Skip to Main Content


Cohort 7, September 2022-May 2023 Canadian Cohort, in partnership with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

In partnership with The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Canada, the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health kicked off the seventh cohort of the LET(s)Lead Academy on September 15, 2022, with 12 emerging leaders with lived experience. After ten weeks of classes about transformational leadership, mental health advocacy, and cultural humility and justice, Fellows will engage with mentors to create a transformational community project to use their newly developed leadership skills in their local area. The academy will then meet monthly for leadership development and project support until graduation in May 2023.


  • Julia Bailey is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto in psychology and population health. Her lived experience with depression, anxiety, and ADHD has compelled her to advocate for mental health services within her community and destigmatize the vast array of these disorders. She has taken part in several research initiatives pertaining to the treatment of mental illness, while exploring the impact of novel drugs for treatment-resistant depression and bipolar II disorder. Her research endeavours have also examined how youth experience  citizenship, and the degree to which youth are receiving citizenship-oriented care.

    Ultimately, she is excited to share her knowledge and experience to create positive changes within the Canadian mental health care system!

  • Vishali is a Tamil immigrant from Sri Lanka, who likes to brighten up the colour of her sky in every season of life with vivid poetry, nature photography, chocolate cake and impactful stories. Her research career focuses on cross-cultural psychology, stemming from her lived experiences and experiences with marginalized communities in India, Canada and Sri Lanka. She often collaborates with individuals and organizations from the Global South on research and design projects. In the past she has worked as a research consultant for The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health, based in India. She can often be found with her phone and her tripod near Lake Ontario to capture winter sunsets.

  • Chloë (she/her) is a young Queer woman who lives with her dog Stella and many, many shelves of books. She has been in recovery from addiction for a year and a half, and lives with mental illness. Chloë is of service in multiple addiction recovery programs, with her current role as a district chair for the Hospitals and Institutions trustee committee at the World Services level. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Social Work with dreams of being a peer support worker, hoping to work with people experiencing psychosis. Chloë spent the first year of the pandemic volunteering for her city counselor making sandwiches for local people in need, and currently volunteers weekly in a grade one class at a local elementary school. She has a background in theatre and finds comfort in creative outlets as a method of healing. Chloë is incredibly excited to be a fellow in this year's Toronto cohort of the Yale LET(s) LEAD program!

  • I have fourteen years of lived experience in the system and currently I still live in it. My experience as someone who has lived in the system has made me into an advocate for change from within the system by pursuing social services at Humber College. I studied before social work, pastoral ministry which I bring to the table in a unique way through blending faith and social work. 

    My goal for the program is to see how I can develop my voice as a leader since I have as someone who is a survivor often felt voiceless and lost in translation. I believe that the program is going to help draw out what I know is already within.

  • Dion Flores was born in Toronto where he went to elementary and high school where he took pride in his academics and musical studies. When he was 17, he moved to Waterloo, Ontario to attend Wilfrid Laurier University to study music education and piano. After graduating, Dion moved to St. John's, Newfoundland to pursue graduate studies and Teacher's College. For the last three years, he has been a music teacher teaching in private studios, elementary schools, and in thecommunity. 

    This year, Dion is back at Laurier pursuing a second master's degree in Community Music with research focusing on mental health and social justice in Community Music. He is looking forward to growing with the Yale Let(s)Lead cohort this year!

  • Emma (she/her) is currently employed with the Ministry of the Attorney General within the Provincial Government of Ontario. She has been a public servant since graduating from Queen's University, Smith School of Business with a bachelorʼs degree in commerce. After going through psychosis that resulted in suicidal thoughts and eventually being diagnosed with a mental health illness, Emma was driven to make strides to help others through advocacy in her personal and professional life. Emma is passionate about changing the landscape within her organization when it comes to supporting those with lived experience and the adversity they face. She hopes that through robust policy development and hearing directly from those with lived experience, her workplace will implement the necessary training and decision-making required to further enhance the resources available to Ontario Public Servants.

  • Chloë Grande (she/her) is a communications specialist turned eating disorder recovery speaker, writer and blogger. In recovery for 10+ years, she's open about her experiences with mental illness and educating others on the stereotypes and stigmas that exist. Whether through speaking engagements, facilitating workshops or collaborating with leading mental health organizations, she strives to change the way we talk about eating disorders. Chloë holds an MA in Journalism and Communication from Western University and a BA in English Literature from Queenʼs University. Sheʼs a fan of restorative yoga and reading, and draws inspiration from individuals who embrace their vulnerabilities.

  • Jade Hui is a Buddhist, nonbinary Master's student from Hong Kong, studying religion and sexual diversity studies at the University of Toronto. Their major research paper focuses on asking "How might the Buddha and Buddhists guide a psychotic queer?", attempting to explore multiple responses, untangling a problem-cure framework and centering resources they themselves found helpful surviving as a Buddhist psychotic queer. Bridging gaps between Buddhist studies and Mad studies, they wish next to dive into postcolonial Hong Kong studies/Sinophone studies to track how identities are being policed by colonial mentalities and structures.

  • Aloha (she/her) is a proud Filipina youth mental health advocate from Scarborough, Ontario, and currently works as a Youth Engagement Specialist with CAMH. She has worked with a number of mental health non-profit organizations, which empower youth and young adults to remove the stigma surrounding mental health. Graduated with a degree and diploma in Justice Studies at the University of Guelph-Humber, and currently taking an Accelerated Law Clerk program at Seneca College, Aloha hopes she may combine her passion for mental health and the justice system to make a big change within her community. Through sharing and drawing from her own lived experience, she hopes that she'll be able to reach others who struggle with finding their full potential because they worry their mental health will get in the way of their success.

  • Hi, I'm Amber Phillips. I am an amateur photographer and the area that I live in is known for our beautiful sunsets on the shores of Lake Huron. Photography helps me get out of my head and focus on the beauty that surrounds me and in each photograph I take. I am a published writer and have written about my lived experience to help myself in my recovery process and to bring Hope to the person(s) reading my published pieces. Also, I like to read thrillers, play video games, knit and watch the waves on Lake Huron.

  • Angela Walcott is a Toronto-based multi-disciplinary artist whose interested include sustainable art practices; research geared towards chronicling the story/stories of early settlement patterns of African-Canadian and Afro-Caribbean communities; intergenerational trauma as a result of colonial settlement/de-settlement; displacement and community-building in the Caribbean, Latin and South America.