Audley G. Coley

Audley was an exceptionally energetic young adult and as a dancer and creator, possessing such vigour was a gift. Occasionally, however, his energy could reach such frenzied heights that he seemed to lose control and focus. As a result of this state, Audley suffered bouts of depression, including a major episode that landed him in hospital. Professionals talked to him about bipolar disorder, but he thought it was just overexertion of energy. His family, on the other hand, believed it was something of a spiritual nature. Audley’s many commitments, which kept him in physical top shape, allowed him to cope for a certain time. However, his intensity and euphoria were becoming overbearing for his colleagues. He ended up in hospital again and, while doing his own research, discovered that many artists he admired had also suffered from mental health issues. And that despite it all, they enjoyed successful careers and achieved great things! Audley therefore decided to do what was necessary to get better. His illness is caused by a chemical imbalance, and finding the medication that would stabilize him would take time and patience. But the wait paid off, because now that he is stable, Audley has the impression that others—and he, himself—are finally seeing the real him.

With ironclad discipline, Audley takes his medications and maintains his overall well-being by eating and sleeping well, and exercising. He has also learned to say no and to recognize the signs that can affect his state of mind. Whereas he used to believe his periods of euphoria were a bonus for his creative inspirations, he now knows that he is more productive, structured and organized when he is mentally stable. He has also learned to speak openly about his problems. Audley also knows that staying active is essential to health, mental and physical. In 2019 He got an award from Montreal Community Cares Foundation for his volunteer work. Last year during the pandemic Audley brought his fitness classes to the web. He believes that keeping active is even more important for maintaining positive mental health during times like these. Audley keeps getting himself involved in anything that can help him reach people and get the word out that mental health can be managed and everybody can live their best life. He was featured on a TV show “You Can't Ask That” to speak about being bipolar, and has done corporate workshops and speaking engagements. Since He loves to cook He has a cooking show online. By raising the awareness of those he meets, he hopes to break down stereotypes and open minds about mental health. He also hopes that telling his story will encourage people to never give up and to take care of themselves.

Audley is a strong believer that charity begins at home, something he learned from his grandmother. Over the last 13 years he has used his birthday to collect food for Sun Youth. And finally, he worked with a new ghost writer to update his book "Audley Enough" and donated the profits from the book launch to the Douglas Hospital.

Community Fund Advisory Committee

Mental health leaders in communities across Canada provide guidance and advice in the selection of Community Fund grant recipients.

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Diversity Fund Circle of Advisors

A circle of advisors, comprised of mental health experts, community leaders and people with lived experience from within Black, Indigenous and People of Colour communities assist in the review process and provide advice and consultation on the development and future evolution of the fund.

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