December 5, 2019

I read an excerpt from Mad Like Me at an Open Mic Night event at the Baie-D’Urfé library, and answered questions from the audience about what it’s like to live with bipolar disorder. Always great to share my work, educate people about mental illness, and “put a face” to it.

May 10, 2019

“Emotional Art”

During Mental Health Week each year, there’s a unique art exhibition titled “Artium Profundae: Creations from the Depth of the Mind” at the Viva Vida art gallery in Pointe-Claire. This was the seventh year this “emotional art” exhibition has been held, in collaboration with the art teachers and students of St. Thomas High School and various local mental health community organizations.

My daughter Tami Hammond-Collins and I have faithfully attended the event in all the previous years, but this year she and I were privileged to actively participate.

“Mad Like Me” books and cover art were featured.

The organizers set up a book signing table for Mad Like Me: Travels in Bipolar Country at the opening of the exhibition. On the wall behind us, we displayed the two portraits Tami painted of me in mania and depression. (These same paintings were used for the cover art on my memoir.)

Tami explained to the assembled crowd that when she painted the portraits of me about ten years ago, she had been a college student studying painting as one of her subjects. I then urged everyone – whether they be patients with a mental illness, family caregivers, or health care providers – to take special care of their mental health, not just during Mental Health Week, but every week!

Many thanks to the organizers of this event, especially gallery owner Nedia El Khouri and my old friend and major supporter of Mad Like Me, Anne Vrana.


May 9, 2019

I ran an interactive workshop focussing on communication and strengthening relationships between people with bipolar and their family caregivers. Two of my own caregivers — my husband and one of my daughters — were there to share their perspectives and experiences.


March 29, 2019

To follow up on the group discussion at the Maxwell Residence last year (see below), I organized a World Bipolar Day event at the Baie-D’Urfé library. Several of us who have been impacted by bipolar disorder – whether as a patient, in my own case, or as a family member – shared personal experiences. It was very moving to hear people’s stories, and those of us who did actively participate felt somewhat “lighter” for having shared the burden… It’s in this way that we can all help to break the stigma. Sincere thanks to all who attended, and to Chris Marsh, the librarian who hosted the event.



July 10, 2018

We had a lovely book reading and group discussion about mental illness at the Maxwell Residence in Baie-D’Urfé. Thank you to the people who shared their personal stories and struggles! I hope to have many more discussion events like this one so that we can create a space where people can speak openly about their journeys and together we can break the stigma of mental illness.



July 7, 2018

We had a great book signing at Librairie Clio in Pointe-Claire on Saturday. Many thanks to everyone who came out to buy a copy of the book!


June 28, 2018

Photo by Tim Stachecki

We had the official Mad Like Me Book Launch on June 28 at the Baie-D’Urfé library, and it was amazing! Thanks to the ~50 people who attended, local merchants for door prizes, Friends for Mental Health, and Karen Armstrong and the library for hosting. What a great event!


June 17, 2018

On Sunday 17 June 2018, my daughter Tami Hammond-Collins displayed her two paintings from the cover of Mad Like Me in a local art show. I spoke to many people – including young children who were fascinated by the expressions on the faces of the portraits – about bipolar, showed them my book, and invited them to the book launch on 28 June. A “pre-launch” event!




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