OTTAWA, May 31, 2012 /CNW/ - Breaking down the stigma that surrounds mental illness will take centre stage at a three-day international conference in Ottawa from June 4-6.
Together Against Stigma: Changing How We See Mental Illness will draw nearly 600 researchers, mental health professionals, policy makers and people with lived experience to discuss effective interventions to reduce sigma and discrimination.
The 5th Annual International Stigma Conference is being hosted by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and falls on the heels of its launch of Canada's first-ever national mental health strategy (strategy.mentalhealthcommission.ca), and recent World Health Assembly proceedings in Geneva.
Award-winning actress and mental health advocate Glenn Close, her sister Jessie Close and nephew Calen Pick will be among the keynote speakers at the conference. Together with others they founded an organization working to eradicate the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness after Jessie Close and Calen Pick faced life-and-death battles with mental illness.
Also speaking at the conference will be:
Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt, who will discuss her own experience with mental illness and stigma;
Renowned journalist Lloyd Robertson, who will discuss media depictions of mental illness;
Several of the world's top psychiatric researchers; and
Ms. Louise Bradley, MHCC President and CEO, and Dr. David Goldbloom, MHCC Chair.
What: Together Against Stigma: Changing How We See Mental Illness
When: Monday, June 4 to Wednesday, June 6
Where: Delta Ottawa City Centre, 101 Lyon St., Ottawa
Each day of the conference will deal with specific areas of mental health stigma. Day 1 will include opening keynote addresses and focus on how mental illness is depicted. Day 2 will look at healthcare providers and youth. Day 3 will examine human rights and stigma in the workplace. More detailed information about the sold-out conference's agenda, presenters and events can be found at www.togetheragainststigma2012.ca.
Follow the event on Twitter at: #stigma2012 @MHCC_
A press conference featuring Glenn Close, her sister Jessie Close and nephew Calen Pick as well as Mental Health Commission of Canada Chairman Dr. David Goldbloom will take place at 11am on June 4; a separate daily media advisory will follow.
Members of the media are invited to attend the conference sessions. Individual media requests with presenters, mental health experts and those with lived experience will be considered, schedule permitting.
MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID
Media representatives are also invited to attend one of two Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) sessions taking place: Tuesday, June 5, 7:30am-9am, Chateau Laurier (Parliamentarians and staff), and Tuesday, June 5, 7pm-8:30pm, Delta Ottawa City Centre, 101 Lyon St. (conference delegates including the Close family). MHFA teaches people the skills to provide the early assistance that can help save a life. So far 50,000 Canadians have been trained.
A host of academic presentations will be released throughout the conference.
About the Mental Health Commission of Canada
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for change. We are collaborating with hundreds of partners to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and to improve services and support. Our goal is to help people who live with mental health problems and illnesses lead meaningful and productive lives. Together, we spark change.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is funded by Health Canada.
The views represented herein solely represent the views of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Production of this document is made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada.
For further information:
Jacqueline (Jacquie) LaRocque
firstname.lastname@example.org (email preferred)