OTTAWA, Oct. 3, 2014 /CNW/ - Lindsay Hill has been selected as one of five Faces of Mental Illness for 2014. Next week, Lindsay will join members from the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) in Ottawa to advocate for changes to the way mental health is addressed within the federal framework. The annual Faces campaign aims to get people talking about mental illness and recognizes the important role mental health plays in the lives of all Canadians. The Faces are bringing a clear message to Parliamentarians—mental illness has many faces that everyone will recognize.
"The Faces of Mental Illness courageously share the stories of their lived experiences to show Canadians that mental illness touches us all and that by working together everyone can play a role in ending stigma and aiding recovery," said Florence Budden, CAMIMH Campaign Chair 2014.
Lindsay was a successful Bay Street litigator when mental illness struck suddenly, unexpectedly and severely. Since then, with the support of her family, friends, and a team of medical professionals, she has survived numerous profoundly suicidal episodes.
Lindsay is now a passionate advocate for mental health. Her journey as an advocate began as a deputant to the Toronto Transit Commission on the need for platform-level distress lines. The result was ground-breaking TTC/Distress Centres/Bell Canada "Crisis Link" Program. She also recently joined the Board of the Distress Centres, and has spoken on several occasions about her experiences, including to nearly 2,000 motorcycle riders in the B.A.D. (Bikers Against Despair) Ride.
Lindsay has experienced the impact of mental illness on her career, and felt its stigma through her own initial belief that she could recover through sheer willpower, and the loss of friends after her diagnosis. Lindsay now knows that individuals experiencing mental illness need support and she is convinced that the stigma can be overcome through the sharing of information and lived experiences. For Lindsay, ACT!ON is an important part of recovery.
CAMIMH members and Parliamentarians will assemble on October 7th for a breakfast, sponsored by Bell as part of their Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative, to discuss mental health concerns in Canada. Lindsay, along with the other Faces of Mental Illness will be taking part in meetings with Members of Parliament to discuss the need to make mental health a priority in Canada.
"CAMIMH is committed to making sure that when someone asks for help, it is there for them, and that there are right resources to support their journey of recovery. The lack of access to services, research and implementation of best practices, and appropriate treatments for Canadians living with mental illness is something Parliamentarians can change today. Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada with and for all Canadians offers a blueprint for action in which everyone has a role to play. That is why we are on Parliament Hill - to encourage the government ACT!ON Mental Health,"- concluded Budden.
These activities and events are taking place as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) 2014, an annual national initiative organized by CAMIMH which runs from October 5-11. MIAW's purpose is to raise awareness on the importance of mental health for the overall health of all Canadians and to facilitate a much-needed national conversation about mental illness.
To learn more about the Faces of Mental Illness campaign, please visit camimh.ca. CAMIMH would once again like to thank their generous sponsors who make this campaign possible: Bell Let's Talk, Lundbeck Canada Inc., The Mental Health Commission of Canada and Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D).
Established in 1998, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) is an alliance of national mental health organizations comprised of health care providers and organizations representing persons with mental illness and their families and caregivers. CAMIMH's mandate is to ensure that mental health is placed on the national agenda so that persons with a lived experience of mental illness and their families receive appropriate access to care and support.
SOURCE: Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health
For further information: Kalene DeBaeremaeker, Tel: 613-233-8906/ 613-857-1758, Email: [email protected]; Rob LeForte, Tel: 613-233-8906/ 613-720-5726