Mental Illness Awareness Week: How can you get involved?


Talking with a counsellor can help. 1866 833-7690


MIAW 2014 BannerMental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness. MIAW aims to promote discussion and informed decision-making about mental health issues. One way to end the stigma of mental illness and bring education to the forefront is to talk about it. It is a time to reach out and support someone you know who suffers from mental illness.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, the causes of mental illness are:

  • A complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors causes mental illnesses.
  • Almost one half (49%) of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about this problem.
  • Stigma or discrimination attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier, not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community.
  • Mental illnesses can be treated effectively.

How can you get involved?

Youth and mental health:

  • Only 1 out of 5 children in Canada who need mental health services receives them. Talk to your child about mental health. Speak in a manner that is calm, supportive and non-judgmental.

Mental illness in the workplace:

  • According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, only 23 per cent of Canadians are likely to feel comfortable discussing a mental condition with their employers. Contact your Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) and ask for posters, information pamphlets and information about the EFAP services they offer and display them in a prominent location at the office.

The warning signs:

  • Talking about mental health concerns with someone you suspect may be at risk can be difficult, but there are more resources available and greater public understanding today than ever before.

To contact your Employee and Family Assistance Program, call 1 866 833-7690 or visit for more information.

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