Who We Are

UnderstandUs is a volunteer initiative that combats the stigma of mental health.

Our Vision: to improve the health and understanding of those with mental health barriers.

Our Mission: to provide awareness and education to overcome mental health barriers in youth.

We Believe:

  • The biggest impact we can make is in youth education.
  • Encouraging Vulnerability will allow youth to seek help at an early age.
  • Isolation results from the misconception and stigma attached to mental health.
  • There is a need for healthy outlets in the early stages of mental illness.




Jim Demeray – Co Founder

Jim Demeray Co-Founder jdemeray@understandus.ca

I am 31 years old.  I have always challenged myself to achieve many goals in my life and although I have found success, I have struggled with generalized anxiety.  I have also known many others close to me that have struggled with mental health barriers, and a common theme was a lack of understanding surrounding it.  I wanted to change this reality by promoting the understanding of those with mental health barriers in turn improving the health and happiness of these individuals.

Read Jim’s Story



Thomas Le – Co Founder


I have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (Combined Type).   Regardless of the stereotypes of ADHD, I have completed an extensive amount of education and have always challenged myself.  Although I have struggled to focus according to a certain set of expectations, I have achieved focus and passion building inclusive communities.   These experiences have aided me to live more wholeheartedly and accomplish many achievements that I am proud of.   It is through being a part of inclusive communities that I have discovered the power of recognizing the individual, and the spectrum of ability in each person.    This understanding has led me to the belief that individuals have diversabilities, not disabilities.  I hope UnderstandUs may assist individuals embrace their diversabilities and better participate in the communities they are a part of.



Eddie Alvaro – Creative Director

My relationship with mental health not only deals with my own personal battles, but with friends and family as well. I have spent a lot of my life fighting for and against myself in my own head. It has caused me to both succeed and fail. With my art, I find peace in creating images that reflect those battles. I love creating images that evoke emotion. I hope others can find creative ways to express their feelings – not only as a form of self expression but as a way to identify and understand the beauty in the positives and negatives of their own unique individualities.