Take Action Now on Mental Health

CAMIMH asks all Parties to Take Action Now and put the spotlight on Canada's Mental Health in the 2015 election and beyond

OTTAWA, Oct. 6, 2015 /CNW/ - Members from the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) are joined today by the Faces of Mental Illness to address Canada's mental health. The annual Faces campaign is about raising awareness, breaking the silence and getting the conversation going about mental health amongst Canadians. The Faces are sharing their personal struggles with mental health in the hopes that not only the general population but also Parliamentarians take action and support services and needs of those living with a mental illness.  

"The Faces of Mental Illness illustrate that mental illness is a reality way too common for Canadians. Those brave individuals show their vulnerability and break the silence in order to end the stigma about mental illness," said Florence Budden, CAMIMH Campaign Chair 2015.

This year's Faces of Mental Illness 2015 are:


Peter Neily

As a police officer in the RCMP Cornwall Regional Task Force, Peter is now publicly sharing his story to break down the barriers and prejudices about mental illness within law enforcement. Peter talks about his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder in the hopes of that it will encourage other folks in uniform to seek help when necessary.

Kendra Fisher

As a former star hockey player and now mental health advocate, Kendra has realized that by sharing her story, she could help others. At the age of 19, she was diagnosed with generalized anxiety, severe panic attacks, agoraphobia, obsessive compulsive disorder and clinical depression. The positive support and feedback she received about opening up about her mental health issues has motivated her to continue working with mental health organizations and young people in hopes that what she says can help them.

Wali Shah

A student and youth mentor for Nexus Youth Services from Mississauga, Ontario, Wali is dedicated in raising awareness about mental health. As he struggled with anxiety and depression, poetry and music have helped him in his recovery. In 2014, he was named  one of Canada's Top 20 Under 20, and received Safe City Mississauga's Bell Youth Hero Award for his work as a speaker/musician using the arts to raise awareness about social issues and mental health.

Patricia Lemoine

As a communications and marketing manager, Patricia struggled with bulimia during her teenage years, up until her mid-twenties. Today, as part of her ongoing healing and recovery process, Patricia shares her personal experience with mental illness because she believes breaking silence is critical to promote dialogue and end stigma. In 2014, Patricia was invited to testify about her lived experience with an eating disorder at the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women (FEWO). She also volunteers on the Board of TRACOM a Montreal crisis center offering psychosocial intervention services for adults as well as their loved ones. Patricia believes there is no health without mental health.

Julie Tansey

Julie was diagnosed with agoraphobia and panic disorder at age 14. Although she has faced many obstacles in her life, Julie never gave up which is why she is proud to be a mental health activist. She is a member of several organizations, does volunteer work, and is a member of the Longueuil mental health consultative committee. Her goal is to be a leader in creating new ways to increase dialogue among people living with mental health issues and transform our society's approach and views in regards to mental illness. She gives conferences to help spread awareness.


"Bell congratulates this year's Faces of Mental Illness for courageously sharing their personal stories about living with mental illness," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk, sponsor of the Faces of Mental Illness. "As we celebrate the fifth anniversary of Bell Let's Talk,  we look forward to another 5 years  of continuing the conversation about mental health and building momentum towards a Canada free of the stigma of mental illness."

"CAMIMH is dedicated to raising awareness and reducing the stigma about mental illness.  As the Faces share their inspiring stories across the country, they are helping many Canadians to break the silence and seek the help they need. The conversation about mental health is now out in the open but we encourage the government to take further action on mental health because there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to  better access to services, research, treatments and most importantly breaking the silence. Canada's mental health has come a long way but we still have to get the conversation going and most importantly #TakeActionNow,"- concluded Budden.

Today's activity is taking place as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) 2015, an annual national initiative organized by CAMIMH which runs from October 4-10. 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  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.

CAMIMH Members 2015:
Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, Canadian Association of Social Workers, Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health, Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, Canadian Federation of Mental Health Nurses, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Psychiatric Association, Canadian Psychological Association, The College of Family Physicians Canada, HealthCareCAN, Mood Disorders Society of Canada, National Initiative for Eating Disorders, Psychosocial Rehabilitation Canada, Schizophrenia Society of Canada


SOURCE Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health

For further information: Alexandra Dionne Charest, E-mail: champions@camimh.ca, Telephone: 514 317-9333 ext.232, Cell: 514 583-9359

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