to normalize storytelling and facilitate a community of encouragement and support, then we will break down the stigma. As soon as we break down the stigma and build awareness, we can normalize mental health accessibility and all have the mentality where we know that it’s okay to ask for help.
Jessica Gregoire, Co-President
Mental health is very personal to me, as many people close to me and myself have struggled with it. Mental health does not mean weakness, and I think many people have yet to recognize that. That is why I wanted to be a part of Step Above Stigma, to advocate for those who are struggling and to end the stigma surrounding mental health. Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of others. If you or anyone you know is suffering, know you are not alone and that it will get better. I am always here for anyone who needs to talk.
Ampai Thammachack, Founder
The mental health community is built by and for individuals who all have mental health, and we have come so far. Notwithstanding, many still do not have access to stigma free environments and resources to actually be mentally healthy. Step Above Stigma’s goal is to raise funds, awareness and facilitate systemic change, a goal taken lightly by none. However, I know our team can do it because we are not only an organization but a family of mental health advocates who support each other to strengthen our community, together.