Breaking down the stigma by Brook Jones, Selkirk Journal

A Selkirk Comp grad is breaking down the stigma of mental health.

Brittany Kalinski has been championing the cause for the past year and a half with a number of avenues.

Her goal is to not only bring awareness to mental health, but to open up the conversation. Kalinski did just that when recently spoke in front of a crowd of 700.

Kalinski was recently part of a student panel presentation during the Lord Selkirk School Division’s professional development day, Feb. 2, at the Selkirk Comp which focused on mental health.

“It was a huge honour to be part of their PD day,” Kalinski said. “The anxiety was there, but after we were on stage with the spot light on us to share our stories it was a huge honour to be part of their day. Any bit of information helps and it was a positive impact on me.”

Kalinski, who grew up in Lockport, told The Selkirk Journal that the message she delivered during the event was about the importance of having staff take the time to talk to students as a way for them to gain insight with any struggles they could be having in life.

“Sometimes students aren’t ready to talk about it and that they want to face it on their own,” Kalinski noted. “Everyone deals with things differently.”

She said it’s easy for people to use the internet to self diagnose, but explained the importance of speaking with someone, especially professionals about any challenge.

In 2016 Kalinski launched her clothing line Kali Kardia Apparel as an avenue to increase awareness about mental health.

She explained that Kali Kardi in Greek means good heart, mind, character, inner self, will, and intention.

Kalinski donates 15% of her sales to the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba and The Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter each month. Organizations she is passionate about.

As of late, Kalinski has been also hosting fundraisers as a way to bring even greater awareness to mental health while raising funds.

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