As part of Mental Health Week 2023 and the theme of #MyStory, the WRSPC team is going “beyond the bios” to answer 5 questions which share different pieces of their stories.
Continue reading to learn more about Karyn, one of the Program Coordinators with WRSPC!
What is one song, movie, or television show that is guaranteed to make you smile?
One song is that is guaranteed to make me smile is “Send Me on My Way” by Rusted Root. I’m not if it’s the beat or the memories that are attached to the song that make me smile, but it is one of my favourite songs!
Name one place, community, or situation where you feel a sense of belonging or feel most at home?
I was born and raised in Kitchener, and there are two places in Downtown Kitchener that have always provided me with a sense of belonging: Victoria Park and the Kitchener Public Library’s Central Branch. These are two of my safe places, the places I can go to process things, engage with my community, and learn about the world around me. These places remain incredibly special to me- so much so that my husband and I had our wedding ceremony at the KPL in 2022!
What is your favourite self-care or stress-reducing activity or habit?
I tend to flip through hobbies faster than you can flip a coin, so there are many activities I enjoy and help me to reduce stress. Two constants in my life are reading and going for walks. I try to start my day with 30 to 60 minutes of reading, while walks are always how I have managed my strong emotions or processed difficult experiences. When I lived in Ottawa for university, you could frequently find me completing 2 to 3 hours walks around the downtown core and Rideau Canal!
What is an accomplishment that you are most proud of?
One of the accomplishments I am most proud of is completing my Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) from Carleton university throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. This was my first time moving away from home, my family and my support system, and I had to deal with the quick transitions to online school when the pandemic began. There was an incredible amount of imposter syndrome at times with many moments of doubt and uncertainty. However, this experience also provided me with the opportunities to be published as an author and co-author in two academic journals.
Which aspect of your work gives you the greatest sense of purpose or meaning?
I’m deeply connected to our work in suicide prevention through my own lived experience with suicide ideation and bereavement. Being able to connect with community members and hold space for them, as others have done for me, is an honor and privilege that I hold closely. In particular, being able to engage with youth and provide them with information/tools I could have benefitted from at their age, gives me such a strong sense of hope, purpose, and meaning.
To learn more about Mental Health Week or to check out the other beyond the bios, visit: www.wrspc.ca/mental-health-week-2023