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On the first show of Season 2 I talk with:

Dr. Ian Dawe, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and the Physician-in-Chief at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences; and

Mark Bouwmeester, Coordinator at Durham Mental Health Services.

Mental illnesses are still feared and misunderstood by many people, but the fear will disappear as people learn more about them.

There is still a stigma associated with Mental illness that is negative…we want to make these conversations positive.

Mental health issues range from the worries that we all experience as part of day-day life to serious long-term conditions. The majority of people who experience mental health problems can get over them or learn to live with them, especially if they get help early on.

The reality is that:

  • About 20% of people will directly experience a mental illness during their lifetime.
  • AND about 80% of people will be directly affected by a mental illness in a family member, friend or colleague.

Mental health is often raised as a factor in Family conflict. Mental illness is more common than you may think. It affects people of all ages, education, income levels and cultures.

Mental illness refers to a group of disorders that affect the way a person thinks, feels and acts. Often you will first notice behavioural changes in yourself or your loved one. It’s important to tell someone when you notice these changes.

Stats Canada reported that About 1 in 6 Canadians said they needed mental health care last year. People are starting to ask for help and the support is out there.

For those who have never personally dealt with a mental illness or helped a loved one through it – it’s tough to know what to do or say that will help.

Families often struggle with the care of a loved one who is experiencing mental health challenges. Caregivers can also be overwhelmed then trying to navigate the system.

I think I can summarize a few things that I learned from this show:

  • Early intervention is best.
  • Get informed! Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • If in doubt, seek professional advice.
  • Show understanding and don’t be judgemental
  • If you are the caregiver don’t forget to get support for yourself.

And last but certainly not least…This is not something that you are going to get through alone…nor should you.

We need to be talking about this as much as we talk about any other illness. The more conversations we can have the less stigma there will be.

Here are links to resources provided by my guests.

For more info:

Ontario Shores

Durham Mental Health Services

Crisis Services


Durham Talking About Mental Illness Coalition




Julie Gill

Host of We Need To Talk

Rogers TV Durham



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