The Committee

The EMHAC Executive

Wendy Enberg, Chair

As a person who lives with a mental health condition, Wendy is passionate about reducing stigma surrounding mental illness. She has several years experience navigating the complex mental health systems and recognized the need for assisting others in accessing the supports they need by establishing “Mental Health Matters Edmonton”, a local peer-support advocacy group. Inspired to do more and create more opportunities for social inclusion, she helped create EMHAC and serves as its present chair. Combined with her years of experience working in the social services sector of the government, Wendy is a strong force in advancing the rights and needs of the mentally ill in the Greater Edmonton area.

As the EMHAC chair, Wendy is the passion and vision behind the scenes and it is this dedication that has inspired this Executive Team to strive to create community connections, build relationships and help organizations that are improving the lives of people living with mental illness.

Komala Pepin, Interim Chair

Komala recently retired from AHS as a manager in Addiction and Mental Health. She then envisioned bringing an emotional resilience program to a universal audience and eight months later, awesome facilitators have been trained and WRAP Works is ready to go! Komala believes that the world is filled with people who are ready to take control, gain self-mastery, and face obstacles without surrendering their power. Her vision is to train people to arm themselves with the tools and skills to deal with life challenges that come their way and still remain well and balanced throughout the process. Komala believes that the best way to combat stigma is through education. The Semicolon Tattoo Fundraiser will undoubtedly achieve this in spades!

Natalie Harper, Marketing & PR Lead

Natalie Harper is the Managing Director of Harper PR, an independent public relations consultancy based in Edmonton, Alberta. Natalie has produced and promoted numerous events to support charitable and community causes. She is passionate about using her skills and expertise to help educate people in the Capital Region about the resources and organizations dedicated to supporting people affected by mental illness. She managed the media relations for the 2015 #YEGsemicolon event, and joined the committee as a core member following the event.

Jenn Hope, Executive Secretary

Jenn is a mother of three and a wife, and has suffered from severe depression and anxiety all her life. She loves to give back and bring awareness to topics sometimes overlooked in our crazy society. Jenn is a poet and a blogger, writing about her life experiences with depression and anxiety. “I believe I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be in this life.

Vivian Kwan, Volunteer Lead

Vivian graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science in 2015. Ever since 2011, she has been an active member of the non-profit community. In her second year, she was diagnosed with mental health conditions that prevented her from thriving for a period of time. This experience later on motivated her to become a vocal advocate in her campus community, where she had the opportunity to work with various senior administrators and government officials on projects that impact post-secondary student mental health. She continued her involvement and allowed her passion to guide her to more opportunities after graduation. She is now a core member of the Lieutenant Governor’s Circle for Mental Health Addiction, Edmonton Global Shapers, Edmonton Mental Health Awareness Committee, and Edmonton Center Constituency Youth Council. She is also a coffee enthusiast. Basically anything with caffeine will make her happy. In her spare time, she enjoys learning new skills such as cooking, photography, and painting.

Melissa Rutkowski

Melissa is fun-spirited, enjoys helping others, and has a soft spot for all types of animals. Although Melissa is young, she herself has struggled with depression due to how demanding life can be, which sparks her desire to help others who also struggle with mental illness. She aims to make a difference, and show others how to overcome obstacles. Through volunteering with EMHAC and being part of another family, she has realized that there are others out there that can relate with you, and help you see how great life really can be, which is what she hopes to share with others.

Becki Petersen

Becki is excited about being part of the movement to end the stigma against mental health illness, and to bring the conversation into every aspect of life. With her background in social media, and art Becki believes she can help shed a new light to those living with mental illness, and reduce the isolation so many of them feel. Growing up with mental health illness was something she struggled with until her late teens, she had very little support and now vows to ensure no one else has to feel as though this is a battle they need to fight alone.

Amber MacKay

Amber is a busy mother of two, who enjoys volunteering her time to various organizations. Mental health is a topic near and dear to her heart as she has lived with mental health issues for many years. Amber currently works with Boyle Street Community Services as a customer and community relations specialist at their agency bank, which provides bank accounts to the unbanked in Edmonton’s inner-city. She assists community members in opening accounts and with their day to day banking needs. Amber holds a degree in Sociology, specializing in Criminology. She is exploring furthering her education in social work over the next few years. She is excited to start helping EMHAC organize events to raise awareness around mental health in Edmonton. Amber hopes to see more programs and services created to address mental health concerns for the homeless and those suffering from addiction issues in Edmonton.

Mary Logan

Mary is  a mother of 4, grandmother of 4 and a wife. She works full time with seniors and people with special needs. Mary lives daily with mental illness herself, as well as some of those around me. She is a huge mental health advocate, always trying to teach others about mental health, mental wellness, and trying to break the stigma. She believes through education and the compassion of others we can help others to come forward to seek help when needed. Creating hope for others is something Mary finds helpful to them reaching out, allowing people to have better  outcomes and choices to improve their lives.

Kristi Tymchuk

Kristi is a mother of two who struggles with Anxiety and Depression. She believes that it is important to let others that are battling with Mental Health Illness know that they are not alone. She strives to be a part of spreading the word about Mental Health and helping stop the stigma surrounding it. Kristi works for the Edmonton School Board and has made it her passion to help educate our children and youth about Mental Health; she feels it is important for them to have an early awareness and understanding of potential signs and challenges of the illness. As well, she wants to make them aware that there is a Mental Health Community that is full of support.