Oct 1-7 is Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), an annual national public education campaign coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH). CAMIMH’s mandate is to ensure that mental illness and mental health are placed on the national agenda so that Canadians receive appropriate access to care and support. CMHA is an active member of CAMIMH and is proud to support its annual Faces of Mental Illness campaign during MIAW.
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. Join us on Facebook and Twitter this week as we share statistics, information, and the stories of the 2018 Faces of Mental Illness.