“When I reimagine this world without barriers to well-being opportunities and rights, I see it as a safer and kinder community. I see it as a world where laws and policies are set in place to protect people and encourage them to thrive.

Tatyana Sleiman is a mental health and human rights advocate and psychologist. She is the executive director of Skoun, a harm reduction and addiction treatment center that provides support, protection, and educational services related to drug use and mental health. She has also spent years advocating for the rights of people who use drugs, individuals with mental health ailments, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people living with HIV, and displaced and migrant populations.

Tatyana’s commitment to equal access to mental health support and well-being opportunities is based in a desire to disrupt existing disparities. She and her colleagues at SKOUN provide services related to drug use and mental health while simultaneously working to reform laws, policies, and practices that perpetuate inequality. SKOUN advocates for the rights of people who use drugs and other communities at a heightened risk of drug use by understanding how different forms of oppression can overlap to make people more vulnerable.

Tatyana’s work revolves around the principle that people do not lose their rights because of who they are or how they choose to live their lives, and that access to basic rights does not come at the expense of personal freedom and liberty. By addressing inequalities in mental health and well-being systems, she believes that we can pave the way for a more harmonious and just world.