Faces of Mental Illness
- What is the Faces Campaign?
The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) will be pleased to invite nominations from the public for its Faces of Mental Illness campaign beginning on May 9, 2019. For the past many years, CAMIMH has been proud to organize and host the courage of Canadians who have stepped up in determination and in hopes of becoming a Face of Mental Illness. They have come to the campaign with their unique and diverse stories and backgrounds showing Canadians that mental illness has many Faces – faces that are recognizable to us all. CAMIMH’s Faces campaign created the first organized opportunity for Canadians to convene a very public discussion about mental illness; discussion which is critical to creating awareness and decreasing stigma. To stay informed of when the nominations are launched, please sign up for our e-newsletter here.How to nominate a Face?
Self-nominations and nominations for others are welcome. If nominating someone else, please verify that the person you are nominating is agreeable to the nomination. On the nomination form, describe your or their mental health journey. Tell us about what you experienced, what has made your journey difficult and what has made it easier. Tell us where you have been, where you are now and where you hope to go in your journey. Feel free to let us know who or what has helped you in your journey and what, in your view, is critical to recovery when it comes to mental illness.What do Faces do?
If selected as a Face of Mental Illness, you will have an opportunity to tell your story to Canada through public service announcements (PSAs) developed by CAMIMH and aired over a variety of media outlets in October of that year. You will also be invited to a celebratory event in Ottawa in October during Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) as well as advocacy meetings on Parliament Hill, designed to continue public discussion about mental health and mental illness. In addition, you will be invited to attend CAMIMH’s Champion’s Gala the following calendar year and to participate in the Bell Let’s Talk campaign.How are the Faces selected?
A selection committee from CAMIMH will review and coordinate the selection of Faces. Consideration will be given not just to the stories told but also to ensuring that as a group, the Faces represent a range of people, mental illnesses and stories from across Canada. A short list of candidates will be developed based on submitted nominations. Those short-listed will then be invited to a telephone meeting. The purpose of the telephone meeting is to ensure that candidates fully understand and are comfortable with the Faces role and to answer any questions they may have.Questions?
Please contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (613) 233-8906.
The Faces nominations have now closed. If you would like to know when nominations open next year, please sign up for our e-newsletter
Current Faces of Mental IllnessJulie Keddy
Growing up in rural Nova Scotia, Julie was a shy introverted individual who secretly struggled with anxiety, depression, and obsessive thoughts beginning in her teens. While maintaining high academic standing throughout her schooling, nobody would have recognized the challenges she was battling internally. During her first year of university, Julie began a downward spiral causing her to finally reach out for help. Diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder in her 20s, Julie began a treatment of counselling and medication and began her road to recovery. Julie holds Bachelor’s Degrees in both Science and Education as well as a Master of Education in Curriculum Studies. As a teacher, Julie has gained further appreciation of the need for support for youth living with mental illness. In 2014, she returned to Acadia University to obtain a Master of Education in Counselling, enabling her to work as a school counsellor.B Adair
B grew up on a small farm in East Central Alberta and spent the last 8 years working as a Paramedic, but is currently finishing up nursing school. B is happily married to his partner Alix, a pre-school teacher, and together they have a house full of foster fails. B and Alix are foster parents for a local animal rescue and have had all kinds of creatures (furry and otherwise) stay with them at one point or another.
B is a writer, avid reader, sports enthusiast, volunteer hockey coach, and loves everything to do with being outside, particularly camping, kayaking, hiking and travelling.
B is currently working to launch a website promoting advocacy and education for rural communities regarding LGBTQ issues and awareness. As an openly gay and transgender man, B proudly mentors queer youth from surrounding communities. Having grown up in very conservative, rural Alberta, B has personally experienced the difficulties of ‘coming out’ in areas lacking LGBTQ knowledge & resources and wants to break down those barriers, destroy the stereotypes, and ensure everyone who needs support has access to the resources they deserve.
Having also dealt with PTSD related to working as a first responder, B is intimately familiar with the mental health system and wants to promote improved mental health care resources in rural Alberta.Shania Pruden
Shania is a twenty-one year old Indigenous Rights Activist, Blogger, Youth Motivational Speaker and the Youth Director for the Bear Clan Patrol. In May 2014, Shania lost her older sister Emerald to suicide, this hit Shania very hard. Shania fell into what felt like a dark tunnel, unable to see the light at the end. She was diagnosed with OCD and Depression. Inspired to keep her sister’s legacy alive, Shania launched a blog to raise awareness on Indigenous Rights and Mental Health. Soon after she started turning her written work into action, by becoming a Youth Motivational Speaker – speaking to thousands across Canada and even speaking at WE Day Manitoba about the importance of imagining the possibilities. Shania has found power in using her voice to inspire, motivate and empower people of all ages to find their spark, light it up and keep it going.Frédéric Tremblay
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) has been a part of Frédéric’s life since adolescence. Though his life was not immediately impacted by the disorder, his mental health spiralled during his late-twenties and for the subsequent 15 years. This led him to put his career on hold and seek treatment in a psychiatric hospital for months at a time.
Fortunately, Frédéric had a great support network of family and medical professionals. Due, in part, to effective medication and his faith, he was able to gradually regain control of both his personal and professional life. Today, Frédéric serves as the President volunteer at the Fondation Québécoise pour le trouble obsessionnel-compulsif (FQTOC). In his role, Frédéric seeks to help people living with OCD cope with the disorder and lead a regular life. During his free time, Frédéric is also a motivational speaker; sharing his experiences living with the disorder. He hopes his efforts within his community will set an example and give hope to those living with OCD.Sylvie Mercier
Sylvie was diagnosed with bipolar disorder five years ago, as a result of significant changes in her work environment that deeply affected her. Following her first diagnosis with adjustment disorder and falling into a deep depression shortly thereafter, Sylvie suffered a manic episode. This lead to a five-week-long forced hospitalization.
Sylvie has always made promoting mental health in the workplace her priority, whether by educating her colleagues on the topic or by encouraging them to seek professional help when necessary. Her social media presence serves to inform employers and raise awareness on the different challenges associated with mental illness and mental health. While her journey towards recovery has seen ups and downs, Sylvie is a firm believer of “leaving time to time”. She owes her recovery to the continued support of her family, friends and the benefits of years of regular physical activities.
Our annual Faces Public Service Announcements.
MIAW 2019 will be October 7-11, 2019
Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness. The week was established in 1992 by the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and is now coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) in cooperation with all its member organizations and many other supporters across Canada.
One of MIAW’s major initiatives is the Faces of Mental Illness campaign, a national outreach campaign featuring the stories of Canadians living in recovery from mental illness. Thousands of pieces of MIAW materials featuring the Faces are disseminated to hundreds of organizations across Canada in an effort to raise awareness and end the stigma associated with mental illness.
This year CAMIMH will be hosting a Faces of Mental Illness Reception in Ottawa. This marquee event takes place in October and brings together Members of Parliament, prominent decision makers, the Faces from the Faces of Mental Illness campaign, and CAMIMH members to express support for current mental health initiatives and engage in a discussion regarding the need for increased access to mental health services for all Canadians.
Established in 1998, CAMIMH is an alliance of national organizations whose activities span the broad continuum of mental health. They represent: consumers and their families; health care and social service providers; professional associations; and community and research organizations. Together, they constitute a vibrant network of national, provincial and community-based organizations dedicated to serving the mental health needs of the people of Canada from coast-to-coast-to-coast. CAMIMH’s mission is to promote and facilitate the development, adoption, and implementation of a national action plan on mental illness and mental health.
CAMIMH represents one voice for collective mental health.
Mental Illness Awareness Week runs exclusively on funding from our sponsors, partners and contributors. You or your organization can make a difference by making a contribution to the MIAW campaign.
Use the instructions below to submit your contribution. Unfortunately, CAMIMH is not able to issue charitable receipts at this time.Thank you for your support!
Please make your cheque out to:
The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health
222 Queen Street, Suite 1404
Or make an online donation here:
2019 MIAW Materials will be available this summer. Below are the 2018 materials.
Here are the postcards to print at home. Download here.
Here are the social media shareables. Download here.
Hear from CAMIMH members. Download here.
Here are the posters to print at home. Download here.
Join the conversation!
• Mental illness directly and indirectly affects millions of Canadians across the country. Help spread awareness! #MIAW18
• We are proud to support this year’s Faces of Mental Illness. Learn more about them today!
• Join us from October 1-7 2018 to talk about the reality of mental illnesses in Canada. Use the hashtag #MIAW18 to let us know what you’re doing!
Mental illness affects more than six million people across the country, or one in five Canadians. A strong societal stigmatization of mental illness persists, forcing individuals into the shadows to suffer alone in silence. Unfortunately, many Canadians with mental illness will not seek the help they need and society continues to remain unaware of the significant burden mental illness places on us all.
The MIAW campaign has fought to increase awareness and decrease stigmatization through the sharing of hundreds of personal stories from individuals living with mental illness. Our purpose is to place mental illness on the national stage by educating Canadians and healthcare practitioners on the importance of early recognition, proper diagnosis, and effective medical treatment and show that by doing so, individuals living with mental illness are capable of leading rewarding and productive lives.
We hope to reach more Canadians than ever before and encourage them to share their personal stories about stigma and how it negatively affects them in their personal life, in the workplace, or in their community.
For more information on MIAW materials, please contact CAMIMH at 613-233-8906 or by e-mail email@example.com.
Through the generous support of our sponsors, this year we were able to provide MIAW campaign materials for free for a limited time. Although the time has passed to order the print materials for this year, we invite you to download and print your very own copies! Please consider making a donation. Your generous donation will allow CAMIMH to distribute materials, to larger audiences, for future Mental Illness Awareness Weeks, ultimately bringing greater awareness and support to mental health in Canada!