Flash mob makes noise for mental illness

By Dylan DesRoche

Oct, 13. 2015

For people living with mental illness, every day can be a battle and sadly, it’s one many fight alone.

That’s why on Oct. 9th, Carmen Harper and dozens of Islanders, met to participate in a flash mob for mental health awareness.

“We’re here to try and end the stigma around mental health,” said Harper, who lives with mental illness.

Around 40 people attended the event at the Confederation Centre in Charlottetown, as similar events happened all across the country.

“Today we’re here trying to raise awareness, that 1 in 4 Canadians will have to deal with mental illness in their lifetime and that it’s okay to talk about it,” said Jill Macfarlane, of the Fitzroy Centre. a clubhouse that offers support for people living with mental illness.

The event happened at noon, with similar events happening as clocks struck 12 across the country, with the aim of creating a wave of awareness, said MacFarlane.

“There is still a lot of stigma but we have definitely improved over the last few years.”

Oct. 5-11th was Mental Health Awareness Week said MacFarlane and though a lot has been done for the cause the battle isn’t over.

“Mental illness is just like a physical illness, you need treatment and support from family and friends. When you’re struggling and you feel like you can’t approach anyone, it makes it that much more difficult to get better.”

Amanda Brazil is the director of programs and policy at the Canadian Mental Health Association. She agrees, it’s time to get loud.

“It’s time we talk about mental illness, it’s an issue nobody is immune to and we want to start to reduce the stigma and get loud about it.”