Defeating Denial The Centre For Addiction and Mental Health launches challenging new campaign to shift public perceptions about mental health

TORONTO, June 11, 2012 /CNW/ - "You just need a night out....or perhaps it's a 21 day stay". CAMH, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, launches a fresh and provocative new awareness campaign citywide today by asking people to re-evaluate their outlook on mental illness. As Canada's largest mental illness and addiction academic health science centre, CAMH plays an instrumental role, leading in system-building, societal conversations and advocating for social justice. In positioning mental health as the issue of our times, CAMH is asking everyone to "defeat denial and help defeat mental illness."

The creative platform that DentsuBos has helped create stems from the reality that society tends to dismiss, ignore and overlook mental illness. This campaign puts a very personal and relatable lens on the issue and encourages a reader/viewer to self-evaluate and question their own actions, words and values. CAMH recognizes that a campaign that takes a one-on-one perspective is key to changing the way we speak to each other when faced with a potential mental health problem.  Challenging attitudes of denial at the individual level will also help advance mental health issues in society at large.

"Our commitment is to lead change in mental health.  However, we recognize we can't do it alone. We need our community partners and the public to play a critical role," said Dr. Catherine Zahn, CAMH President and CEO. "We've all heard or said things like 'Don't worry, it's just a phase', 'It's all in your head', 'Snap out of it' and 'You just need a night out'. While we're all familiar with this trivializing language, until we recognize that it deters people from seeking help, we won't be able to help the two out of three Canadians suffering from mental illness who have been denied and dismissed."

The GTA has been and will be seeing colourful transit shelter ads, billboards, an evocative cinema & TV spot, along with radio and online tactics that showcase a variety of phrases, each with a pay off line that helps turn the corner on denial.

Overall, the purpose of this campaign is two-fold: First, to get people to re-evaluate their outlook on mental illness; second, to give the public a deeper understanding of the programs, facilities and vision at CAMH, Canada's largest research and teaching hospital in the field of mental health.

The campaign will roll out across the GTA over the coming weeks with a drive to Facebook and Twitter to keep the conversation and momentum going.

SOURCE Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

For further information:

Michael Torres
CAMH Media Relations

Candace Huntley

Reeva Waksberg


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