Chevi Rabbitt to share mental health story in national campaign

EDMONTON — Local diversity advocate Chevi Rabbitt will share her own mental health and addictions story in a new national campaign highlighting issues in Indigenous communities.

The “Soar Beyond Stigma” campaign – comprised of film, online and public education components – is meant to drive awareness, Rabbitt and creative director K.J. McCusker said.

“I’ve hidden this part of my life for so long,” Rabbitt told CTV News Edmonton. “The years of managing my PTSD and mental health – yeah, it was very hard.”

Rabbitt was assaulted in a homophobic attack near the University of Alberta Campus in July 2012.

“I didn’t want people to think I was weak, I didn’t want people to think I was a victim anymore,” she recalled of the incident.

But the trans woman and Hate to Hope founder struggled with PTSD and an addiction in the years afterward.

“Over the years of me doing a lot for the city, I had my own personal struggles.”

She and two others will share their stories in “Soar Beyond Stigma.”

“The whole thing around what we’re going through right now with lockdowns and the pandemic, it’s escalated issues for everyone,” NationTalk’s McCusker added.

“Our key components here is about compassion, acceptance and kindness. Everything’s anchored in hope, meaning, belonging and purpose. These are Indigenous principles that we feel really need to echo out throughout the communities.”

Marketing for the campaign will pick up in the next couple of weeks before it launches across Canada in May.

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