NISA champions mental health recovery, awareness with new superhero campaign

Superman, Wonder Woman: meet "The Recovery Warrior" — just one of the superheroes standing proud in a new campaign by the Northern Initiative of Social Action in Sudbury.
Dinah Laprairie of NISA, here channelling her inner superhero as "The Pollinator": "Everybody [at NISA] that I've met has something — a gift that they've shared." (Roger Corriveau/CBC)

Superman, Wonder Woman: meet "The Recovery Warrior". 

He's just one of the superheroes standing proud in a new campaign about to kick off by the Northern Initiative of Social Action in Sudbury. 

NISA is an agency run for — and by — people striving toward mental health. As part of an effort called "Mental Health in Action", it's planning to plaster the city with messages like "Discover you power within," "Recovery is possible," and "Support is here."

Alongside those encouraging messages will be superheroes — real NISA clients who are channeling their courage and strength to support others. 


Dinah Laprairie works with NISA and is the editor and publisher of the centre's Open Minds Quarterly. 

She's also known as "The Pollinator."

"As the editor of our magazine, I collect stories from people from across North America  — sometimes from beyond — about their journeys through mental health recovery," she said. 

"So, like a pollinator, I'm bringing the 'pollen' back to the hive and creating something delicious." 

In exploring the concept of the superhero — someone whose special gift sometimes comes from trauma or difficulty — Laprairie said NISA clients got to examine what makes them strong and special. 

Thus were born "The Resiliency Defender," "The Guardians of Inclusion" and "The Recovery Warrior," among others. 

"People at NISA have to turn inward, and find their inner reservoir of strength," said Laprairie. 

"The messages we get when we're out the community are that maybe we're not worth of participating in society, that perhaps we're a little strange, or maybe there isn't something important that we can offer, but ... everybody [at NISA] that I've met has something — a gift that they've shared." 

Listen to the complete interview with Dinah Laprairie here

Grab your cape and your mark and find your inner superhero. Northern Initiative for Social Action in Sudbury wants you to know they are there to help you fight mental illness. Dinah Laprairie of NISA joined us in studio in costume with some details.

Check out the 2016 NISA Superhero Calendar here


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