Chris Summerville

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied


Mental illness is not just a health issue, but a social justice issue!


Five Questions with Chris Summerville

What motivates you?

I am motivated by my spirituality which informs me to love my neighbour as I love myself. I am moved by people who are hurting suffering or enduring oppression. My life goal is to enable the walking wounded to become wounded healers.

What do you do for a living, and why?

I am the CEO of the Schizophrenia Society and also the Executive Director of the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society. As an activist and advocate I want to enhance and improve the lives of those who are affected by mental illness. My desire is that those enduring mental illness feel and experience the full privileges of citizenship and social inclusion.

Which TED talk do you think everyone should watch?

Why are you excited to speak at TEDxManitoba?

I have the opportunity to influence the thinking of many people and to make a difference in how people view mental illness. It is an opportunity to stretch myself and to give the greatest talk I have ever given.

What is your idea worth spreading?

Mental illness is not just a health issue, but a social justice issue! We are one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and we know more than ever about prevention, intervention and how to avoid relapse and re-hospitalization. By not providing recovery-oriented services, we are committing a social injustice.

What’s your connection to Manitoba?

Born in Alabama in 1952, I came to Canada in 1985 to work in Niagara Falls, Ontario. I moved to Manitoba in 1993. I live in Steinbach. I have been involved in mental health services at local, regional and provincial levels.