Featured Advocate: Rey Winter
Updated: Apr 23, 2021
Rey Winter is a free verse poet and mental health advocate from Saskatchewan, Canada. They are a 4th-year psychology student and aspiring art therapist. They take great comfort in writing poetry surrounding their own personal struggles with mental health and hope that by sharing their poetry with the world, they may help others feel a little bit less alone. Rey's poetry anthology Words from the Other Side is available on https://www.amazon.ca/Words-Other-Side-Crazy-Poetry/dp/1922328766 and can be followed on Twitter at @rey_awinter
What excites you?
Honestly, the idea of a world in which mental illnesses are not used as adjectives or seen as "scary"/used to demonize those who live with them, is the most exciting concept to me.
What matters to you?
Advocating for mental health, learning and growing to be a better person, art (in all its forms), and being loyal to my friends are the most important things to me.
What drives you?
Passion, to put it simply. Strong feelings for certain issues/circumstances propel me toward or away from things and are the main reason I do most of what I do.
What do you stand for?
Freeing mental health, equality and equity for all, and absolutely the Black Lives Matter movement.
What causes are special to your heart?
Black Lives Matter, #freementalhealth, and many other social causes that strive to make the world a more equitable place for those who need it.
What's the difference you want to make?
I strive to have my work and my advocacy impact lives. Even if it's just the life of one person, one opinion I change, one person who feels less alone in their struggles; that's how I know I've made a difference and that is extremely important to me.
Working as a Volunteer
Rey volunteers as a visitor for an inmate at their city's Psychiatric Centre. During regular times, Rey visits him once a week, mainly to keep him company but also to discuss anything that may be on his mind, exciting events upcoming in his life, and so on. In the past Rey has also volunteered at the Psychiatric Centre to put together a holiday celebration, which involved making small gift packages and distributing them.
As a volunteer Rey has also helped organize fundraisers for their former high school's arts department, as well as participated in said fundraisers for my local band association. Also, in high school, Rey worked with a team of other students to raise awareness for different avenues of activism through Free The Children. They did so by having a day of silence in school, where only teachers spoke, or students could donate $5 to have the day to speak!
In the past Rey has also volunteered to mentor younger students in their schools and help them through rough times in their lives, as Rey was assigned to them by school guidance counselors.
Rey believes people can take action, volunteer, and help others from anywhere in the world.
How will you take action today?