Yesterday, my daughter, Alyssa appeared on Canada AM. My wife, Heather, and I sat in the studio audience. The show was dedicated to talking about the issue of mental health. I want to thank so many of you who have stopped by, sent emails, and left messages of support and encouragement for Alyssa and our family.
As you may know, Heather and I, and more importantly, Alyssa, feel it is time to encourage dialogue about the topic of mental health. In fact, Alyssa has led Heather and I along this path for the past year or so. She has spoken about this topic already at an Annual General Meeting for The Rock in Burlington, a public speaking competition, during the organization of a workshop for The New Mentality, on television, etc. Over that year, Heather and I have been hesitant about Alyssa’s speaking in front of others, but we have come to realize her story and our family’s story in dealing with what happened with Alyssa, can help to bring about positive change in this area of health care. We realize that significant change won’t happen without people speaking out and sharing their stories.
If you attended our information evening on January 14th entitled, “Encouraging Dialogue: Mental Health and Our Children”, you will remember Sarah Cannon and Shannon Stach. They also appear in the videos located on the Canada AM website. I encourage you to take the time to watch the segments below. (please note, each video is preceded by a commercial and the same introduction)
- How mental illness is affecting one teen and one family. Also, spotting the signs and symptoms. http://www.ctv.ca/canadaAMPlayer/index.html?video=615232
- Canada AM opens the floor to questions related to mental illness, stigma, and how to find help. http://www.ctv.ca/canadaAMPlayer/index.html?video=615249
- TSN’s Michael Landsberg on his personal experience with mental illness — and breaking stigma. http://www.ctv.ca/canadaAMPlayer/index.html?video=615225
Please consider forwarding this blog post with the above links to your friends and family. Some of them may benefit from hearing the messages.
Head of School
Please note: If the links above are no longer working please go to http://www.ctv.ca/canadaAMPlayer/index.html and click Must Watch Clips and choose Mental Health from the scrolling menu on the left.
I just watched your daughter speak, Derek and my heart aches for what you have been through. That said, I know you must also feel a great deal of pride seeing Alyssa speak out so beautifully about such an important and personal topic. Thank-you for sharing this.