Seven million people a year deal with mental health issues in Canada. For many the stigma that comes with mental health is overpowering. Partners for Mental Health is working to break down those stigma barriers so that mental health can be viewed as what it is; a disease the same as any other disease and just as worthy of treatment.
Not Myself Today
is a movement by Partners for Mental Health. On location at Dundas Square President Jeff Moat took time to discuss mental health and the issues that make today's event so important. Moat is an easy going man who is dedicated to improving mental health in Canada.
Moat gives credit to Public Inc for the brains behind today's idea. The goal Moat said is to help to supercharge a movement in the mental health space.
"Thirty years ago cancer was the C word. You couldn't use the word breast in the media because it was considered to be offensive. Look at it now. It's Run For the Cure!" Moat said, "We needed a campaign that everyone could relate too. We've all had an off day. Imagine what this must feel like for someone to feel like this day in and day out. It always one to have some compassion and understanding. We thought this was a clever way to phase and say yeah I have felt off before. We believe mental health is a spectrum. When we have those off days we don't talk about it. We are saying you should feel comfortable to say how we're really feeling."
Moat said that sharing how you're feeling on social media is taking off at their Facebook page.
Moat admitted he was feeling a bit anxious this morning but seeing how well received the project is he's feeling very positive about it.
Casey is one of the volunteers today. The inspiration young woman is working to break down the barriers that she and others who deal with mental health issues face on a daily basis. Watch her in the above video.
The point of today's wall of mood buttons is to illustrate how everyone has an off day where they just don't feel like themselves. For many in Canada those 'off' days are a daily issue. Since 6:00 a.m. people have been taking their mood button from the wall and signing a pledge to show their support of mental health in Canada. The wall will remain at Dundas Square until 6:00 p.m.
Since April 2 over 19,150 Canadians have taken the pledge to support mental health. Check out their Facebook
page to learn more.