CMHA, National applauds and supports newly launched Canadian Forces mental health awareness campaign

    OTTAWA, June 25 /CNW/ - CMHA, National applauds the newly launched
Canadian Forces (CF) mental health awareness campaign - Be the Difference. The
campaign, launched today at a ceremony held at National Defence Headquarters
in Ottawa, is part of the CF's long term commitment to improving oversight and
engagement regarding mental health issues in the Forces. Be the Difference is
designed to help educate CF personnel and build a culture of understanding
around issues relating to mental health.
    The campaign builds on the success of two Canadian Forces non-clinical
programs: the Mental Health and Operational Stress Injury Joint Speakers
Bureau, established in 2007 to educate the military community on mental health
issues; and the Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) network, an
innovative peer-based intervention program established in 2001.
    "The launch of this new campaign by the Canadian Forces signals an
important shift in culture and awareness around issues relating to mental
health in the military," says Dr. Taylor Alexander, CEO, CMHA, National
Office. "In Canada, where 1 in 5 people can expect to suffer from a mental
illness at some point in their lifetimes, stigma around mental illness is
still very strong. But if the CF can succeed in educating its ranks that
mental health is just as important as physical health, and that there's
nothing shameful about having mental health problems, it will help the rest of
our society to be more aware and accepting of mental health issues."
    Information about the Be the Difference campaign can be accessed through
the Canadian Forces web site at:

    About the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)

    The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), founded in 1918, is one of
the oldest voluntary health organizations in Canada. Each year, it provides
direct service to more than 100,000 Canadians through the combined efforts of
more than 10,000 volunteers and staff across Canada in some 135 communities.
As a nation-wide voluntary organization, the Canadian Mental Health
Association promotes the mental health of all Canadians and supports the
resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness. CMHA
accomplishes this mission through advocacy, education, research, and service
delivery. For further information, please visit

For further information:

For further information: Kismet Baun, Senior Communications Advisor,
CMHA, National, Toronto, (416) 977-5580, ext. 4141,

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Canadian Mental Health Association

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