Chris Whittaker

When Chris was 23, his parents became concerned about his behaviour. His calls home became filled with delusional thoughts about people – even his family – conspiring against him. Fearing for his health and well-being, Chris’ parents took him to hospital.

He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and immediately became active in his care and recovery.  As a result, he was able to quickly build a support network of family and friends to help him as he pushed forward in his journey towards mental health and wellness.   

Chris returned to school, and after obtaining his library technician diploma from Seneca College, was hired as a cataloguer at the Consumer/Survivor Information Resource Centre, working his way up to coordinator and then executive director — a position he held for three years. 

Wanting to share his story to educate others, he became a speaker for SSO’s Speakers’ Bureau and has been sharing his story ever since. “What I offer most in my presentation is hope—for recovery, for support, and for overall well-being,” he says.

Chris is also very active in events that support SSO’s programming, like the annual Peace of Minds Walk.

“For me the Walk is really about going out into the community. It’s about reducing stigma by sharing our experiences. We’ve been walking down Yonge Street for 21 years now, and we’ve definitely had an impact.”

If you would like to have Chris as a speaker please contact SSO at