CAMHblog > Posts > Stories that got us talking about mental health
|Stories that got us talking about mental health
|Feb 12, 2013
Today is the third annual Bell Let’s Talk Day, a day dedicated to inspiring open discussion about mental illness and the stigma that surrounds it.
Since last February, the topic of
mental illness has frequently appeared in mainstream media - from news
headlines to Hollywood blockbusters.
The stories highlighted in this
post reflect the major achievements and tragic losses that have shaped
public discussion about mental illness over the last year.
What do these stories tell us about how we view mental health and mental illness in 2013? Has there been a shift in how mental illness is portrayed? Has the discussion reached a tipping point or are we still struggling against public stigma in the same way since the launch of Bell Let’s Talk day in 2010?
A big step forward
- During Mental Health Week, The Mental Health Commission of Canada publicly released Changing Directions, Changing Lives - Canada’s first national mental health strategy.
- One month later, CAMH celebrated the grand opening of phase two of the bold redevelopment of our Queen Street site – launching an open, inclusive treatment centre for mental illness and addiction woven into the surrounding neighbourhood.
- The March 2013 edition of the Walrus magazine features an in-depth look at the CAMH redevelopment project as a metaphor for “The Mainstreaming of Mental Health,” including an original documentary:
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The burden is real – spotlight on mental health
- On October 10, the World Health Organization marked the 20th anniversary of World Mental Health Day with a focus on depression. Experts estimate that 350 million people globally are affected by depression and, by 2030, it will be the leading cause of the global burden of disease.
- A new Ontario report called Opening Eyes, Opening Minds showed that the burden of mental illness and addictions is more than 1.5 times that of all cancers and more than seven times that of all infectious diseases.
Youth mental health
More star power
Photograph: Showtime/Everett/Rex Features
- Actress Glen Close opened up about her family's struggle with addiction, suicide and mental illness, and the world listened.
American singer Demi Lovato
revealed her struggle with bipolar disorder, bulimia, drug addiction and self-harm, in the hope that her story about recovery will inspire young fans to seek treatment.
Mental health plays a major role in several popular television shows and movies, including Emmy winning Homeland, David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook , and the new Canadian police procedural Cracked on CBC TV.
Carrie Anderson (Claire Danes) in Homeland is 'a central character who is not defined by her illness'.
Men’s Mental Health
- This year, the mustachioed movement known as Movember identified men's mental health as a beneficiary of the month-long global campaign.
- After what seemed like an eternity for hockey fans, the NHL returned from its lockout and implemented Hockey Talks, a program that brought mental health awareness to the minds of hockey fans and players alike.
- NBA rookie Royce White opens up about suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and his inability to fly on planes due to his mental illness causes a rift with his Houston Rockets Team.
New hope for the future
- CAMH and Thornhill Medical Centre announce that, for the first time in Canada, a family practice clinic will offer genetic testing to predict how their mental health patents will respond to psychiatric medication – a new avenue for personalized medicine.
- In November CAMH celebrated the opening of the Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brain Intervention. With new brain stimulation therapies including Magnetic Seizure Therapy (MST) and Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), the opening of this new centre coincided with a reinvigorated discussion about Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as a still effective treatment for severe depression.
- CAMH lays the groundwork for its Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, after a groundbreaking $30 million gift from the Campbell Family – the largest private donation ever given to a Canadian hospital in support of mental illness and addiction