-FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-
Mental Illness Awareness Week 2018: Mental Health Parity Main Focus for CAMIMH
OTTAWA (October 1, 2018) – Today marks the beginning of Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) taking place from October 1 to 7. As part of MIAW, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) is calling on the Canadian government to embrace the principle of Mental Health Parity – affirming equal value, attention and funding for both physical health and mental health.
CAMIMH is an alliance of 16 national mental health organizations. As part of its advocacy work, CAMIMH selects five Faces of Mental Illness (representing the 1 in 5 Canadians affected by mental illness in a given year) to help advocate for change to mental health policy by sharing their stories of resilience and recovery.
As part of MIAW 2018, CAMIMH and the Faces of Mental Illness will attend meetings on Parliament Hill to discuss the realities of those living with mental illness and the barriers they experienced while trying to access mental health services in Canada.
“While CAMIMH is dedicated to ending the stigma of mental illness, accessing mental health services continues to be a significant barrier for people to live in recovery,” said Fred Phelps, CAMIMH Campaign Chair. “Consequently, we call on the government to remove barriers and provide accessible services by funding mental health in parity with physical health.”
MIAW pushes mental illness to the forefront of the Canadian consciousness by engaging decision-makers and bringing out the voices and experiences of those who have or have had mental illness to the public.
“As a proud supporter of both CAMIMH and the MIAW initiative, we want to encourage all Canadians to join the conversation,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “We also want to congratulate and applaud the 5 Faces of Mental Illness. By sharing your stories and advocating for necessary change, you are helping millions of Canadians learn about the realities of mental illness.”
Across the country, hundreds of organizations from schools to workplaces and hospitals are supporting MIAW with their own initiatives. Follow #MIAW18 on social media throughout the week to learn more about these programs.
CAMIMH would like to thank its generous Bell Let’s Talk partner and sponsors who make this campaign possible: The Mental Health Commission of Canada, Lundbeck Canada Inc., Innovative Medicines Canada and Impact Public .
To learn more about CAMIMH and Mental Illness Awareness Week, please visit www.camimh.ca.
Established in 1998, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) is an alliance of national mental health organizations comprised of health care providers and organizations representing persons with mental illness and their families and caregivers. CAMIMH’s mandate is to ensure that mental health is placed on the national agenda so that persons with a lived experience of mental illness and their families receive appropriate access to care and support.
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