We say goodbye to the campaign, but not to their legacy
May 3, 2021 (Ottawa) – The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) launched the Faces of Mental Illness campaign, a national outreach campaign featuring the stories of Canadians living in recovery from mental illness, twenty years ago. Each year, CAMIMH selected five individuals from a remarkable group of nominees who were willing to share their inspiring stories with Canadians to help raise awareness and end the stigma.
Today, in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Week, we celebrate these 100 Faces, with the release of a homage video, who were instrumental in the group’s work towards ending stigma across the country by coming forward to tell their stories and mark the end of this campaign.
“For 20 years, CAMIMH was proud to show Canadians that mental illness has many Faces – faces that are recognizable to us all through this campaign,” said Ellen Cohen, CAMIMH Co-Chair. “Our goal with this campaign was to promote a stigma-free Canada and encourage others to share their stories of recovery and provide hope for others who are living with a mental illness.”
With the progress that’s been made over the last 20 years, CAMIMH is now turning its attention to its advocacy efforts, through the newly enhanced Champions of Mental Health Awards. This annual campaign recognizes seven Canadians whose work has helped advance the mental health agenda across the country.
“To mark the conclusion of the Faces campaign, we were honoured to connect with many of our past Faces to talk about what being part of the campaign meant to them and what impact it had on their lives,” said Florence Budden, Co-Chair of CAMIMH. “Many have gone on to champion mental health actions and have continued helping other Canadians.”
“These are not just 100 Faces,” shared Budden and Cohen. “These are 100 bright lights who shined on the darkness of mental illness and helped countless others, and we are proud to know them and even more proud to celebrate them with this homage video.”
The Faces campaign was a key component of Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) every October and was made possible by the generous support and commitment of Bell Let’s Talk. CAMIMH would also like to recognize the contributions of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (Gold Sponsor), Innovative Medicines Canada (Bronze Sponsor), and Impact Public Affairs. You can view the video here.
Established in 1998, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) is an alliance of national mental health organizations comprised of health care providers and organizations representing persons with mental illness and their families and caregivers. CAMIMH’s mandate is to ensure that mental health is placed on the national agenda so that persons with a lived experience of mental illness and their families receive appropriate access to care and support.