We are #conquerstigma, but what does that really mean? We are here to help break down the barriers and get rid of the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. We do this by raising awareness of mental health issues, and speaking about them openly which helps reduce the negative stigma associated with mental health.

Did you know?

57% of Canadians believe that the stigma associated with mental illness has been reduced compared to 5 years ago.


Did you know?

Mental illness is a leading cause of disability in Canada.


Did you know?

After accidents, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 34.


Did you know?

Just 50% of Canadians would tell friends or co-workers that they have a family member with a mental illness, compared to 72% who would discuss a diagnosis of cancer and 68% who would talk about a family member having diabetes.


Did you know?

Nearly 4,000 Canadians die by suicide each year – an average of almost 11 suicides a day.



Did you know?

In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental health or addiction problem

How can you help? EDUCATE YOURSELF. Education is the first step to understanding the complexity of mental health and illnesses. The most important first step you can take to help conquer the stigma around mental health is LANGUAGE.

Avoid using:

  • ‘a psycho’ or ‘a schizo’
  • ‘a schizophrenic’ or ‘a depressive’
  • ‘lunatic’ ‘nutter’ 'unhinged' 'maniac' 'mad'
  • ‘the mentally ill’, ‘a person suffering from’ ‘a sufferer’, a ‘victim’ or ‘the afflicted’
  • 'prisoners’ or ‘inmates’ (in a psychiatric hospital)
  • ‘released’ (from a hospital)
  • 'happy pills'

Instead try: 

  • ‘a person who has experienced psychosis’ or 'a person who has schizophrenia'
  • someone who ‘has a diagnosis of’ is ‘currently experiencing' or ‘is being treated for…
  • ‘a person with a mental health problem’
  • ‘mental health patients’ or ‘people with mental health problems’
  • ‘patients’, ‘service users’ or clients
  • ‘discharged’
  • ‘antidepressants', 'medication' or 'prescription drugs'

Other common mistakes

  • 'schizophrenic’ or 'bipolar' should not be used to mean ‘two minds’ or a ‘split personality’
  • somebody who is angry is not ‘psychotic’
  • a person who is down or unhappy is not the same as someone experiencing clinical depression

Most Common Mental Illnesses

ADHD is a chronic condition marked by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and sometimes impulsivity.

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear. Anxiety is a worry about future events and fear is a reaction to current events. These feelings may cause physical symptoms, such as a fast heart rate and shakiness.

Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, with its extreme mood swings from depression to mania, used to be called manic depressive disorder. Bipolar disorder is very serious and can cause risky behavior, even suicidal tendencies, and can be treated with therapy and medication.

Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness that causes intense mood swings, impulsive behaviors, and severe problems with relationships and self-worth. People with borderline personality disorder often have other problems such as depression, eating disorders, or substance abuse.


Major depression is an episode of sadness or apathy along with other symptoms that lasts at least two consecutive weeks and is severe enough to interrupt daily activities. Depression is not a sign of weakness or a negative personality. It is a major public health problem and a treatable medical condition.


Dissociative Disorder
Dissociative disorders are mental disorders that involve experiencing a disconnection and lack of continuity between thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions and identity. People with dissociative disorders escape reality in ways that are involuntary and unhealthy and cause problems with functioning in everyday life.


Eating Disorders
Eating disorders tend to develop during the teenage and young adult years, and they are much more common in girls and women. No one knows the precise cause of eating disorders, but they seem to coexist with psychological and medical issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, trouble coping with emotions, and substance abuse.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that is triggered by an event such as violence, a car accident, a natural disaster, and more. It can affect one person or a group of people. Symptoms include flashbacks, emotional detachment, jumpiness, and more.

Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizoaffective disorder describes a condition that includes aspects of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder (either major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder). Scientists are not entirely certain whether schizoaffective disorder is a condition related mainly to schizophrenia or a mood disorder. However, it is usually viewed and treated as a hybrid or combination of both conditions.

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that distorts the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality, and relates to others.