Write often about mental health challenges—the greater awareness generated about mental health, the more chance there is of helping people who have problems associated with these illnesses.
- Let us know if you are looking for story ideas—we have lots of them and would be more than happy to share these ideas with you.
- We are asking for your help in reducing the stigma around mental illness including addiction because stigma is a huge problem for people living with mental illness.
- We can accomplish this by dispelling some of the negative stereotypes that follow people who have mental illness such as: people with mental illness including addictions are all potentially violent and dangerous; are somehow responsible for their condition; and have nothing positive to contribute.
- Labels matter. Don’t describe a person with a substance use disorder as a “heroin addict,” “drug user,” or “alcoholic.” Defining a person by their disorder makes the disorder become that person’s “master status”—the reader or viewer will only see the person as defined by the illness not by who they really are as an individual.
- Help us reduce stigma by not leaving the person out when describing an individual. When a person is called a schizophrenic, the reader will only see the disorder and conjure up mental images that are likely negative and stereotypical. The same can be said for a person who is called a “manic-depressive or a "depressed person.” Chances are they could be receiving treatment for these symptoms and are in fact not feeling depressed at all.
- Please refer to us as the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health or CAMH on second reference. When referring to our other locations, please use their street names, for example, the College Street site, the Russell Street site and the Queen Street site.
- If possible, please contact us well in advance of your deadline—we understand deadlines are sometimes tight—but we want to be able to identify the most appropriate spokesperson or expert to answer your questions. We can be reached at 416 595-6015 or at email@example.com.