LOFT Support Worker Named a Canadian “Difference Maker”
To celebrate Canada 150, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, based in Toronto, has identified 150 people from across Canada who have made a difference in mental health. The 3700 nominees included people with lived experience, caregivers, family members, health professionals, researchers, advocates and philanthropists.
One of these Difference Makers is Shawn Pendenque. Shawn’s path has taken him from a street involved youth, to a period of residence at LOFT’s Beverley Lodge, to graduate in social work and pursue a very successful music career. When a psychotic episode in 2010 left him hospitalized, unemployed and involved with the justice system, he returned to LOFT once again as a client.
Now he is a LOFT staff member working with youth, and leading system change as an organizer and presenter at the Toronto Diversity and Mental Health Conference. His work reflects his belief that “hope has no age, race, sexuality, or class.” Shawn in using the huge changes he has navigated in his own life to help change the lives of others.
Shawn shares this honour with such well-known Canadians as The Hon. Seamus O’Regan, Dr. Gabor Mate, Clara Hughes and Michael Landsberg, and 145 others from all walks of life, who are making a difference in mental health in Canada.