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Vanessa Schirripa (she/her)
Vanessa Schirripa (she/her)

Vanessa Schirripa (she/her)

Ontario

Vanessa Schirripa (she/her) is a mental health advocate based out of Vaughan, Ontario who is formally trained as a psychotherapist and holds a Master's degree in Counselling Psychology. Vanessa is passionate about dismantling barriers to accessing mental health services in her community and empowering youth to join the mental health advocacy movement. She now primarily works in school-based mental health, where she provides individual/group therapeutic support as well as mental health education to young people and those who interact closely with youth. Vanessa also sits as a member of the Constituency Council and National Youth Action Council (NYAC) at CAMH, and is involved with Kids Help Phone. Vanessa wishes to use her voice to contribute to positive change within the mental health landscape. She believes that peer-to-peer education holds strong value in eliminating stigma within the space of vulnerable youth, paving the way to a future of increased openness for future generations. To Vanessa, a mental health revolution would involve a world where mental health is openly discussed and equally valued as physical health. In her spare time, you'll find her listening to Taylor Swift songs or one of her favourite podcasts, hiking, baking, stationary cycling, or daydreaming about her next travel destination.

Interest and Motivation to Become a Senior Speaker
Vanessa is interested in the Senior Speaker model because it will allow her to use her mental health knowledge as a Registered Psychotherapist combined with her multiple years of experience as a Jack Talks speaker to adapt Talks to fit specific populations such as adults, and deliver other specialized Talks.

Training and Professional Development Interests
As a cisgender white woman, Vanessa is interested in professional development focused on cultural competence, as well as media relations to promote Jack Talks on a wide scale (such as in TV interviews). She is also interested in using her voice and knowledge as a speaker for Talks program developments.

Speaking Experience
As a seasoned speaker, Vanessa has delivered Talks for over three years including with adults and diverse audiences.

What are the story themes you speak to?
Academic pressure/stress; Mental Illness; Self-esteem and Self-image