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Description: Given our exposure to American media, you may have noticed that a number of organizations are referring to this week as mental health awareness week in the United States. In Canada the Canadian mental health Association runs a mental health awareness a week in May. If you follow the links below you can review the materials that the CMHA made available last May and you can review their general and specific recommendations for helping to ensure that people are not saying phine when they mean fine.

Source: Canadian Mental Health Association: Fine or phine?.

Date: October 4, 2015


Photo Source: CMHA

and inLinks: Article Links —

Psychology and Psychiatry researchers have provided us with a great deal of information about the behaviours that other determinants support the development and maintenance of mental health. However, large number of people who need assistance and would benefit from such assistance don’t go and find it. As a great of discussion about the notion of stigma, or the people who need assistance in or struggling with mental health issues may not seek that assistance out for fear of the negative attributions either they make themselves or that they believe others will make about them if they let on that they’re not doing well. The Canadian Mental Health Association works hard to try and develop ways to reduce the stigma associated with difficulties in the area mental health and to increase the likelihood that Canadians who need help will get help. Go to the web link above and look through the general and themed fact sheets to get a sense of the nature of the issues involved in relation to mental health and stigma.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Why do you think it is that many people who need assistance for issues related to mental health seem reluctant to seek out that assistance?
  2. What sorts of things should we as individuals or as members of society be doing to reduce the impact of stigma on the efforts of those who need assistance gaining access to that assistance?
  3. What are some of the things you can think of that you could do to help a friend who you think might benefit from an opportunity to speak to mental health professional?

References (Read Further):

Canadian Mental Health Association (2015) Mental health week toolkit for general public,

Betton, V., Borschmann, R., Docherty, M., Coleman, S., Brown, M., & Henderson, C. (2015). The role of social media in reducing stigma and discrimination. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 206(6), 443-444.

Koike, S., Yamaguchi, S., Ojio, Y., Shimada, T., Watanabe, K. I., & Ando, S. (2015). Long-term effect of a name change for schizophrenia on reducing stigma. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 1-8.