Press Release – It’s Time to ACT!ON Mental Health


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It’s Time to ACT!ON Mental Health

CAMIMH asks Parliamentarians to Make Canada’s Mental Health a Priority

OTTAWA, October 7th, 2014— Members from the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) are joined today by the Faces of Mental Illness to advocate for changes to the way mental health is addressed within the federal framework. The annual Faces campaign aims to get people talking about mental illness and recognizes the important role mental health plays in the lives of all Canadians. The Faces are bringing a clear message to Parliamentarians—mental illness has many faces that everyone will recognize.

“The Faces of Mental Illness courageously share the stories of their lived experiences to show Canadians that mental illness touches us all and that by working together everyone can play a role in ending stigma and aiding recovery,” said Florence Budden, CAMIMH Campaign Chair 2014.

This year’s Faces of Mental Illness 2014 are:

Kathleen Dugas
A mother of two from Montreal, Quebec, Kathleen is now publicly sharing her story to break down the barriers and prejudices that prevent people from seeking treatment. Kathleen doesn’t hesitate to talk about her experience with
mental illness, or her recovery. She is open and honest to help demystify mental illness for all Canadians.
Mark Henick
As a front line mental health counsellor, Mark knows firsthand that stigma and systematic barriers exist when dealing with mental illness. Hailing from a small town in Atlantic Canada, Mark was discouraged from discussing his
experience with mental illness publicly. Mark successfully battled this stigma and now speaks to thousands following a very successful presentation through TEDxToronto about his experience with suicide.
Lindsay Hill
A lawyer from Toronto, Ontario, Lindsay is a passionate advocate for mental health. She successfully advocated to the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) for platform level distress lines in subway stations which resulted in the ground-breaking TTC/ Distress Centres/ Bell Canada ‘Crisis Link’ program. Lindsay now sits on the Board of the Distress Centres to further her advocacy work.
Jack Saddleback
As a proud Cree Two-Spirit Transgender man, Jack uses his voice to push for systemic change and diversity in mental health. Jack works with a number of organizations, including sitting on the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s
Youth Council. Jack strongly believes that all Canadians have mental health and that we owe it to ourselves to open up and talk about it.
Aidan Scott
An Idea Architect, Aidan attributes much of his recovery to community services such as Kids Help Phone. As an abuse survivor, Aidan is living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He wants others to know that the road to recovery isn’t always straightforward, but you can get there. To help others in the community he founded SpeakBOX, a developing program inspired by the voices of youth and young people. SpeakBOX is creating a synergy between mental and physical health to improve client experiences and outcomes.

“Bell is pleased to join this year’s Faces of Mental Illness, CAMIMH members and Parliamentarians to urge more action to end the stigma around mental illness and improve access to care,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk, sponsor of the Faces of Mental Illness. “As Canadians with lived experience, the Faces are an inspiration and source of hope for people living with mental illness and a challenge to the stigma and stereotypes around mental health issues. The Faces are the best ambassadors to engage our leaders in moving mental health forward in Canada.”

CAMIMH members and Parliamentarians assembled this morning for a breakfast, sponsored by Bell as part of their Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative, to discuss mental health concerns in Canada. The Faces of Mental Illness will be taking part in a photo opportunity today with Members of Parliament and Senators on the front steps of Centre Block at 11:30am.

“CAMIMH is committed to making sure that when someone asks for help, it is there for them, and that there are right resources to support their journey of recovery. The lack of access to services, research and implementation of best practices, and appropriate treatments for Canadians living with mental illness is something Parliamentarians can change today. Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada with and for all Canadians offers a blueprint for action in which everyone has a role to play. That is why we are on Parliament Hill – to encourage the government ACT!ON Mental Health,”- concluded Budden.

Today’s activities and events are taking place as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) 2014, an annual national initiative organized by CAMIMH which runs from October 5-11. MIAW’s purpose is to raise awareness on the importance of mental health for the overall health of all Canadians and to facilitate a muchneeded
national conversation about mental illness.

To learn more about the Faces of Mental Illness campaign, please visit CAMIMH would once again like to thank their generous sponsors who make this campaign possible: Bell Let’s Talk, Lundbeck Canada Inc., The Mental Health Commission of Canada and Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D).

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.

For more information, please contact:

Kalene DeBaeremaeker
Tél. : 613-233-8906 / 613-857-1758
Rob LeForte
Tél: 613-233-8906/ 613-720-5726

CAMIMH Members 2014:

Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention; Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists; Canadian Association of Social Workers; Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health; Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association; Canadian Federation of Mental Health Nurses; Canadian Medical Association; Canadian Mental Health Association; Canadian Nurses Association; Canadian Psychiatric Association; Canadian Psychological Association; HealthCareCan; The College of Family Physicians Canada; Mood Disorders Society of Canada; Psychosocial Rehabilitation Canada; Schizophrenia Society of Canada; Union of Psychiatric Nurses of BC.

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