Help fight against the stigma of mental illness!

Some time ago I attended an interview with Shelagh Rogers at Market Hall in Peterborough, Ontario. Shelagh is a well known radio announcer on CBC who has suffered from severe clinical depression throughout most of her life.

After experiencing a debilitating episode depression in 2003, she made a decision to fight against the stigma of mental illness by going public about her struggles. She acknowledged during the interview her fear of being judged by others.  As result of this fear, she kept her illness a secret for years. In fact, she didn't know what she was experiencing until 2003 and struggled in pain on her own. She is now proactively encouraging others to not only seek help for themselves but to begin talking about it more publicly to friends, family and others.

Glenn Close is a well known actor. For those of you over 35-40 you might remember her in the movie Fatal Attraction and those under that age would know her best as Cruella Deville in 101 Dalmatians.

About 2 years ago I saw Glenn Close in Ottawa while we were dining out and wondered what she was doing there. It turns out she was a guest speaker at a mental health conference advocating the fight against the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Her sister was diagnosed as Bi-Polar several years ago and they are working together to educate people about mental illness. They have a website dedicated to this. I have attached an amazing commercial they have produced as well as a link for an interview with Glenn and her sister (see right hand panel).

If you are struggling with a mental  illness of any kind, don't struggle alone. Speak with family, your doctor or a therapist and get help. Help is out there for you.

Please forward this link to anyone you know who might benefit. Thank you for your support in the fight against stigmatization!

Glenn and Jessie Close 

Bring Change 2 Mind

A great commercial developed by Glenn and Jessie Close about mental illness.

Learn more about their efforts to reduce the stigma by going to:

Watch this interesting interview with Glenn Close and her sister, Jessie regarding Jessie's struggle with Bi-Polar Disorder.



Depression is one of the most widespread mental health issues in Canada.  According to The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) approximately 20% of the Canadian population suffers from depression at some point in their lives.  That is 7 million people – and those are likely people who have disclosed their struggle and sought support for it. 

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) also reports the following facts:

• 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.

• Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures.

• Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.

• About 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder (or “manic depression”).


The Mental Health Commission of Canada indicates that "every week, 500,000 Canadians miss work for psychiatric reasons. Despite these huge numbers, many people do not seek help. 

Social stigma continues to be one of the main barriers which prevent people from reaching out for help."

The Health Commission defines stigma as:

“Negative, unfavourable attitudes and the behaviour they produce. It is a form of prejudice that spreads fear and misinformation, labels individuals and perpetuates stereotypes.

Stigma against people with mental illnesses is oppressive and alienating; it prevents many from seeking help, denying them access to the support networks and treatment they need to recover.”


You don’t need to suffer alone – help is out there.  Many government officials and mental health professionals are working to fight back against stigma related to mental illnesses and I encourage you to do the same.

Attached (see right panel) is an animated video reflecting the impact that depression has on one’s life.  Seek support for yourself or help your loved ones to reach out for help. 




Depression Video

Watch this great animated video which explores the impact depression has one one's life!

One of my favourite therapy cartoons!

Karen Searle, M.S.W., R.S.W., Psychotherapist
544 George Street North, Peterborough, Ontario
K9H 3S2 ~ 705-875-7442



Photo ~ Southhampton on Lake Huron