This week marks the start of Mental Health Week in Canada, and we’re proud–as always–to share so many important voices on the topic. Throughout the week we’ll be posting about some of those speakers and the incredible, sometimes heartbreaking but always inspiring, stories they tell.
We’re leading off with Mental Health Advocate Mark Henick. Mark’s story could have ended in tragedy, but for a “man in a light brown jacket” who talk him down from a sure death. This complete stranger saved his life, and Henick’s search for the man captured global attention, as did his TEDx talk “Why We Choose Suicide”. Mark decided to devote his life to helping those in crisis. He’s spearheaded the removal of materials on Amazon that promote suicide, and as the National Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), his talks are informed by his direct experience with stigma and the mental health care system.
He’s dedicated his life to opening minds and creating change, bringing his diverse and unique perspective to every audience—a perspective informed by all angles of the issues. His first book is also on the way—expected on shelves in 2019.
A Canadian icon—celebrated both for her role in the public eye and as a respected mental-health issues advocate—Margaret Trudeau has become synonymous with mental health awareness. Her very public struggles occurred at a time when people’s understanding of the scale and effects of various mental illnesses was scant, and what was known was mired in stigma.
That meant that much of her time as the young wife of a prime minister was spent suffering in ways that drove her to become the beacon of hope she is today. Her tireless efforts to shatter misconceptions and remind others of the importance of nurturing the body, mind, and spirit is truly inspiring and we’re all better off having her inspiring voice in the conversation around mental health.