Language matters

Words can help…but they can also hurt. Pay attention to the words you use.

How you can help

  • Explain to friends and colleagues who use words like “psycho” or “nut” without thinking that their comments may be hurtful and provide an alternative view.
Michael Landsberg
Did you know?

2 out of 3 people suffer in silence, fearing judgement and rejection.

Canadian Medical Association

Educate yourself

Learn the facts and myths about mental illness. Be knowledgeable and help fight stigma with facts.

How you can help

  • Understand early warning signs in yourself and others and know where to seek help
Howie Mandel
Did you know?

Approximately 11 people will end their lives by suicide today – and every day – in Canada

Canadian Association for Suicide

Be Kind

Small acts of kindness speak volumes.

How you can help

  • Don’t stand by if someone is being labelled or bullied.
  • Treat a person who has a mental illness with the kindness and care you give to people with other illnesses through a friendly smile, a helping hand, a phone call or visit.
Mary Walsh
Did you know?

Only 49% of Canadians said they would socialize with a friend who has a serious mental illness.

Canadian Medical Association

Listen and ask

Sometimes it’s best to just listen.

How you can help

  • Don't trivialize someone's illness. Instead, say: "I’m sorry to hear that, it must be a difficult time. Is there anything I can do to help?"
Clara Hughes
Did you know?

Once depression is recognized, help can make a difference for 80% of people who are affected, allowing them to get back to their regular activities.


Talk about it

Start a dialogue, not a debate

How you can help

  • Break the silence. Talk about how mental illness touches us all in some way directly or through a friend, family member or colleague. Stories of lived experience are the best way to help eradicate stigma.
  • Support mental health and anti-stigma programs in your community.
Serena Ryder
Did you know?

1 in 5 Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their life.

Canadian Institute of Health Research

Learn the origin of the 5 ways.