Annual Fundraising Breakfast 2023

The Mental Health Foundation 2023 Fundraising Breakfast was a huge success! Thank you for joining us in raising awareness and funds for urgent mental health issues across Alberta.

Presenting partner Altitude Investments

Our Keynote Speaker

Johann Hari

Johann has spent his life writing about society’s biggest issues. His New York Times bestseller Chasing the Scream tackled our assumptions about addiction and revealing how many of them were wrong. He realized that the cure for addiction is in solving issues like isolation and poverty—because making people feel like they belong is key.

His book Lost Connections was a powerful re-evaluation of depression, which Sir Elton John called an “amazing book that will change your life.” Johann has also written for the New York Times, Le Monde, The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, and Slate.

He was twice named National Newspaper Journalist of the Year by Amnesty International. He was Gay Journalist of the Year at the Stonewall Awards, and was awarded the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Political Writing.

Our In-Person Host

Simone Saunders

Simone Saunders

Simone Saunders is a graduate level Registered Social Worker and therapist in Calgary, Alberta. She is the founder of The Cognitive Corner—a group psychological practice that focuses on providing trauma-informed and culturally responsive psychological care and psychoeducation to Albertans and Ontarians.

In the future, The Cognitive Corner seeks to provide accessible and affordable mental health services to racialized communities, due to the current lack of resources. Simone specializes in the treatment of early childhood trauma, racial trauma, and attachment-based issues, using a mixture of somatic-based modalities and critical theory to address societal/structural inequities. In addition, she is a mental health creator and advocate on Instagram and TikTok, where she aims to normalize mental health struggles and provide accessible psychoeducation.

Our Virtual Host

Lourdes Juan

Lourdes Juan

Lourdes is a Calgary-based entrepreneur and Urban planner, with a Masters in Environmental Design, who has founded a diverse array of organizations including Hive Developments, Soma Spa, Knead Technologies, Leftovers and Fresh Routes.

As a daughter of immigrants, Lourdes’ parents instilled in her a passion for taking care of her community. This teaching has been a driving force behind her tireless work to solve problems including creating two non-profit organizations. One organization addresses dignified food access and the second is a newly founded a tech company to redirect food surplus. Lourdes’ community advocacy is vast and also includes serving on numerous local and national boards related to urban planning and design, development appeals, affordable housing, impact investment and business leadership.

As CEO and Founder of Fresh Routes, Lourdes is very aware of how food insecurity contributes to higher rates of anxiety, depression, and poor mental health outcomes, impacting the lives of our friends and neighbours. These challenges go hand in hand and that’s why it’s so important, as someone who has spent so much time working on food insecurity, to support initiatives like the Mental Health Foundation’s Annual Breakfast.