Workplace Mental Health Champion
Arto was born in Haida Gwaii and moved to Vancouver from Northern BC in the early 1980s. He began his career in the aviation industry, where he worked for over 20 years on both fixed wing aircraft and helicopter structures. His career in aviation provided him with interesting opportunities, allowing him to work in far-flung locations from Alaska to Australia. He has felt fortunate to have held a variety of positions from hands-on mechanics to inspection, testing, and management.
Arto’s lived experience with anxiety and mild depression altered his career path. After participating in a cognitive-behavioural therapy program at the University of British Columbia’s Anxiety Disorders clinic, he felt inspired to give back to the mental health community. He began volunteering with AnxietyBC in a peer-based managing panic disorders group, which eventually led to a full time position with the organization. Arto was then promoted to Executive Director, a role he held for the next six years. He is currently in the process of starting his life coaching business, where he hopes to work with people that have experienced mental health challenges and are ready to enhance their lives through supportive planning and goal setting.