Leading Mental Health Advocate
Do you have Tourette's? Awesome! How about anxiety? Great! Depression? So what?! ADHD, OCD? Right on! Brett Francis is a professional speaker and mental health advocate, with a TV and radio show. Her radio show, Not Broken® Radio has 1.8M+ listeners/downloads per month. She’s also a best selling author and has a mental health clothing line, all aimed towards having open and honest discussion about mental health and disabilities and also to give confidence to those struggling. Read More >
Brett Francis: Speaker Reel
“They see me but they don’t really see me" - This topic is tailored to all audiences whether they are people who live with these challenges themselves, or it’s their loved ones, co-workers, bosses, and even people who don't have any personal or family experiences with mental health and disabilities. Brett focuses on general understanding, correcting misconceptions and teaching people how to talk about it and side-step the stigma. Turning disabilities into "abilities" and how we can embrace our challenges and use them to our advantage! She likes to do this in a fun and lighthearted way because people are less awkward and more inclined to be involved.
Do you live with a mental health or disability challenge? Do you know someone who does? Do you feel that the topic is widely misunderstood, both by those living with it and the general population? Do you want to understand better? Read More >
Understanding others with mental health and disabilities: Read Less ^
Each speech/seminar targets very important levels within an organization that can have a major impact on people suffering with mental health challenges and disabilities as well as severe corporate/organizational economic loss. Read More >
Any and all groups, from all kinds of backgrounds can and will benefit from the knowledge and understanding of Brett, and be able to apply this in their own lives, both with themselves and with each other, vastly improving day-to-day life and interactions.
People will often hide their problems, especially at a workplace setting, but these issues do not discriminate, and neither should you! Read Less ^
"From the first time I met with Brett, her passion for advocating for persons living with mental health diagnoses was evident. Her passion for breaking down barriers for those in similar shoes was encouragement to invite her to speak at the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW)’s annual Business Awards Luncheon. Her dedication to the idea of equality is contagious, and her story touched everyone that was in attendance—some of our clients even pulled me aside after the event to thank me for finding such a motivational and fantastic guest speaker such as Brett! I would encourage anyone and everyone to book Brett as your next guest speaker for any and all future events, you will definitely not be disappointed!"
"I have watched Brett overcome many barriers and stigmas associated with mental health and disabilities. She has taken those challenges and used it as strength to persevere. She not only takes pride in being a person with a disability, but she instills pride in others who doubt themselves or struggle with disability related issues. She is a strong inspirational advocate and uses her multimedia sources to reach out to as many people as possible in the disability community. In 2016 so far, Brett has been nominated for the YWCA Woman of Distinction Awards, the Champion of Mental Health Awards and now the Startup Awards for Canadian Resilient Entrepreneur Award.
Over the last 3 years, she’s accomplished mountains more than individuals who may not face barriers in society. If someone tries to tell her she can’t do something, she uses that as energy to fuel her drive and not only achieve her goals and expectations, but surpass them. Brett deserves to be recognized not only for all her hard work as an entrepreneur, but as the community voice for people with mental health and disabilities who may feel as if they don’t have a voice. She has spoken for us numerous time and we plan to continue having her back, I would recommend bringing her in to speak. You won’t be disappointed."
"In support of Sun West School Division’s Positive Mental Health Initiative, we were thrilled to have Brett Francis speak to our students at our Roads to Success Career Fair. Brett’s message was passionate, informative and relevant to the needs of our grade 10 and 11 students. Brett also provided a parent information session that evening that was very well received. I would highly recommend Brett as a presenter. Her personal life experiences and knowledge make her a strong advocate for positive mental health in the workplace and in life!"
"Have Depression? Cool! Got ADHD? Right on! How about Anxiety? Awesome! How’s that for a disruptive approach to mental illness?!
When I heard those words last night, 2 things happened. First, I did a double take. Then I sat up straight and listened hard, as Brett Francis delivered a fresh and honest message about mental illness.
Brett is a professional speaker and an entrepreneur. She has written a book, records a radio show, and is really freaking strong (just look at her arms!). Brett also has Tourette’s Syndrome and first hand experience working through other mental illnesses. And she says, “That’s great!”
Last night, the Business & Professional Women hosted an amazing event, with inspiring women spreading important messages. The thing about important messages is that they need to be shared. Not just by the people who were a part of the story, but by people who have heard the story. And the story I heard last night about celebrating mental illness is one that needs to be shared.
Say what now? Isn’t mental illness this terribly, horrible, dark and scary thing that we want to avoid at all cost? After all, even Clara Hughes admits on her website that she couldn’t bring herself to tell her own mother about her depression (her mom found out from TV) because she didn’t want it to be a burden. So, why should we celebrate something that is such a burden? Well…
Who says it’s a burden? What makes it a burden? Who says it’s not a good thing? How can mental illness possibly be a good thing? Is there anything in your life that you’ve been able to say, or do, or feel, or express—because you have a mental illness? Maybe you’re able to empathize with others on a deep and genuine level. Maybe you are very in tune with how others are feeling. Maybe you developed a sense of strength. Maybe you’ve written a book or a blog. Maybe you’ve been able to share your story with 1 other person who now has hope because of you. Those are just a few of the reasons why mental illness is worth celebrating.
I came away from last night looking at mental illness with a different lens. A positive lens. And although it doesn’t feel quite right to say that yet (it’s a huge shift in mindset!), it also feels very right.
To all my friends who are struggling and triumphing as you read this. Right on! You are who you are, and I love you for it—not in spite of your mental illness, but because of it."
"Brett Francis is a dynamic and captivating speaker. Business & Professional Women were so pleased to have her share insight into caring for and working with mental health issues. Brett’s message struck home with all of us when she said, “You are not broken!” Brett speaks from the heart and shares real life stories to educate on caring for our mental well being. Thanks Brett for all you do in our communities!"
"After meeting Brett, I invited her to come to our CMHAA Branch to share her intriguing story with my staff. I liked her immediately as she is a warm person with a very engaging personality. She came to talk to us and we found her easy to listen to, very intelligent, very funny and her story very enlightening. The staff really enjoyed her and described her story telling as powerful and compelling. Her optimism is contagious as the listeners stated that they felt better about themselves and about opportunities to help others feel better about themselves after listening to Brett. Her description of her real life experiences growing up with Tourette’s Syndrome, a diagnosis of ADHD, general anxiety and depression forced us to rethink how we may judge and treat people based on appearances and/or behaviors. Her honest portrayal of a young woman overcoming many obstacles to achieve her goals is educational, helpful and empowering. I strongly recommend that you contact Brett to be your next motivational speaker!"
"I have known Brett on a professional level for a few years and now a personal level. Brett is a champion in the world of disabilities. Not only does she advocate, educate, and support individuals and families with disabilities, she lives it. And live it she does—with grace, professionalism, humility, and empathy. Brett has a few diagnoses but it is never about her—she is out there to help any and all who suffer.
Brett doesn’t see obstacles—she sees opportunities to grow and lead in the sometimes frustrating and overwhelming world of having a disability. Her positive attitude is infectious and is admired by all who know her.
Brett offers encouragement, hope and a future. She has participated and created television shows, radio shows and websites so that people with mental health issues have an opportunity to have a voice. Her passion comes from deep inside her and it flows into everything she touches."
"Brett was our speaker for our 2015 Mayors luncheon. Brett spoke to the heart of the issue, her story was first a story of survival and then of hope. She talked about how she used her mental health issues to her benefit. That was enlightening.
When we have speakers for our mayor’s luncheon my hope is that my friends and neighbours have a better understanding of mental health issues. It has only been in the last 20 years that I really started to look at this issue. When it affects your own family, the ones who are closest to you it can be so frustrating and scary. Mental Health Issues come in all types, sizes and vary with every illness and the person who has it. Some people need more support than others and that support can go on longer than you could have ever imagined.
I think that people like Brett who have lived the experience are the right people to share their stories and to give hope to others, to families and friends. I also think that professionals need to hear what Brett has to say, it would be nice to hear from her family, from their perspective how they coped and what they think they could have done differently or what they feel they did right.
Whenever someone is brave enough to share their story and make themselves vulnerable there is a lesson for all of us, we just have to listen and learn."
"Brett is a passionate young woman who has found her calling in speaking out for mental health and wellness. After many years of struggling to overcome her own challenges with Tourette Syndrome, anxiety, depression and OCD, Brett has met them head on and turned them into something positive, and in the process she is making a difference for others. After the death of my son, Matt, a friend of Brett’s who took his own life after years of mental illness struggles, Brett organized a fundraiser in his memory, and raised several thousand dollars for the Canadian Mental Heal Association.
She is a passionate speaker, who speaks from the heart about growing up with Tourette's Syndrome and the many experiences she endured during her childhood after being diagnosed. She was able to overcome the obstacles that held her back, embrace her uniqueness, and now Brett wants to help others find their own strength and courage, embrace their abilities with confidence, so they too can live their best life and find success in their own endeavours. Brett is a compassionate person who brings great energy to everything, no matter how busy she is with her job, she still finds time to volunteer with numerous non-profit organizations.
Brett is a tireless mental health advocate and enjoys working mental health and other organizations, as well as different types of media, with the objective of building awareness and stopping the stigma and bullying so often associated with it. Brett is dedicated to helping others reach their full potential. Brett is an inspiration and has significantly contributed to the advancement of mental health awareness and education."
"Brett is a phenomenal young woman with incredible passion and perseverance. She lives to help others through their mental and physical challenges while building her own entrepreneurial empire. She uses her own personal experience to connect with others via public speaking, television and radio to educate organizations as well as coach others who may be struggling with barriers. Her hard work is an inspiration to so many people and assists in recognizing, en masse, the importance of implementing a solid mental health management strategy within every organization."
"Brett Francis has been a speaker at two events for the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program. Brett’s story of overcoming the odds is inspiring and is key to breaking down barriers on disability issues. Her message moved the audience and started important conversations among attendees following the events. I can’t thank Brett enough for being involved with our events and sharing her story."
"My depression was initially diagnosed as “adjustment disorder with depressed mood.” I wondered at the time if it was a ploy by the VA to avoid diagnosing a disorder that might cost the VA more to treat. The psychologist told me I had PTSD symptoms, but not enough to meet diagnostic criteria, as I was still functional. Given the stigma I had internalized against mental disorders at the time, I was only too happy to reassure myself that I didn’t meet criteria for PTSD. Fast forward however many months, function declined, and I was diagnosed with both MDD and PTSD. I guess my latest struggle has been with how to integrate these diagnoses into my self-concept in a positive manner. As Brett Francis says, “You’re not broken and you don’t need to be fixed. Her message truly inspires and helps others, it is very refreshing."
"Brett Francis is truly inspiring, I myself struggle with BP & depression, anxiety, PTSD from a house fire, and thyroid issues, my favorite trigeminal neuralgia! All seem to be co-morbid conditions, plus oh yeah, mental pause, (menopause). Of all, TN, chronic pain, makes me very empathetic to my own detriment. I also have issues with time. ~wow!~ & yes, I work when I am able. Love it!!! Very inspiring and uplifting! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you do!"
"I just wanted to share how Brett helped me not only understand what both of my children went, and continue to go through, but also that you helped me realize what I have gone through in my life. Your shows helped me open my eyes realizing that mental issues can happen to anyone. I have always considered myself one of the strongest people I know, and there have been issues that have brought me to my knees, and it would have been much easier dealing with that knowing then what I know now. Thanks for helping me open my eyes to mental issues, and increase my level awareness of both myself and others around me."