TORONTO, February 14, 2018 – While we know that people with mental illness and addiction
often face stigma in Canadian society, we may be surprised to learn
that they face it within health care environments as well. Today, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and
the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) launched a free
online course called Understanding Stigma, designed to help health care
providers and front-line clinicians develop strategies to improve care for people with mental health and addiction problems.
self-directed course is available in both official languages and
consists of three modules that focus on raising awareness, the impacts
of stigma, and challenging stigma and discrimination.
The Understanding Stigma online course is
being hosted on CAMH’s website, making it easily accessible to
health care providers and frontline clinicians Canada-wide. We invite all
members from the healthcare sector to complete this free online course,
designed to complement their strategies in understanding stigma.
a registered psychiatric nurse, if told my interaction with a person
with mental health and addiction problems caused them to feel devalued
or dismissed, it would feel like a punch in the gut. I recognize that
everyone in the system is working at capacity to provide the best
possible patient care. To show our support, the Understanding Stigma
online course was designed for health care providers who wish to develop
strategies to better understand and care for people with mental health
and addiction problems.”
–Ed Mantler, Vice President, Programs and Priorities, Mental Health Commission of Canada
is committed to improving the quality of care and driving mental health
advocacy through education. We are delighted to partner with the Mental
Health Commission of Canada to adapt and host their successful
classroom course as a free, online course—making it even more accessible
to professionals across the country. We are making progress on reducing
the stigma of mental illness. As health care providers, we must continue
to challenge our own attitudes and co-create strategies with our
patients to address stigma. Together we can make a difference.”
–Dr. Ivan Silver, Vice President, Education, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
stigmatization of people living with mental health and addiction
problems is all too common in Canada, including within health care
environments. People with lived experiences of mental health and
addiction problems often report feeling devalued, dismissed and
dehumanized by many of the healthcare professionals with whom they come
The MHCC and CAMH partnered to develop a
web platform to help market and promote efforts to enlist health care
The MHCC will facilitate the evaluation of the online course, as it has done for other health care provider programs in the past.
Research with health care providers suggests that stigma can manifest in subtle and largely unintended ways (Knaak & Patten).
The course provides scenarios,
interactive questions, personal stories and quizzes intended to help
change the attitudes and behaviours of health care providers toward
people seeking help.
Media Relations, Mental Health Commission of Canada
Media Relations, CAMH
Content borrowed from original MHCC release