Mental Illness: An Excuse for Bad Behaviour?

This is alarming. And angering.  And saddening.

Stats taken from Canadian Medical Association, 8th Annual National Report Card on Health Care, August 2008

As you know (well, at least I hope that you know) this week is Mental Illness Awareness Week for us Canucks.

I know I’ve been rather quiet this week. Work is been kinda insane so I feel bad for not starting more conversations here but I sure have on Facebook (by the way, for those of you who follow me there, I’d appreciate your input).

And I found this statistic very appalling.

To learn that almost half of Canadians think that I may be using my mental illness to excuse any kind of bad behaviour is overwhelming.  Do they think that if I (anyone) call in sick because an anxiety attack the real reason is because I went clubbing last night, got hammered and now I’m hung over? Do they think that if I can’t keep an appointment is because I am a juvenile brat who doesn’t care about other people’s time?

What on earth are they thinking?

This is my plea to all of you who have to struggle with mental illness: Be vocal about it. Start conversations. Write about your experiences. Support your local groups.

Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and let’s show them what living with a mental illness really is about!

Let’s fight the stigma!

I am wearing my MIAW wristband. Are you?

This year, I’m prepared

For Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), that is.

Last year, it took me by surprise.

But this year, I ordered the materials last month and I got them yesterday.  Posters, brochures, bookmarks and wristbands.

I have them on display at the studio now.  Some of my fellow team members work in the health field so they took a bunch of them to display at their workplaces too. Continue reading

Mental Illness Awareness Week 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen, we interrupt this program for a special announcement:

This year’s Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is on September 30 – October 6 for us, Canucks (and on Oct. 7-13, 2012 south of the border)

What the heck is MIAW about?

Mental 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. The week was established in 1992 by the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and is now coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) in cooperation with all its member organizations and many other supporters across Canada.

Campaign elements include: a grassroots public education initiative; a nationally-distributed poster and bookmark series; the Annual Champions of Mental Health Awards luncheon in Ottawa and an education initiative with federal Members of Parliament, both in their home ridings and on Parliament Hill.

As you know, Mental Illness runs deep in my family.  And after years decades of carrying the stigma, I decided to break free and become very vocal about Mental Illness and Mental Health.

Cool!  But MIAW is more than a month away, why are you telling me now?

Continue reading