Get the Conversation Going with a Leading Canadian Difference Maker for Mental Health.
View a Snippet of My Story on YouTube
Is your organization looking to book an “inspiring”, “engaging” and “personable” speaker to deliver a lived experience testimonial for your upcoming mental health conference or workplace wellness event?
A firm believer in the power of storytelling to bring about culture change, Jean-François Claude regularly shares his lived experience with Double Depression and mental illness stigma as a bilingual workplace mental health advocate, keynote speaker and panelist.
But when Jean-François first entered the workforce as a communications and public affairs professional, he knew next to nothing about mental health… and even less about mental illness. A sudden and unexpected work stoppage at age 40 would change all that. And reveal the shocking truth behind a secret family history of mental illness.
Jean-François has since 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 is now recognized and celebrated nationally.
For his advocacy and anti-stigma efforts in men’s mental health, Jean-François was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division) by His Excellency the Governor General of Canada, and was named one of 150 Leading Canadian Difference Makers for Mental Health by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. In 2016, he was presented with an Inspiration Award from The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health, and was ranked #5 in the Top 100 Mental Health Influencers on Twitter, where you can follow him as @JFClaude.
Here’s what audience members had to say about Jean-François’ speaking engagements on mental health:
“Your presentation was a huge hit! People were talking about it long after you’d gone. In the lunchroom at noon, the hot topic was mental health and how your presentation was fantastic and helped others to understand what those suffering with mental illness are dealing with. […] You were really engaging, personable, and added just the right touch of humour to an otherwise serious issue.”
– Josie M., Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement
“You were fantastic! Your story touched everyone, and it helped to bring about a greater awareness for this very important area. Your presentation resonated with everyone, and I have heard nothing but great responses and praises – from senior management, managers/supervisors, and employees alike – for the opportunity to hear you speak. […] You are inspiring, and it has been an absolute pleasure meeting you.”
– Christine M., Competition Bureau of Canada
- From Personal Adversity to Public Advocacy: My Rise from the Depths of Double Depression
- Mask-ulinity and MENtal Health: The Silent Crisis Killing our Men and Boys
- Culture Change: Storytelling, Stigma Reduction and Mental Health @ Work
- #SoMe: How Social Media Helped My Mental Health Recovery
For speaker booking inquiries, please send your request and event details using the contact form below.
Karine Goneau-Lessard, Director Marketing and Creative Services, Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada
September 15, 2015 at 20:08
Jean-François, you delivered such a great presentation to my Branch as part of our Charitable campaign efforts. You genuinely left a lasting impression, opening up a conversation among staff and helping us break down the stigma around mental illness… something that is extremely important in the communications field. Un gros merci!
September 16, 2015 at 20:36
Thank you, Karine, for your very kind words. It was a pleasure meeting you and speaking with your Branch employees. Yes, as Communications professionals, we live in a 24/7 wired world. That much more critical that we learn to take the time for self-care. — JFC