The first full week of October invites Canadians to share the realities of living with mental health issues through Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). CMHA Windsor-Essex will commemorate MIAW by holding a series of events.
MIAW is an annual national public education campaign coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH). CAMIMH’s mandate is to ensure that mental illness and mental health are placed on the national agenda so that Canadians receive appropriate access to care and support. CMHA is an active member of CAMIMH and is proud to support its annual Faces of Mental Illness campaign during MIAW.
This year’s MIAW theme is Spreading Awareness, Reducing Stigma. As one in five Canadians live with mental health issues, the campaign encourages Canadians to share their personal stories about stigma and how it negatively affects them in their personal life, in the workplace, or in their community. CMHA recognizes that there are many different types of mental illness that affect people in different ways.
Within each mental illness, people may have very different symptoms and challenges. In addition, symptoms of mental illness are just one piece. Access to services, support from loved ones, and the ability to participate in communities play a big part in the way people experience mental illnesses.
CMHA partnered with CAMIMH on the development of its “Mental Health Now” policy document which urges investments in mental health for all Canadians. Along with other CAMIMH members, CMHA will be very active in meetings with Ministers and Members of Parliament during the upcoming Health Accord meetings.