Throughout the day, we will have a variety of guest speakers talking about specific topics surrounding mental health issues and addictions. Our speakers work in the addictions field, health care, politics, are in recovery themselves, and advocates.
Mackenzie Phillips – American Actress and author of the courageous New York Times bestselling memoir High on Arrival, and her equally successful book, Hopeful Healing: Essays on Managing Recovery and Surviving Addiction, is also currently enjoying her role as ‘Barb’ in Season 6 / Netflix, Orange Is The New Black and another Netflix show reuniting with series creator Norman Lear for the revival of One Day At A Time.
Phillips rose to fame with breakout parts in 1973's American Graffiti and '70s sitcom One Day at a Time and is now making a different impact as a director at the Breathe Life Healing Center in Los Angeles where she specializes in trauma, drug, and alcohol treatment and recovery.
The daughter of The Mamas and the Papas lead singer John Phillips, Mackenzie a survivor of substance abuse and a visible and outspoken advocate for addiction awareness and education who brings her knowledge and voice on the subject of recovery and shares her experiences for those who are trying to overcome addiction.
Mackenzie Phillips grew up in a dysfunctional environment and subsequently battled a near-fatal drug addiction. She presents the wisdom she gained from her own personal journey through addictions and her understanding of practical treatment from her work as a rehabilitation counselor. Using her own life experiences as examples of proven recovery methods, she shares the tools and holistic approaches that are available to help those on their way to recovery.
Greta Walpes grew up in River Heights, she was an elite athlete all of her life. Walpes chose to pursue speed skating after high school and moved out to Calgary. She was taking Kenis and Psych while training and competing. At 16, she sustained an injury to her left leg and when she turned 21, she injured it again forcing her into retirement and with a myriad of mental health complications.
Walpes became angry at the world and couldn’t deal with anything so she partied it away (cocaine was her main drug of choice, but she did everything). She endured more trauma than anyone should have to endure in 100 lifetimes. Her best friend Karla overdosed and committed suicide when they were 24 years old. Walpes went back out into addiction harder than before. She says was trying to reclaim her life on my own and it was not working. She went to school, got a journalism diploma, level 1 and 2 sommeliers, did events, marketing, media, became a personal trainer and certified weight loss and nutrition coach.
Though, nothing she did made her happy enough to save herself. After her last bender, she couldn’t believe she was still alive and was very suicidal. Walpes checked in to suicide watch and detox. She didn’t want to put anyone through what she went through with her friend Karla. She went to long-term in-patient trauma rehab, moved back to Winnipeg to be with her family and became very involved with St. Raphael Wellness Centre (SRWC).
Walpes went through their programs as a participant and learned to love herself again and set goals for a future she never thought she would have. Last year, Walpes wanted to start Recovery Day Winnipeg as the city was the only major city that didn’t have one in Canada. She worked with SRWC to get it together in no time. Walpes was the emcee, SRWC got official proclamation and the event is dear to her heart.
She want to share the joy and hope in recovery and continue to dissipate the stigma. Walpes will be two years sober on September 13th. No slips, mental health is stable and is excited about her future. She is starting her social work degree at Booth University this fall, ultimately she would like to get a masters and make policy changes to improve Manitoba’s mental health systems. The past year Walpes worked with SRWC doing events, media, fundraising, PR, co-facilitating groups--basically everything. Currently, she is doing a six-month placement through REES that will end in November. Her last knee surgery was July 15th and is hoping it will be her last for good.