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"Creativity in every cell"
Artists Ottawa
The Global Mental Health Movement

Canada and Mental Health

On August 31, 2007, the Government of Canada (in the person of Prime Minister Stephen Harper) formally announced the launch of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), its board membership and its committee structure to delegates at the 2007 Conference for the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) and to all Canadians through the national media.

Studies have found that 1 in 5 Canadians will deal personally with a mental health concern at some point in their lives. When you consider that their families and peers are also affected, mental health issues have a broad impact in Canada. Therefore, improving mental health requires and deserves national dedication of significant resources and political will.

Though only a first step, the establishment of the MHCC was a step in the right direction that called upon domestic practitioners, advocates and survivors (with the advice of international partners) to work together to help improve the mental health of all Canadians.

The Challenge

My experience as the Poet In Residence for the 2007 IIMHL conference profoundly changed my opinion of mental health and altered my view on the use of art in society to effect change.

As a result of listening to and reflecting on the stories of abuse, neglect, isolation, over-medication, incarceration and systemic discrimination from people living all over the world, I came to recognize that mental health is a global crisis requiring immediate action from all of us. Just to emphasize this point -- by the year 2020, depression will cause disability to more human beings than any known condition affecting human beings except heart disease (source: World Health Organization). The time to act is now.

I challenge all Canadians to get involved in ways large and small to help improve mental health for everyone both at home and abroad. Find out more and work within your community to make life easier for those with mental health concerns. Contribute your time and money to research, supportive organizations, government institutions and others who are doing credible work on this issue.

Let's all work together to do what we can to make things better!

My Services For Mental Health Initiatives

I am committed to helping in whatever way I can to improving mental health around the world through art. If you are an organization anywhere in the world (government-sponsored or independent groups of practitioners, survivors, carers, etc.) looking to include art in their activities, please contact me at:

Greg Frankson a.k.a. Ritallin
Creative Director
174 Bank Street
PO Box 71076
Ottawa ON Canada
K2P 2L9
+1 (613) 252-1777
[email protected]


For more information on mental health, visit the following websites:


Artisits Ottawa
Mental Health Commission of Canada
The goal of the Mental Health Commission of Canada is to help bring into being an integrated mental health system that places people living with mental illness at its centre.

Artisits Ottawa Canadian Mental Health Association 
The CMHA is a nation-wide, charitable organization that promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness.

Artisits OttawaPublic Health Agency of Canada 
Government of Canada info on mental health

Artisits OttawaNational Network for Mental Health 
Run by and for mental health consumer/survivors, NNMH advocates, educates and provides expertise and resources that benefits the Canadian consumer/survivor community.

Artisits OttawaCentre for Addiction and Mental Health 
Canada's leading addiction and mental health teaching hospital.

Artisits OttawaMental Illness Awareness Week 
Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness.


Artisits OttawaInternational Initiative for Mental Health Leadership
IIMHL provides an international infrastructure to identify and exchange information about effective leadership, management and operational practices in the delivery of mental health services.

Artisits OttawaWorld Health Organization
WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. 

"everybody hates change
except when you end up
loving your new spot.

pity's wasted on the ill.
recovery is way more important."

Artisits Ottawa

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