Mental health and stigma

It’s time that we talk about mental health as an organization as we would any other illness that interferes with someone’s ability to perform. Talking about mental health and wellness in our workplace helps create an open and transparent relationship between staff and the organization and helps decrease the stigma associated with mental health issues. 

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague.

  • 20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
  • Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.
  • Anxiety disorders affect 5% of the household population, causing mild to severe impairment.
  • 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.

Opening Minds

Opening Minds is the largest systematic effort in Canadian history focused on reducing stigma related to mental illness. Established by the Mental Health Commision of Canada in 2009, it seeks to change Canadians’ behaviours and attitudes toward people living with mental illness. The Opening Minds website offers information on mental illness and stigma, including a series of short videos featuring well-known individuals talking about their experience with mental illness.

Stand up For Mental Health

Stand Up For Mental Health helps mental health consumers turn their problems into stand up comedy. Consumers perform their acts at conferences, treatment centers, psych wards, for various mental health organizations, corporations, government agencies, on college and university campuses, and most importantly for the general public.


Last updated Tue, Mar 29, 2022