The Mental Illness Awareness Week blog, sharing stories of recovery, personal experiences, and mental health/mental illness news.


Faces of Mental Illness
Wendy Matthews

Wendy was one of the 54 people nominated to become a national Face of Mental Illness as part of MIAW.

She writes:

Meet Wendy Matthews.

Wendy was inspired to launch her new business “happy being ME” 18 months ago in St. Catharines ON after she awoke from her sleep in the middle of the night with the fact that she was happy with who she is.

Wendy has struggled with her illness, bipolar schizoaffective disorder for over 30 years. Starting back when she was 12 years old with her first of many suicide attempts, her challenges through the years have been many. Wendy suffers with depression, mania, delusions and hallucinations. Unable to work for more than a 10 year period in her life, her self esteem was depleted. Finally, unwilling to give up on her life, she sought out help and was finally able to accept it.

With a lot of hard personal work and the support of her family and friends Wendy was finally able to move back in to the work force. It wasn’t until she was able to accept the fact that her illness was not who she was, it was just a part of her, sometimes big, sometimes small but she was more than that. This brought about that fateful night that has changed her life ever since. Those words “happy being Me” kept going through her head along with the feeling of excitement she felt in her heart.

Wendy wanted everyone to feel the way she did, to accept themselves for who they are. To celebrate their difference, challenges and who they are. Wendy now runs her happy tee’s and accessories business www. As well she offers speeches of her life story to inspire and motivate people who are living with this illness, is caring for someone affected with illness, or anyone interested in learning more about mental health. Wendy believes that education is the first step to dispelling the stigma attached to mental illness and also is proof that Recovery is Possible.