Lindork’s Lists – Q&A #9: Angee Matson

Lindork’s Lists: Q&A with… is a feature I release every other Sunday via email for paid subscribers of my newsletter. The Q&A you’re reading now was actually released for subscribers a month before this blog post. In addition to the Q&A, I also release a weekly Lindork’s Lists curated recommendations for Things to Do, Eat, and Know Each Week for free newsletter subscribers. There’s a condensed version of that email published to the blog every Thursday. But basically, subscribers get everything first and fuller, and you get to be part of a cool community, get access to exclusive giveaways, great content, and are supporting the work that I do. If that’s of interest, learn more about Lindork’s Lists (and become a free or paid subscriber!)

Lindork’s Lists: Q&A #9 with Angee Matson

Originally published to newsletter subscribers on July 25, 2021

The ninth person I’m profiling in my new paid newsletter subscriber Q&A series is:

Angee Matson, Mental Health Advocate

Q&A with Angee Matson
My Q&A with Angee Matson was first released to paid subscribers on July 25, 2021.

Getting to know Angee Matson:

Angee Matson is a 28-year-old, Edmonton-based mental health advocate who works in the community development sector. Angee started popping up on my social media feed sharing pretty intense and eye-opening personal accounts of her experiences with depression, debt, and other topics that most people wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing.

Angee describes the content she shares as raw, authentic and collaborative and personally, I think her posts are a great reminder to pause and check your privileges, consider what you may take for granted in your life, and also consider how you might support others who may be struggling.

“You should follow me if you want people to talk more frankly about life’s triumphs and challenges when living with a mental illness.”
– Angee Matson

Learn more about Angee in our Q&A below and follow her Twitter and Instagram.

Let’s Dive Into the Q&A with Angee:

  1. I’ve really been interested in posts you share that are very vulnerable and talk about things I think that most people don’t usually share about, money (or lack of), paying down debt, saving up, privileges, etc. why do you share these topics?
    • We all have our own struggles in life, and mine have largely revolved around the treatment-resistant major depressive disorder that I had for over 12 years. My depression was so severe that at times I had trouble moving or speaking, but I was able to maintain a facade as a high-functioning person for a long time. It was incredibly isolating dealing with the struggles that come with a severe mental illness: financial pressures, debt, building social connections, attending to obligations, etc. And I found that no-one was really talking frankly about these things, so I felt like I was the only one dealing with them. As part of my treatment I attended many courses of group therapy, and there I learned I wasn’t alone; others were having the same struggles that I was. Eventually after we found a treatment for my depression, I started looking for a way to make meaning out of the battle I wanted for years.
    • With social media being such a powerful tool, I thought that it would be great to be the resource I wish I had when I was struggling. I want people to know that they’re not alone. I want them to feel free to open up to me about debt, sexual harassment, or feeling suicidal, and then I want to support them in finding resources. I also want to educate others who don’t struggle with mental illness, but may have to support someone who does have a diagnosis. If I can help people, it makes my struggle feel worth it.
  2. What do you hope people take away from your posts on things like poverty, intersectional feminism, politics, body positivity, and other topics you share?

    • I hope that my posts that raise awareness on being a woman/feminist, mental illness, body positivity, etc. help with the loneliness that can come when you’re struggling in a society that isn’t built for you. I want people to know that there are others out there like them, and I want to open up a conversation about supporting each other as we confront these challenges.

      I think there is a lot of power in community, but communities are built on relationships of trust, which requires vulnerability. I’m happy to use my ability to be vulnerable and authentic to help build a trusting, thriving community of authentic relationships.

  3. You’ve mentioned before that you’d love to run for office (and that you weren’t sure if it was for you—and maybe you could effect change in other ways). Why did you or do you want to be actively engaged in local politics?

    • I have thought about running for office, but I’m worried that I’m still a little sensitive; I wear my emotions close to the surface. That said, I’m highly involved in local politics and I’m doing my best to uplift candidates I believe will make positive change in our city.
    • I’m also Vice Chair of the Women’s Advocacy Voice of Edmonton (WAVE) an advisory committee to the city that advises on women’s issues here in Edmonton. I believe politics is an enormous tool for change and it can affect people’s lives for the better. I’m involved because I want to support the political process as much as I can.
  4. I respect you using your platform to talk about social issues and issues that affect our communities, have you always been doing this or have you really leaned into it the last few years?

    • I’ve always been interested in social justice and politics, but I also got bullied in high school, which affected my confidence. Then I ended up dealing with a life-altering mental illness diagnosis and trying my best to stay alive. Now that I’m in recovery, I’m starting to get my confidence and energy back to speak out on issues of importance in our society. It has been really liberating.

  5. I’d describe you as a fairly prolific social media user—can you talk about why you enjoy using social media? Benefits from your perspective? The community you have built? As well as challenges? And how you navigate those challenges?

    • I love social media because it allows you to expand your social network way beyond what is possible in person. It’s easy to find like-minded folks who want to discuss things they’re passionate about as well. The wealth of lived experience and knowledge in the small community I’ve built is overwhelming, and I love being able to share it with others.
    • Being vulnerable on social media does come with challenges though. People will open up to you about really intense situations in their lives, and you have to be ready to deal with that.
    • I am lucky to have worked in the social services sector and have the knowledge to support folks that are struggling.  Additionally, there will always be critics, and when you’re sharing highly personal content, it can be hard to shake those comments off. When this happens, I lean on my active followers to support me, and it helps remind me that THEY are who I’m trying to serve by creating my content, not the trolls.
  6. Do you have highlights from the work you’ve done that you’d like to share?

    • The amount of people I’ve been able to support has been incredible, and mostly it happens through private DMs. I’ve talked suicidal people into going to emergency rooms to seek medical treatment, I’ve inspired people to go to therapy. I’ve shared women’s experiences of harassment with City Councillors. I’ve heard from folks that cleaned out their closets and bought clothes that actually fit them rather than small sizes they tried to squeeze into, people have been inspired to go back on medications that helped them. I’ve driven people home from the hospital that I met on social media, and I’ve helped connect people with nonprofits to assist them with getting a hold of their debt.

      It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to help others through my platforms, and most of it happens “behind the scenes.”

Wrapping up our Q&A:

  • What show would you recommend people watch on Netflix (or other streaming services) and why? 

    • I recommend Superstore! It’s a feel good show and is great for giving yourself a break to smile and laugh.

  • Is there a book or podcast you recently read (or doesn’t have to be recent) that you would recommend to others and why?

    • I really recommend “Hello, I Want to Die, Please Fix Me” by Anna Mehler Paperny. She’s a Canadian journalist that suffers from treatment-resistant depression, and she delves into the reasons why depression is hard to treat, the lack of mental health resources (for example, in Indigenous communities in Canada), and the variety of treatments available to treat depression, and research being done for future treatments. It’s a great informative read!

  • What is one of your favourite restaurants or stores you’d recommend in Edmonton?

    • I adore Thien An in east Edmonton close to Wayne Gretzky Trail (7304 101 Ave.) I’m a vegetarian and their lemongrass tofu vermicelli bowl is incredible. They get it perfectly crisp!

  •  What’s something about Alberta you love or recommend others check out?

    • I grew up in Red Deer and I always enjoyed day trips to Ellis Bird Farm. A farmer sold his plot of land to an energy company, but under the condition that they would fund a nature centre and wildlife reserve.

    • It’s a beautiful place to go for a walk and afternoon tea. Ellis was particularly passionate about mountain bluebirds, and they have tons of birdhouses with gorgeous blue residents!

Thank you Angee for sharing your story!

You can connect with Ange online at:

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