Mental illness, just like physical illness, is part of the human condition. People of all occupations, incomes, and cultures, regardless of their education or level of success, are affected. At some point in life, all Canadians are likely to be affected by a mental illness, either through a family member, a friend, a colleague – or through personal experience. Learning more about it can alleviate common fears and help to improve the quality of life both for those experiencing mental illness and for those who care about them.

The primary goal of the My Mental Health campaign was to increase awareness of mental illness to eliminate the misconceptions surrounding it. Perceptions about mental illnesses need to be changed. Stereotypes given to those living with a mental illness can be debilitating. With misconceptions removed, those who need help will be better able to reach out for it.

  • Anxiety Disorders

    People with anxiety disorders experience excessive anxiety, fear, or worry, causing them to avoid situations or develop compulsive rituals to try to ease their anxiety. Some anxiety disorders are: Obsessive Compulsive DisorderPeople with OCD experience persistent and repetitive thoughts, ideas, impulses, and images that they perceive as intrusive and inappropriate and which cause anxiety or distress. Symptoms: Persistent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or rituals (compulsions) that the person finds impossible to control; Typically, obsessions concern contamination, doubting (such as worrying that the iron hasn’t been turned off), and disturbing sexual or religious thoughts; Compulsions can include washing, checking, organizing, and counting. PhobiasTheseare marked by a persistent fear of particular objects or…

  • Mood Disorders

    A mood disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person feels about him or herself and even the way they eat, sleep, and think. Common mood disorders include: Clinical DepressionDepression is one of the most common mental illnesses. People who are depressed feel sad, worthless, and empty to the extent that they cannot function effectively. They lose interest in their usual activities, experience a shift in appetite, disturbed sleep and decreased energy. A major depressive disorder is characterized by one or more major depressive episodes (feeling depressed for two weeks or more). Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD, also known as winter…