Victoria Maxwell

Victoria Maxwell

Add to list
Inspirational Wellness Warrior and Mental Health Keynote Speaker

Victoria Maxwell is an internationally recognized keynote speaker and performer who shares her personal story of  recovery from a mental illness to increase awareness, transform negative beliefs and ignite powerful conversations about Diversity and Mental Wellness in the workplace.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health named Victoria a leader in Mental health.  Her theatrical keynote “That’s Just Crazy Talk” has been rated as one of the top anti-stigma interventions in the country.  Her media appearances include CNN, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Living with bipolar disorder, anxiety and psychosis, Victoria is a self-proclaimed Wellness Warrior who uses a one-woman performance to share her story. For the last 20 years, she’s helped audiences and organizations better understand the ‘insider’s’ experience of living with and recovering from mental illness; how to comfortably speak to someone who’s struggling with a mental health challenge and how to create long-lasting wellness in a supportive environment. 

As the very first Lived Experience Strategic Advisor at British Columbia Mental Health Substance Use Services, Victoria leads various projects for the organization. In particular, she created and leads the first Creative Writing program at BC’s Forensic Psychiatric Hospital with plans to expand to other sites.

A founding member of CREST.BD, a global research team on bipolar disorder, Victoria has blogged for Psychology Today magazine for over 15 years.

While her story is her own, the messages in her keynotes are universal.  Audience members walk away energized and enlightened by her insightful keynotes and workshops. 

Add to list

Speaking topics

Wow, You Look so Normal! Mental Illness and Diversity in the Workplace

‘Wow, You Look so Normal’ is Victoria Maxwell’s award-winning one-woman show that captures the workplace before, during and after a bipolar disorder, anxiety and psychosis diagnosis.

Based on her true-life story, this performance follows her journey of recovery with mental illness from being a Safeway cashier to wearing a backless hospital gown; to working with job coaches and finding her way back into employment. It’s a personal story of a mental health struggle and the triumph when Diversity in the workplace includes supporting mental health issues.

This funny and moving show entertains, educates and inspires in equal measure. Exploding stigmas about mental illness, mental health and recovery, it creates the space for critical conversations that help you understand what is possible.

You’ll learn what changes and strategies are needed to create healthy, safe environments for those struggling with mental health in the workplace.

Take Aways:

  • Reduced stigma and increased awareness and empathy of mental health issues in the workplace
  • Strategies to help an employee or co-worker who is struggling at work
  • Ability to recognize the warning signs of mental health issues
  • Understand the difference between mental health and mental illness
  • Increased comfort discussing workplace mental illness and mental health and opportunity to talk about it
  • Powerful message that employment success after mental illness is possible and employment is a pathway to wellness
  • What workplace wellness and a healthy workplace looks like
  • Qualities of a supportive manager
  • Effective return to work strategies

Ideal for events with themes of diversity and disability, mental health and wellness, employment, career, return to work and workplace wellness.

That’s Just Crazy Talk - Mental Illness and Stigma

During COVID it couldn’t be a more important time to talk about mental health. Through the medium of theatre, Victoria offers your audience a one-woman show that creates a safe and comfortable way for people to learn and speak openly about mental health and reach out for help.

It is a funny and very truthful performance that describes Victoria’s journey of coming to terms with her own mental illness, the mental illness within her family and with the stigma it carries. It follows her experience as a child of a parent with a mental illness and what it took for Victoria to overcome these challenges.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) named “That’s Just Crazy Talk” one of the most effective anti-stigma tools in the country. Two research project findings demonstrate the show significantly reduces stigma. For information, see the MHCC evaluation report which summarizes the evidence and details from the studies.

This unique one-woman show leaves audiences with hope, understanding and strategies to support others struggling with mental health issues.


  • Increased comfort discussing mental health and the opportunity to talk about it openly.
  • Understanding the experience of mental illness from different family perspectives
  • Strategies to support individuals with mental health issues to reach out and accept help
  • A look at the impact of stigma across multiple generations
  • Reduced stigma and increased understanding and empathy
  • Increased awareness of early warning signs of mental health concerns
  • Understanding the myths of mental illness
  • What wellness and recovery looks like
  • Insight into what works and what doesn’t in treatment plans
  • Inspiration, hope and encouragement

Ideal for events with themes of disability and diversity; mental health and wellness; stigma reduction; workplace wellness; community and corporate events; health conferences, university events.

Video clips

Victoria Maxwell: Funny You Don't Look Crazy

Victoria Maxwell: That’s Just Crazy Talk

Speaker testimonials

Victoria’s session was a huge hit and we had received such a robust feedback on how engaging she was and her content was so relevant to our objectives of increasing awareness, addressing stigma around mental illness and igniting thought provoking dialogue about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Mental Wellness in the workplace.

“The way Victoria presented was absolutely amazing. I didn’t want her to stop.”

“I loved her candor when speaking about mental health issues and even the manner in which she delivered the topic. I really think that it provided some clarity into those who have never, knowingly, encountered that type of situation and some tools on how to possibly assist, if ever required.”

“She was so engaging, funny, honest, vulnerable and relatable. She did a great job normalizing mental health discussions at work.”

Virtual Keynote 2021

VIRTUAL EVENT: One the best speakers we’ve had. Grabbed me right from the beginning: moving, educational and inspirational. A powerful way to learn about mental health. We’ll definitely try to have her back.

Don Romano | President & CEO, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.

Victoria is magic…the response was unprecedented. All sold-out shows. We are still receiving calls about the power of those performances…a leader in mental health education.

Katie Hughes | Executive Director, Canadian Mental Health Association, Vancouver

Anyone in the presence of Victoria Maxwell feels the heat of truth. I’m grateful for how she’s poked at the stigma piñata and left me feeling we’re not alone.

Shelagh Rogers | Officer of the Order of Canada, CBC Radio journalist & mental health advocate

We can’t thank you enough Victoria. You charged the energy in the room which totally set the stage for the next phase of the summit. You were the highlight of the event!

Dee Cosetto | Director Global Relations & Director, Inclusion & Diversity Staffing, Cisco Systems

Exceptionally engaging, thought-provoking and irreverently funny. Her expertise and experience translate into good business sense. This is an important element in the wellness initiatives our company takes pride in offering our employees.

Shane Ramsay | CEO, BC Housing

Transformational! Victoria creates a willingness in people to talk about mental illness and actively reach out for help. She shifted the direction of our organization and reached people we could not otherwise reach.

Noel Clark | Director of Talent Management, AgriVision Management

Victoria’s session was fantastic for our leaders. She hit it out of the park and it was just what we wanted. She’s an inspiring and engaging keynote speaker and facilitator.

Tania Bennett | CEO, WCG Services

It was wonderful. Victoria really created an opportunity for more open discussion between leaders and team members. The authentic way she presents her story is a great catalyst to starting conversations at a grass roots level around mental health.

Kerilee Snatenchuk | Director of People and Culture, ATB Financial

Request fees and availability for Victoria Maxwell

Request information