Mental health is a topic that many people find difficult to discuss. In recent years, Canadian society has become more open to talking about mental illness. Celebrities like Howie Mandel and have disclosed their struggles with mental illness. Why does mental illness bear this stigma unlike other illnesses like diabetes or heart disease? In the past, it was sometimes thought that mental illness was simply the result of weakness, lack of confidence, or personal failure. The lingering effects of these mistaken beliefs are still with us, but things are improving.
One example of recent attempts to reduce the stigma of mental illness and encourage conversation, awareness, and recovery is the Bell Let’s Talk (n.d.) campaign by Bell Canada. Bell Let’s Talk has grown substantially over social media since it began in 2011 and has raised millions of dollars for mental health programs in Canada. Perhaps in the future, mental illnesses will be treated with the same level of acceptance as the chickenpox and the common cold. This chapter will review how to define mental illness and look at some of the more common psychological disorders.
Bell Canada. (n.d.). Bell let’s talk. Retrieved from https://letstalk.bell.ca/en