Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sandra at Me Too Conversations Vol. 2

Thanks to Waynes World Studio for taping my talk at the event last week!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Project Pulse Vancouver 2016

Project Pulse is a nationwide series of presentations to introduce high school students or interested parties to the world of Health Sciences. For people interested in the field, I will be a keynote speaker at their Vancouver event Saturday, January 30th, followed by talks by talented students and professionals. If you go to their Project Pulse website, there are more details about the event and ticket prices you can buy online. Plus bios of all the speakers and the schedule for the day. Here's the blurb on my presentation:

A Client's Perspective

With images of her art over the span of her illness, Sandra will describe her experience of schizophrenia, the elements that aided her recovery, the holistic model of care, and the role of health professionals including Mental Health and Addictions Case Managers, Occupational Therapists and Psychiatrists. If you'd like to learn more about schizophrenia and how you can make a difference in the field of mental health, this presentation is for you.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Me Too Conversations Vol. 2

Happy New Year!

With a new year comes new expectations…higher expectations. It seems as though everyone is setting goals, making plans and developing new habits. But what if you can barely slog your way out of bed in the morning? It’s a reality for many of us. It’s the darkest time of year. The holidays are over and the credit card bills are coming in. People feel alone.The good news is that despite how isolated we may feel, we certainly aren’t alone. VGH & UBC Foundation is presenting the second installment of a speaker series that aims to get us talking about our mental health struggles.
Me Too Conversations Vol. 2 is happening January 13th, and is an event where individuals with mental illness can share their personal stories of hope, resilience and innovation. The idea is that by talking about mental health and how it affects us all, we can reduce the stigma that keeps people from seeking help.
The list of speakers is impressive and represents people who have worked in mental health care, and been recipients of it as well.
  • Mental health writer Natasha Tracy of Bipolar Blurble, who has been named one of the most influential people on the Internet on the subject of depression. Her blend of professional and personal experience with mental health challenges makes her a compelling and insightful voice. 
  • Sandra Yuen MacKay, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 15. In spite of a diagnosis that would stop many people, she’s an inspiring artist, author and speaker, with a degree in art history from UBC. She’s even received a Courage to Come Back award for her outstanding achievements. 
  • Ryan Tine is a frontline mental health worker who has supported people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside who are struggling with mental health issues. Ryan draws on his personal experience with bipolar disorder, trauma and addiction. He’s  also experienced homelessness after aging out of the youth care system in Manitoba. He specializes in transgender health issues and rights, and is a proponent of harm reduction and “housing first” models
To get the dialogue started, organizers are encouraging people to share their own “me too” stories on twitter using the hashtag #metoovan and tagging @VGHFdn. Having the courage to say “me too” could make a huge difference for people suffering with mental health issues, at the time of year when the need is most acute. We aren’t alone in this.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Saga of Sandra

This year has been a year of stabilization and growing insights. I am no longer a committee member for the Consumer Initiative Fund, however I did learn as much as I could from that role. Currently, I continue to be a Director for Coast Foundation Society and attended their Courage to Come Back Awards gala last May. I am also still involved in planning for the Joseph and Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre, an acute mental health facility at Vancouver General Hospital.

I visited New York for the first time and was awed by original paintings by the Abstract Expressionists, Picasso, Klimt, Monet and many others. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island were other highlights.

At the Guggenheim, I witnessed a demonstration and lock down.

During the summer, my husband completed stage 2 of installing a new roof with some assistance. We celebrated our 21st anniversary and my 50th birthday.

This fall, I've taken up mindfulness training. At first, I was skeptical but with an open mind, I look forward to the classes, developing awareness, and learning more about myself.

My art has changed over the past year. I have been working in both an expressionistic and illustrative style. My graphite drawings have become more precise and detailed. I started a new Facebook page where I post a piece of my art every day.

I'm looking forward to participating in the Eastside Culture Crawl through the Kettle Society, the ROAM Gallery Holiday Show at City Square Mall and a group show at Caffe Rustico Galleria in December.

Best wishes to you all,

I'd like to invite you to a few events this season, where my artwork will be displayed for sale.

ROAM Gallery "The 60 / 120 / 240 Art Show"
Nov 12 to Jan 5 at City Square Mall, 555 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver 
Artwork by various artists will be exhibited at various locations around the mall. I have a couple of paintings in this Holiday Show.
Art Against Stigma, Eastside Culture Crawl
Opening reception: Thursday, Nov 19, 5 - 7 pm 
Show runs: Thursday and Friday, Nov 19 & 20, 5 - 10 pm
Saturday and Sunday, Nov 21 & 22, 11 - 6 pm
1784 East Hastings, Vancouver 
Caffe Rustico Galleria
Group show during most of December
3136 Main Street, Vancouver

Look for upcoming shows in 2016 on my Sandra Yuen Artist Facebook page.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Time to Tell by Maria Savva

Another amazing tale by Maria Savva has now been released! Maria is a talented writer from the UK.

A family saga spanning fifty years and three generations. . . Cara fell for the tall, dark, handsome stranger, fifty years before. Now Frederick is about to return to her life. Can true love stand the test of time? When Cara's granddaughter, Penelope, flees her home to escape a violent husband, Cara's world is turned upside down. She returns to Huddlesea, the town she grew up in. Her estranged sister Gloria is less than happy to see her again. Can they rebuild their relationship after the tragic circumstances that tore them apart? Benjamin, Cara's eldest son, has been missing for sixteen years. She longs to see him again. Will their reunion be everything she had hoped for? In this romantic drama, history repeats itself for a family lost in secrets. After the lies, the Time has come to Tell.

It's available to purchase in paperback on, coming to Amazon UK soon and other online retailers. It's on Lulu in paperback. The Kindle version is on pre-sale at the moment: release date 14th October.

Here are the links:


Please check out her book trailer:

Friday, February 6, 2015


Please come out to the show and bring a friend! I will have some extra drawings on hand at the opening on Thursday.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sharing at Christmas

So I'm gearing up for Christmas. I'm ready for good conversation, seeing friends and family, good eats and wrapping presents. For some, Christmas isn't a time to celebrate because of lack of money to buy food or gifts or they are going through a rough time. For patients and staff on the Older Adult ward at Willow Pavilion at Vancouver General Hospital, I hope I can spread some joy and happiness through donating this painting to their dining hall.

All the best to you and yours,

'Hibiscus' hung on December 15, 2014