Mental Illness Canada

Going Global with 7 Canadian Mental Health Examples

Sharon Johnston | Posted 10.06.2014 | Canada Living
Sharon Johnston

During the past four years, I have met people with mental health issues and those who work in mental health care. The daily struggles experienced by those with mental illness were part of the ongoing conversations.

What the History of Schizophrenia Can Teach Us About the Present

Marvin Ross | Posted 11.22.2014 | Canada Living
Marvin Ross

Every year, the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates October 10 as World Mental Health Day to raise awareness. This year, they are focusing on schizophrenia. To add my little bit to awareness, I would like to explore the history and the controversy of this malady.

Williams' Death Makes Me Think Of Myself Back On The Edge of That Subway Platform

Erica Lenti | Posted 10.12.2014 | Canada Living
Erica Lenti

Mental health isn't just about feeling good. As someone who has suffered with generalized anxiety disorder and subsequent depressive episodes, the last thing I want to read is feel-good drivel. What the media needs to focus on is honesty -- like the countless numbers of medications I've tried just not to have a panic attack on a subway car, the days I skipped work to lie in bed and cry (and how I always told my friends, family and employers I was sick), the pounds I shed not being able to eat in my depressive state, the long hours I spent in a therapist's office because I didn't know how to "fix my head."

How Social Media Has Helped My Depression

Sandra Charron | Posted 09.16.2014 | Canada Living
Sandra Charron

Rather than seeing nothing after I post a particularly bleak tweet or a caption speaking about mental illness, my notifications explode with questions and comments, all curious and positive about this awful invisible assailant. Total strangers will send their love and prayers out to me. Others will thank me for being brave and outspoken.

Were There Signs I Didn't See Before My Son's Suicide?

Lynn Keane | Posted 08.02.2014 | Canada Living
Lynn Keane

What were the signs? This question is one that I find myself still struggling to answer five years after my son's suicide. Could the changes we notice be part of our kids' reactions to the pressures we place on them as well as the pressures they heap on themselves?

How I Slowly Lost the Line Between Reality and Insanity

Sandra Charron | Posted 05.27.2014 | Canada Living
Sandra Charron

At the age of four, I would wake in the middle of the night; my legs trembling; the bile in my stomach churning up into my throat; my arms paralyzed by my side; a small scream escaping my young lips as I begged God to take me to heaven; as I prayed that the all-consuming fear would go away so that I could catch my breath. How does one explain this to anyone when it has been entrenched within since before time began? Doctors told my mother that I was simply "high strung" and that I would "grow out of it." I didn't. Somehow, while I work to accept the reality of my diagnoses, I must also convey to those who are part of my life, that although my illness has appeared to them as a series of unfortunate events, it has dropped me to my knees and sent me careening into a fiery hell of anguish only understood by those who have seen the divide between reality and insanity.

My Name is Sandra and I Suffer From Mental Illness

Sandra Charron | Posted 05.03.2014 | Canada Living
Sandra Charron

Although "Mental Illness Awareness Week" is a lovely concept, it only serves to validate those of us who already understand the stigma. It does not enlighten those who already have a pre-existing perception of mental illness as being a defect. In order to enhance their efficacy, those of us with mental illness need to be proactive in our cause, and not be stunted by the stigma.

Saying "It's Your Depression Talking" Takes Away My Voice

Anne Theriault | Posted 04.02.2014 | Canada Living
Anne Theriault

Framing a depressed person's behaviour and speech as being influenced by their illness can seem helpful. I've certainly said things like, "that's not you talking, that's your depression." But telling someone, especially someone who is suffering from a mental illness and has spent years dealing with all the stigma that comes with it, that it's not really them talking can be downright dangerous.

When it Comes to Mental Illness, Canada Could Use Help From a Republican Congressman

Marvin Ross | Posted 02.18.2014 | Canada
Marvin Ross

If only a Canadian politician would do this. Republican Congressman Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania recently introduced a bill into Congress called Helping...

Your Mental Illness May Get You Stopped at the Border

Marvin Ross | Posted 02.10.2014 | Canada Living
Marvin Ross

I was not the least bit surprised when I read that Ellen Richardson was banned entry into the U.S. because she suffered with depression and had a history of attempted suicide. That was unconscionable, but I do have a suggestion that may help prevent this for others. The police explained that many, if not all, contacts with them end up in their database. Regrettably, it is too late to help Ellen Richardson but others who may be in a similar situation and who may be travelling to the U.S. should check with their own police departments to find out what may have been entered.

Having Police Shoot the Mentally Ill is Cost Effective But Absurd

Marvin Ross | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Politics
Marvin Ross

When someone is severely troubled, delusional, and potentially violent and we have no beds for them in our hospitals, they may get to deal with the police who are likely to shoot them. Not exactly a humanitarian way of dealing with the seriously mentally ill but one that is likely cost effective. We are not providing appropriate care and resources to the seriously mentally ill and we need to.

How Do We Protect the Mentally Ill From Police Violence?

Marvin Ross | Posted 10.19.2013 | Canada
Marvin Ross

While there is no evidence that Sammy Yatim had a mental illness, his shooting has reminded everyone of all those with mental illness who have been shot by police.The Mental Health Commission of Canada could make a significant contribution to reducing these tragedies by funding specialized police/psychiatry units and having them operate for longer periods of time.

Ten Lies Your Depression Tells You

Anne Theriault | Posted 10.09.2013 | Canada Living
Anne Theriault

You are a bad person who deserves bad things. You are unhappy because you are lazy or lacking in willpower. Your family and friends do not love you. Everyone deserves better than you. Everything is your fault. There is no cure for your sadness.

New Hope for Families Coping with Severe Mental Illnesses

Susan Inman | Posted 09.28.2013 | Canada Living
Susan Inman

The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has released its new guidelines for involving families in the mental health system. Since family caregivers for people with psychotic disorders often supply the majority of mental health support, these efforts to create a more family friendly mental health system represent a huge step forward.

In the Age of Anxiety, Some Ways to Calm Your Mind

Natasha Koifman | Posted 09.24.2013 | Canada Living
Natasha Koifman

According to data from the World Mental Health Survey, anxiety has emerged as the most prevalent mental health problem across the globe. But, where is all this anxiety is coming from? I have some ideas (and some suggestions to help).

Bill C-54 Makes Criminals out of the Mentally Ill

Chris Curry | Posted 06.30.2013 | Canada
Chris Curry

With Bill C-54, if you are deemed to be "high risk not criminally responsible," you will be held for a minimum of three years before you ever have the chance to see a review board. As someone who has not only been a patient in three separate psychiatric hospitals in Ontario, but has also worked in forensic psychiatric institutions, I know that they aren't always the best places to get better. With proper treatment, I was healthy again and posed no threat to the public within a few months. Had I been forced to remain in hospital for three years, I likely wouldn't be the productive, law-abiding citizen that I am today.

I Thought I Was Too Smart for Schizophrenia

Erin Hawkes | Posted 05.18.2013 | Canada Living
Erin Hawkes

People with schizophrenia don't have a Master's degree in Neuroscience. I'm simply too intelligent to have schizophrenia, right? Then why do rats eat my brain, why do voices yell at me, and why am I being stalked by a homicidal man with a sniper gun (I've got proof)? I assume it is normal. I don't have any friends and I have withdrawn from my family so no one but Them (doctors, nurses -- everyone in league with the enemy) diagnose me, treat me. So here are your pills. You would think that after all of this, I would surely realize that I had schizophrenia. I didn't, though.

Good Mental Illness Policy Includes the Violence Taboo

Marvin Ross | Posted 05.04.2013 | Canada Politics
Marvin Ross

Prime Minister Harper wants to enhance the safety of victims harmed by the violence of the untreated mentally ill with proposed changes to the Criminal Code. But it still retains absolute discharge once the individual demonstrates that he/she is well and is taking medications. The problem is, there are no restrictions and no provision for ongoing monitoring to ensure that treatment is adhered to. Those who are untreated are often violent and nothing is to be gained by ignoring reality.

Why I'm Afraid I Could End Up Like Mindy McCready

Arthur Gallant | Posted 04.21.2013 | Canada
Arthur Gallant

Anytime a celebrity or somebody in the spotlight, like Mindy McCready, takes his or her own life we tend to only talk about the issues facing that specific person. Maybe its easier to talk of somebody everybody knows of. I've talked about why I was grateful I'm still living because, as I've learned, I have a lot to live for. I saw that first hand after my two suicide attempts.

WATCH: Harper Gets Emotional Announcing New Crime Laws

CP | James Keller, The Canadian Press | Posted 04.10.2013 | Canada Politics

BURNABY, B.C. - Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced legislation Friday that places new restrictions on violent offenders deemed not criminally res...

Mental Illness Impact "Bigger Than Cancers"

CBC | Posted 12.09.2012 | Canada Living

The burden of mental illness and addictions is more than 1.5 times that of all cancers, a new report suggests. Wednesday's report, called ...

Just One More Shocking Example of Canada's Failing Healthcare System

Daniel D. Veniez | Posted 10.22.2012 | Canada
Daniel D. Veniez

Jacquie was mentally ill, this much was clear, but after age 12 her parents didn't have the ability to force her into treatment, where they knew she belonged. Sure enough, with Jacquie living on her own and untreated, she launched a horrific attack with a saw on two neighbours, a mother and a daughter, who nearly died. Jacquie was found criminally not responsible for the attacks. The two doctors who refused to deal with and treat a severely ill young lady remain in place today. They are hidden deep in a broken medical system that protects them, but also sucks them in as a new kind of unintended victim of a sick health care bureaucracy.

My Longest Relationship...Is With My Anti-Depressants

Wendy Litner | Posted 08.28.2012 | Canada Living
Wendy Litner

It occurred to me, recently, that I can't remember when I first started anti-depressants. Was I on pills at my Bat-Mitzvah? Did I take one the morning of my Grade 10 biology exam? I don't know. I have been in a relationship with drugs for so long that I can no longer recall our first date.

Inside My Anxiety Attacks

Arthur Gallant | Posted 07.14.2012 | Canada Living
Arthur Gallant

For the past 16 hours I have been having an anxiety attack, my first in many months. I have been pacing around my apartment. I have been vocal with what its like to live with mental illness but a thought occurred to me earlier: Why not write a blog while I experience this anxiety attack inside of waiting until it's over and recollecting what it felt like?

When Mental Illness and Work Don't Mix

Arthur Gallant | Posted 07.11.2012 | Canada
Arthur Gallant

2012-05-07-mentalhealth.jpg Would you ever hesitate to tell your boss the reason that you have a runny nose is because you have the flu? The obvious answer to that question is, no. Then why do we hesitate to talk to our employer about mental illness? My dream is that anybody living with mental illness can have the same dialogue with their employers that I currently enjoy.