The Canadian Mental Health Association is celebrating Mental Health week by encouraging folks online to #GetLoud and speak up and out about mental health issues. They’re creating a dialogue with the hashtag #GetLoud and working to ditch the stigma associated with mental illness.

CMHA’s Dr. Patrick Smith is bringing his two decades worth of leadership online and asking Canadians to GET LOUD in efforts to raise their voices to support folks with mental health issues — and increase funding for these types of programs across the nation.

“I think of ‘getting loud’ as a giant megaphone for mental health. Whether you’re shouting it from rooftops, or talking quietly with someone at home or at work, getting loud means breaking the silence that can surround mental health issues,” says Dr. Smith, “We need the conversation to get very, very loud. The people we love, and the people we elect need to hear that mental health is an essential part of health, and of health care.”

According to the CMHA, 20 per cent of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their life time. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate and may affect people of all ages, backgrounds, income levels and cultures.

While 8 per cent of adults will experience some bout of a major depression during their lifetime, 1 per cent of Canadians will have to deal with bipolar disorder.

“Stigma or discrimination attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier, not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community,” CMHA explains on their website. As May is Mental Health Month, CMHA is encouraging people to get loud and create a safe space online to talk about these issues.

Non-profit organizations such as Embrace Life Council and CASP are doing their parts to promote awareness around mental health issues as advocates for suicide prevention by getting loud throughout the month. Other Canadians are getting involved by using the hashtags to promote conversation about the subject.

For Mental Health Week, the folks at CMHA are providing sweet resources for Canadians who may be dealing with any form of mental illness. They’re encouraging people to take charge of their mental well-beings.

TheFeminismProject.com is also getting loud in efforts to battle the stigmas surrounding mental health issues! #GETLOUD

Image credit: CMHA.ca