CAMIMH Partners with Bell for Face Mental Illness Campaign

Campaign features five inspirational Canadians who prove 'Recovery is Possible'

OTTAWA, Sept. 8, 2011 /CNW/ - The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) is pleased to join forces with Bell Canada to launch the 2011 Face Mental Illness campaign, an annual national awareness raising program that culminates with Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) from October 2nd - 8th, 2011.

"We could not think of a more fitting title sponsor for this year's campaign than Bell," said Dr. Pamela Forsythe, Chair of MIAW. "Our entire CAMIMH team is thrilled to partner with an organization that has shown such an unprecedented amount of support to those living with mental illness."

One in five Canadians is affected by mental illness, yet persistent stigma prevents millions from getting the help they need. With the support of Bell and other sponsors, CAMIMH is able to bring about change for those living with mental health issues.

"Lending our support to the Face Mental Illness campaign is a natural fit for Bell. One of the pillars of our mental health initiative is ending the stigma associated with mental illness," said Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Mental Health Initiative. "Like CAMIMH, we believe that one of the most effective ways to break down these barriers is to share the personal stories and triumphs of those who have battled mental illness. We are truly excited to be able to help give Canadians the opportunity to hear the stories of courage and hope revealed through this year's campaign."

The Face Mental Illness campaign encourages Canadians to continue an open dialogue about mental illness to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues. The 2011 campaign features five individuals from across Canada who share their stories of recovery in hopes of inspiring others to seek help and speak out against stigma.

Roberta Price is a mother, grandmother, and member of the Coast Salish Peoples in Richmond, British Columbia.

Shana Calixte is the leader of a consumer/survivor initiative, loving partner and parent from Sudbury, Ontario.

Harmony Brown is a public speaker, mental health advocate and non-profit housing employee in Toronto, Ontario.

Steeve Hurdle is a support worker at a homeless shelter in Sherbrooke, Québec.

Jeremy Bennett is an author, professional speaker and television personality from St. John's, Newfoundland.

The Faces of Mental Illness are proof that through proper diagnosis, treatment and awareness, people with mental illnesses can live productive and fulfilling lives.

As part of MIAW, CAMIMH is also pleased to host the 9th Annual Champions of Mental Health Awards on October 5th in Ottawa, ON. This event brings together members of the CAMIMH network, politicians, business leaders, sponsors and other stakeholders to celebrate individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of the mental health agenda in Canada. The 2011 Champions of Mental Health will be announced by CAMIMH during MIAW. Those interested in sponsoring or attending the event are encouraged to visit www.miaw.ca or email champions@miaw.ca for more information.

Other sponsors of MIAW include: Fleishman-Hillard, Lundbeck Canada, Janssen, Lilly and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

About Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health. Established in 1992 by the Canadian Psychiatric Association, MIAW aims to raise awareness of the level of mental illness in Canada, reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, and promote the positive effects of best practice in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and support. Since that time, participation in MIAW activities has grown to include not only other mental health organizations but also community groups, primary care facilities, educational institutions, family support centres, and individuals. For more information on MIAW, please visit www.miaw.ca

About the Bell Mental Health Initiative

The Bell Mental Health Initiative is a $50-million, multi-year charitable program that promotes mental health across Canada based on four key pillars: anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices. It's the largest-ever corporate investment in mental health in Canada. To learn more about the Bell Mental Health Initiative and the Bell Let's Talk anti-stigma campaign, please visit bell.ca/letstalk

SOURCE Mental Illness Awareness Week

For further information:

Matt Salvatore
Fleishman-Hillard Ottawa
matt.salvatore@fleishman.ca
613-288-3272

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Mental Illness Awareness Week

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