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Arthur Gallant

Mental-health advocate

Arthur Gallant is a young adult dedicated to eliminating stigma surrounding mental health as well as raising awareness and educating the general public and mental health professionals. The child of a parent with an intellectual disability, Arthur has also dealt with mental-health difficulties such as severe anxiety and clinical depression. A former Crown Ward, Arthur uses his story to empower people and challenge the stereotypes surrounding mental health, but to also encourage people to step forward and seek help for their own mental-health difficulties.

In 2013, Arthur was 1 of 5 Canadians named as a Face of Mental Illness by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health which is an initiative of Bell Let's Talk.

Arthur has been featured several times on TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin and in The Toronto Star, CBC's The National , CTV News Channel, The Globe and Mail, CHCH's Square Off, and an educational video for the Canadian Mental Health Association (Ontario Chapter)

Stand By Me Always: Mental Illness and Fairweather Friends

Talking about mental illness is difficult. I get it. But what is even more difficult is people saying they accept me for who I am and then deserting me. As soon they hear something good has happened to me they're the first people to want to celebrate with me, yet they don't want to hear about the dark side of mental illness.
08/04/2013 09:48 EDT

As a Crown Ward, the Province Was My Parent

I was born to a mom with mental illness who was unable to care for herself, which made caring for a child even more challenging for her. During my nine years as a youth in care I lived in 16 different foster homes and group homes in Toronto, Brampton, Ajax, Barrie and Wasaga Beach. Being a youth in care can be lonesome.
05/30/2013 03:23 EDT
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Finding Your Records After Leaving Youth Care

Every client of the mental health system knows that at every appointment you attend with your health care team, whether it be doctors or therapists, notes are taken and stored in your file. After years of searching and bureaucracy, I finally got some of those notes back.
05/09/2013 12:36 EDT

Why Mental Health Week Is So Important To Me

Two of Canada's largest mental health organizations; The Centre for Addiction & Mental Health and the Canadian Mental Health Association have declared May 6-12, 2013 Mental Health Week. We're over a decade into the new millennium and mental illness is still a taboo topic.
05/05/2013 11:15 EDT

We Need To Stop Blaming The Victim

It is something the world has experienced since the beginning of time; every time an accident or an incident happens we rush to assign blame. We saw that most recently with the tragic Boston bombings....
04/29/2013 11:34 EDT

Like Bodies, Minds Need Regular Check-Ups

It is something we are often reminded to do, meet with our general practitioners on a regular basis to prevent terminal or debilitating illnesses. What's often forgotten by us, but by our doctors too, is that our mind is part of our body.
04/07/2013 11:10 EDT
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Dr. Phil Crossed the Line on His Show

I couldn't help but feel outraged while watching an episode of Dr. Phil yesterday. I will not disagree with the fact that 'doctor shows' make a great attempt at helping people and offering them resources that may be unavailable in their communities or that they're unable to afford. But at what point does it become exploiting to the guests needing help?
04/04/2013 12:43 EDT
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How My Mental Illness Has Added Years To My Life

A lot of people perceive mental illness to be a burden and it's that perception that only furthers the stigma and prevents people from seeking treatment. But I believe my mental illness has helped to shape my life in a very positive fashion.
03/18/2013 05:22 EDT
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Why I'm Afraid I Could End Up Like Mindy McCready

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.
02/19/2013 08:16 EST

Finally Working Together on Mental Health

We will always have our differences but for the first time in a long time I truly felt like those who have the ability to create change in the mental health system will do so. And now more then ever the powers that be will involve the true stakeholders: the consumer advocates. We are all going to work together.
02/18/2013 12:55 EST

ING's Commercial Mocked My Mental Illness

ING Direct Canada recently released a commercial of a man who appeared to be alone, detached, says he's been losing sleep and not eating solid foods. The man says he is cured of his symptoms once his wife steps in and takes him to ING to open an RSP. The bank crossed a line by mocking depression symptoms, which I have personally experienced.
01/23/2013 12:17 EST

How We Portray Mental Health on TV Matters

Mental health is currently on the forefront of two TV shows that I'm keeping an eye on. Half of my friends believe highlighting the struggles of those with mental illness in a fictional manner only furthers the stigma. The other half believes Hollywood has the ability to use its magic to accurately depict the day-to-day life of those with mental illness.
01/09/2013 12:24 EST

No Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card for Colorado Shooting Suspect

I recently overheard two people joking about how they could shoot up a place, say they were crazy, then not go to jail.The reality is that a court's goal is to rehabilitate those with severe mental illness. I hope you'll keep this in mind as you read about Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes' upcoming hearing.
01/03/2013 05:24 EST

Post-Sandy Hook, Don't Fear Those With Mental Illnesses

The Sandy Hook tragedy has got people talking worldwide. We may never know for certain if the suspect had a mental illness, but a lot of people are now wondering if mental illness could lead somebody to kill dozens of people. As a mental health advocate, I have an opinion.
12/26/2012 08:37 EST
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We Don't Need Another Amanda Todd -- Let's Talk About Suicide

With the recent, tragic, and unnecessary death of bullying victim Amanda Todd, I believe that it is time to talk about suicide openly. Having the nation begin to talk about bullying and suicide prevention should have happened a long time ago. I am sad that it has taken an end to a life to begin talking about suicide so openly but it is something we must talk about to prevent it.
10/23/2012 05:22 EDT

I Confess, Even I Have Mental Health Stigma

In order to put an end to a problem such as stigma you must first identify the origin of the problem and ask why it exists. What is it that we with mental illness say or do that makes others treat us negatively therefore creating stigma? I recently had to ask myself this question.
09/18/2012 07:59 EDT
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Back to School Can Be Bad For Mental Health

It was just a few years ago that I had my first day of college and I can relate to my co-workers' excitement. But I'm concerned that they aren't being prepared for things like potential mass amounts of student debt but also the toll college and university can take on a student's mental health.
09/04/2012 04:59 EDT

How You Can Positively Re-Enforce The Mentally Ill

In my last post I talked about words we use everyday and the context in which we use them that could come across as offensive to those with mental illness. However, as an advocate I could do more to make the public aware of the positive things they can say or do to support those mental health difficulties.
08/27/2012 05:25 EDT