About The Men’s D.E.N. Founder and Mental Health Keynote Speaker, Jean-François Claude…
“Depression? Make Mine a Double…”
If Jean-François (“J-F”) were ever prone to put pen to paper to publish an autobiography, biochemistry and genetics have already chosen the title for him.
Who knew his high-school nickname of “Mr. Mood” was a precursor of things to come… 25 years later.
Diagnosed with Double Depression in 2012 at the age of 40 – with Generalized Anxiety Disorder later thrown into the mix, just to keep him perpetually on his toes – Jean-François has turned personal adversity into public advocacy for men’s mental health, launching the website TheMensDEN.ca (The Men’s Depression Education Network) in 2013.
He then orchestrated the City of Ottawa’s first Proclamation of a “Men’s Mental Health Awareness Day in Ottawa” in 2014, now held annually on the Tuesday immediately preceding Father’s Day. The first municipal proclamation of its kind in Canada, this awareness day was recently recognized nationally, earning a spot in Twitter Canada’s Top Ten Canada Day Stories of 2016.
A firm believer in the power of storytelling to bring about culture change, Jean-François regularly shares his lived experience of mental health recovery as a bilingual keynote speaker and panelist. He recently co-founded the Federal Speakers’ Bureau on Mental Health, a virtual team of federal public servants who openly share their experiences with mental health struggles, to help address the stigma of mental illness in the workplace.
Jean-François is certified in Workplace Mental Health Leadership™ from the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University, as well as in Mental Health First Aid.
For his advocacy work and anti-stigma efforts, Jean-François was presented with a 2016 Inspiration Award from The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health. He is ranked #5 in the Top 100 Mental Health Influencers on Twitter, where you can follow him as @DysthymicDad.