Life, interrupted

Dealing with mental illness stigmas, myths
By Naome Howe
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 08/05/2010

Over the past decade, the stigma surrounding many mental health issues has begun to dissipate. It’s now generally acknowledged many people experience overwhelming personal issues from time to time, and need help and support to overcome them.

Public figures such as Brooke Shields, Jim Carrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Alanis Morissette, Elton John and Billy Joel have helped by being candid about their own mental health experiences with depression and anxiety.

However, the picture is not as rosy for those with acute, long-term mental health issues such as chronic depression, bi-polar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia. For people struggling with severe psychiatric illnesses, the stigmas and myths remain and organizations are often at a loss as to how to support them.