World Mental Health Day 2015: Dignity in Mental Health

Salpêtrière by Armand Gautier (lithograph, 1857)

The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is Dignity in Mental Health. Thousands of people around the globe who face mental health issues are stigmatized, marginalized, face discrimination, endure emotional and physical abuse from their families, their communities, and in institutions, and receive inadequate to no treatment.

In recognition of the importance of de-stigmatizing mental illness, supporting those who struggle with mental health issues, and addressing this global public health crisis, the Psychology Department will be hosting a reading of excerpts from the play, Stigma, by the playwright, Cairn Moore (Dept. of Theatre and Film) along with fellow actors. The reading will be held on Friday, October 9th in Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall at the University of Winnipeg (3rd floor, Centennial Hall), from 12:30-2:00 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend this free event.

Stigma follows the story of first year University student Anna Almeida, as she is catapulted into the strange and terrifying world, known as schizophrenia. A diagnosis referred to by many, as a death sentence. Strange characters come to visit and refuse to go away. Soon, young Anna with a bright future, can no longer distinguish between what is real and what is not.”

Stigma is a dramatic play based upon true stories that will challenge the stereotypes we attach to schizophrenia, particularly in the wake of the horrific events that took place aboard Greyhound Bus 1170, on July 30, 2008.” (Synopsis by Cairn Moore.)

After the reading, there will be an opportunity to discuss the issue of dignity in mental health, with the hope of raising awareness of the challenges that individuals with mental health conditions face and how we, as part of the global community, are all responsible for ensuring that these people can live with dignity.

For further information on World Mental Health Day 2015, please consult the World Health Organization webpage on WMHD.

Stigma was recently performed at the 2015 FemFest in Winnipeg