National Network for Mental Health is commited to people with disabilities



Pets can provide incredible value to our lives, but a new study suggests that it’s time doctors and mental health services started considering them more seriously as a source of mental health support.

The research shows that not only are pets great for our general wellbeing, they can also greatly help people manage long-term mental illness – a benefit that’s been overlooked by doctors in the past.

“Pets should be considered a main rather than a marginal source of support in the management of long-term mental health problems,” the researchers conclude in BMC Psychiatry. Continue reading

These too-often-believed myths can be harmful to you and your loved ones. Find out the facts from experts and women so you can help fight stigma and stay well.​

When Annie Powell, 35, was in the midst of a 72-hour manic episode in February 2013, she felt like Superwoman: productive and energetic. “I went to the gym for a 5:30 a.m. class, worked all day, came home and went to the gym again with my family. Then, I stayed up all night and organized my office, worked more, cleaned the house and did laundry,” says Annie.

Once the two-plus days ended, however, she crashed and fell into a deep depression. “I sat in the basement and stared at the wall for hours,” says Annie.  Continue reading

‘Every day I wake up happy,’ Margaret Trudeau says

Margaret Trudeau, an engaging author and public speaker, visited Regina Thursday, where she spoke enthusiastically about the new priorities in her life: her grandchildren.

“You’ve got these darlings,” Trudeau said, fondly talking about the youngest generation of a familiar Canadian family.

Among their best qualities, she said, was how they simply deal with her as a beloved grandmother.

“Because of their vitality, their innocence and their newness. They don’t know anything, except I’m grandma. They know none of my story,” she said. “It’s the best time of my life.” Continue reading

Ground-breaking research could lead to personalized therapy for bipolar sufferers
By Stu Mills, CBC News

New research published today unlocks some of the mysteries of bipolar disorder and could lead to effective therapy for those suffering from the illness, the Ottawa-based researcher who led the study says.

Bipolar disorder is a debilitating mental illness that affects more than 350,000 people across Canada. Sufferers typically fluctuate between periods of depression and bouts of mania, when their mood is euphoric.

A study led by Dr. Georg Northoff at The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research uncovered interrelated changes in the brain’s two distinct neurological networks that could hold the key to better understanding those mood shifts. Continue reading

Susan Kilbride Roper suffered silently for decades with depression and extreme periods of manic behavior and, at one point, turned to alcohol to self-medicate her fluctuating moods. Eventually, she was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder and was able to get the help she needed to turn her life around — thanks in large part to the QEII’s Mood Disorders Clinic. Susan credits a nurse at the clinic with helping to save her marriage early on in her treatment.

“To have a team to treat this complex illness is so important, ” says Susan, who works in mental health promotion. She founded and helps co-ordinate a Halifax peer-support group for people living with the disorder. Continue reading

Mental health advocate Margaret Trudeau – mother of PM Justin, ex-wife of PM Pierre – will deliver the keynote address at Interim Place’s upcoming fundraiser.

Diagnosed with bipolar disease herself, she is well-known as a strong champion for helping to remove the social stigma that tends to accompany the label.

“She experienced mental health issues while in the spotlight and that takes courage, said Julia Robinson, development coordinator, Interim Place. “We thought of her because behind every powerful man is a strong woman and she’s a strong woman between two very powerful men.” Continue reading

It’s time society “lost the shame” associated with mental illness, says one of Canada’s leading authors.

Lawrence Hill, author of The Book of Negroes and other acclaimed works, was in London Friday to speak at Huron University College and to mental health experts and donors at a private fundraiser for London Health Sciences Foundation.

When it comes to mental illness, Hill has a lifetime of experience. He lived with it, first with his bipolar mother, Donna, then his late sister, Karen, who suffered from the same ailment for more than 20 years, all the while working on her one and only book, a novel, Cafe Babanussa, that Hill is currently promoting. Continue reading


Researchers have identified 13 inherited traits linked to severe bipolar disorder, including issues with sleep, wake and cycle activities.

Causes of bipolar disorder (BP) are believed to be linked to both genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the problem–resulting in dramatic mood shits, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Previous studies have suggested that disruption of the normal circadian rhythms, including both sleep and wake cycles, can precede mood shifts, as well.

“This study represents a key step in identifying the genetic roots of this disorder and, in turn, providing targets for new approaches to preventing and treating bipolar disorder,” said Dr. Nelson Freimer, who directs the Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics and holds the Maggie Gilbert Chair of Psychiatry at UCLA, in a news release. Continue reading

My bipolar brain and mind are interesting places to live. Pleasurable, no, but interesting, yes. At the beginning of the day my mind seems to start out like a blank chalkboard and then my bipolar brain screams at it as soon as I wake. And little by little the chalkboard fills up. Each scream takes up a line. Until eventually there is no room for working thought or working memory or anything all and all I can hear is my brain screaming, “I can’t do this.” It’s a feeling of stress and anxiety and it’s inescapable.

I’m not sure why my brain chooses to yell this particular phrase at me, but I can tell you, it’s impossible to focus through all the yelling.

via Bipolar Burble Blog | Natasha Tracy

I give presentations on mental illness in different places, and one of those places is in schools. Kids aged 12-18 get to hear about mental illness, stigma and my personal story of bipolar disorder. This takes around an hour. And after hearing an hour of me speak about my personal challenges and about how I have faced down bipolar disorder are a myriad of treatment failures, the teens often feel a certain closeness with me. I suspect it is for this reason that after the presentation, so many of them come up and talk to me. They talk about how they have been in the hospital or how they have a friend with bipolar or that they think they might have a mental illness.

And, of course, if a teen thinks they have the symptoms of a mental illness I always say, “Have you talked to your parents about this?”

And I always expect them to look at me like I just said something ridiculous because when I was their age, I sure would have found the notion laughable.

But they generally don’t. Many, many of them have, indeed, talked to their parents. And what have the parents done?


via Bipolar Burble Blog | Natasha Tracy