Delaney G. Drachenberg

Growing up, Delaney dealt with anxiety and paranoia, often struggling with the idea that they deserved to be supported and feel happy. Some of these feelings emerged after Delaney was born and their twin brother was miscarried, which created a sense of survivor’s guilt. In addition, Delaney knew that their gender did not align with the body that they were born into and realized at age ten that they were experiencing gender dysphoria. Prior to this discovery, Delaney experienced suicidal thoughts. While they were considering an attempt, they caught a glimpse of their face in the window and had a moment of realization – Delaney wanted to keep living to help others who were similarly struggling. This pivotal decision led them down a path of self-discovery and advocacy that has positively impacted many others.

Delaney was initially diagnosed with depression and generalized anxiety disorder, but they realized they were experiencing additional symptoms, including psychosis and memory loss. After working with specialists, they came to understand that Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) were also part of their journey. Delaney is committed to raising awareness about DID and creating space for the alters that share their consciousness. While their psychosis still emerges during times of high stress, usually manifesting through auditory and visual hallucinations, Delaney is able to share these experiences with others to help break down stigma around acute disorders. They are constantly improving their toolbox of coping skills – they have restarted therapy, become sober, used community resources and found a medication routine that keeps them grounded. Delaney sees their illnesses as important parts of them that have helped develop personal qualities such as compassion, empathy and a willingness to help others.

Fueled by these experiences, Delaney has been able to create positive change by sharing their story, creating workshops and participating on boards to support disability justice, Indigenous rights, mental health awareness and LGBTQ+ issues. After a successful history of fundraising for Kids Help Phone, Delaney now serves on their Indigenous Advisory Council, influencing projects that affect Indigenous populations. As a nonbinary trans advocate, Delaney has also worked with Fierté Canada Pride, in addition to co-creating a workshop that looked at the needs of transgender youth in rural and remote areas from an international perspective. In 2019, Delaney’s advocacy work took them to Brisbane, Australia where they served as the Youth Co-Convenor of the International Association of Youth Mental Health Conference, attended by over 600 youth and adults. Through this work, Delaney's goal was to encourage the voices of Indigenous, LGBTQ, disabled people and those with highly stigmatized disorders. Now that Delaney understands how all these parts of their story have come together to support a passion for helping others, they are proud of just being themselves.

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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