Psychiatrists: Part of the Solution to Combat the Stigma of Mental Illness



    VANCOUVER, Sept. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Psychiatric Association
(CPA) is urging psychiatrists to become part of the solution in the fight
against the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness.
    Dr. Manon Charbonneau, past-president of the CPA and now chair of the
Association's new Stigma Working Group says the best place to start is to
improve awareness among psychiatrists. "We need to clean up our own backyard
before we can move on to the neighbours," says Dr. Charbonneau. "We are in a
unique position to advocate for real change and provide leadership to our
medical colleagues."
    The Stigma Working Group will launch its campaign to get psychiatrists
involved at the CPA's 58th Annual Conference in Vancouver this week. "Over
900 conference delegates will be issued a challenge - to take pride in a
profession that has long been placed on the periphery of medicine as it
provides care to a marginalized and shamed group of patients, neglected by the
health care system and discriminated against by society," says Dr. Patrick
White, CPA President.
    Psychiatrists will be asked to wear t-shirts with the statement, Proud to
be a psychiatrist-Part of the solution, throughout the meeting this weekend.
The Canadian Psychiatric Association will also be conducting a survey of its
members asking them about their own personal experiences with stigma within
the medical community as well as the discrimination experienced by their
patients.
    "The t-shirt campaign is a call to action," says Dr. Charbonneau. "And
the stories amassed by the survey will inform an action plan to eliminate the
shame of mental illness."

    The Canadian Psychiatric Association is the national voice for Canada's
4,100 psychiatrists and more than 600 psychiatric residents. Founded in 1951,
the CPA is dedicated to promoting an environment that fosters excellence in
the provision of clinical care, education and research.




For further information:

For further information: Hélène Côté, Canadian Psychiatric Association,
(613) 794-9663, hcote@cpa-apc.org

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Canadian Psychiatric Association

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