In celebration of Mental Illness Awareness Week, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau joined Global’s The Morning Show to explore the vital connection between emotional literacy and mental well-being.
Sophie is a celebrated mental health advocate who has been leading national conversations on this important topic for 20 years. In 2022, she became the first National Volunteer for the Canadian Mental Health Association.
The first week of October marks Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) — an annual national public education campaign designed to raise awareness of the reality of mental illness. Today, about 1 in 5 Canadians suffer from mental illness, but this number only represents diagnosed or reported cases. There are many more suffering in silence, Sophie said.
“[MIAW] is about making sure people understand that we are all touched by mental health,” Sophie told The Morning Show. “Mental health is the fabric of our lives and right here in Canada, it’s still difficult for people to not only talk about it but seek professional help and find good, quality service in a timely manner… We are facing a crisis because it’s touching millions of Canadians and we have to take it seriously.”
Emotional Literacy and Its Impact on Mental Well-Being
Mental health is a topic close to Sophie’s heart, having suffered from eating disorders herself. She is passionate about emotional literacy and the proactive role it plays in managing our mental health.
70% of mental health issues start in childhood, Sophie said, with many of them preventable if we were taught emotional literacy at a young age; if we were taught how to sit with our emotions and our pain, and not be overwhelmed by them.
“Lack of emotional literacy is at the root of so many problems we face as individuals and as a society,” Sophie said. “We teach our kids how to pinpoint countries on a map, we teach them math, we teach them languages, but do we teach them at an early age the root of their emotions, to understand their emotions, to be able to regulate their emotions? Even us as adults, in our relationships, we see the effects of not always understanding our own emotions and wirings of our personality.”
This is the foundation of Sophie’s new book, Closer Together: Knowing Ourselves, Loving Each Other, to be released April 23, 2023.
In Closer Together, Sophie takes readers on a deeply personal journey toward self-knowledge, acceptance, and empowerment, drawing on the expertise of top psychologists, psychiatrists, scientists, and thought leaders. She shares moments from her own mental health journey — from her childhood to her struggles with an eating disorder in her teens and early adulthood; from her career as a speaker and television host to de facto “first lady” and mother of three.
Speaking with such experts as Gabor Maté, Liz Plank, Terrence Real, Catherine Price, Harville Hendrix, and Helen LaKelly Hunt, to name a few, she delves into the science behind brain health and our unique emotional signatures, exploring the questions that matter most for our individual and collective growth.
These questions include:
- How does the way we were raised contribute to our sense of self?
- How can we better prepare ourselves to deal with big emotions?
- What do we need from our relationships, and what can we contribute to them?
- How can we let go of what doesn’t serve us and nurture what does?
As a keynote speaker, Sophie draws from concepts covered in her book to bring audiences on a deep exploration of mental health and wellness. She’s on a mission to help people reach their true potential and live fuller and happier lives by enhancing their emotional literacy and learning how to build healthier relationships with themselves, others, and the world around us.
Hear more from Sophie in the clip below as she talks about MIAW and family mental health with The Morning Show:
Contact us to learn more about Sophie and to book her as a keynote speaker on mental health, emotional literacy, and female empowerment.