Elissa Aikema (she/her)
UBC Assistant Project Coordinator - SHAWNA
El is an Interviewer/Outreach worker for the SHAWNA project; she is extremely humbled to bear witness to each participant’s unique lived experience by listening to each person share their vulnerabilities, challenges, and pain, as well as their strengths, resiliency, and wisdom. El is of settler and Indigenous heritage (Dutch & Métis), born and raised on the S’ólh Téméxw, shared asserted territory of the Stó:lō. Currently, she is studying Psychology, Gender and Sexuality at Simon Fraser University. As a person living with Bipolar disorder, El has an understanding of the ways in which societal, structural, and internalized stigma work to negatively affect one’s health and well-being; as such, she is passionate about destigmatizing the areas of mental illness, HIV+, substance-use, and sex work.