According to Health Canada, one in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime and virtually all of us will know someone who is or will be affected by mental illness. TVO, in association with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), announces Mental Health Matters May 7 to 13, which will utilize TVO’s full media toolkit to inform and engage Ontarians in issues of mental health and addiction. Mental Health Matters will feature current affairs, lectures, documentaries and dramas, as well as extensive online resources and special in-the-community broadcast events to encourage informed discourse on an issue that affects us all.
“One of the things TVO does best is take very complex issues, make them accessible and provide the tools for people to have an informed dialogue about them,” says Chief Executive Officer Lisa de Wilde. “We’re really proud to be partnering with CAMH, one of the world’s leading research centres in addiction and mental health, to help open up the discussion around this really important public policy issue.”
Mental Health Matters on TV
The week will be anchored by five nights of TVO’s flagship current affairs program The Agenda with Steve Paikin, welcoming some of the brightest minds in the international mental health community to discuss and debate mental health issues. Beginning Monday May 7 at 8 pm ET, The Agenda will kick off the week with a debate on whether mental illness is more prevalent in today’s society than in the past, followed up throughout the week with expert analysis on schizophrenia, depression and anxiety, mental illness in the family, and concluding with a debate on how we should or should not label those living with psychiatric diagnoses.
On May 12 and 13, Big Ideas, TVO’s lecture series, will present special guest speaker Dr. Allen J. Frances, an outspoken critic of the fifth and latest version of the psychiatrist’s bible, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). Dr. Frances, who was editor-in-chief of DSM-IV, believes that mental illnesses are being over-diagnosed these days. In his lecture, Diagnostic Inflation: Does Everyone Have a Mental Illness?, Dr. Frances will outline why he thinks DSM-V will lead to millions of people being mislabeled with mental disorders.
Members of the public are invited to be part of the audience for two of The Agenda‘s programs as well as the Big Ideas lecture, which will be recorded at the University of Toronto’s Hart House in downtown Toronto on May 6. To register for free tickets to any or all of the three programs please visit TVO’s online registration site.
“We are very excited to partner with TVO on this initiative,” said Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO, CAMH. “Television is a very powerful medium, and through provocative programming and online content that examines the issues surrounding mental illness, we hope that people will be inspired to discover new ideas, discuss them openly and demand attention to this critical issue.”
Mental Health Matters Online
Beginning April 16, look for Mental Health Matters online for powerful info-graphics mapping mental illness across Ontario, web exclusive videos that tell the stories of people who have been affected by mental illness, guest bloggers, live streaming of special Mental Health Matters broadcasts and live chats, as well as catch-up-viewing videos on topics of mental health from The Agenda with Steve Paikin and Allan Gregg in Conversation archives.
Kids, Parents and Mental Health
During Mental Health Matters Week TVOParents.com, a website dedicated to engaging Ontario parents in their kids’ education, will feature new video interviews with experts on topics including:
- How prevalent is depression in children and how do parents recognize it?
- Can anxiety stimulate creativity?
- What is the link between kids who experience racism and trauma?
TVOParents.com will also feature videos and articles gathered at last year’s Ontario Public School Boards’ Association Summit for Child and Youth Mental Health and other content from its archive.
As part of TVO’s commitment to preparing Ontario’s kids for success in school, TVOKids host Kara welcomes Kids Help Phone counselor Duane for My Feelings Matter, a special edition of the TVOKids Help Zone on Monday May 7. Kara and Duane will answer emails and calls from kids about issues at school or at home that may be affecting their well-being from 4-7pm ET live in The Space and then extended on tvokids.com from 7-730 pm ET
More Mental Health Matters
Katka – North American Premiere – Wednesday May 9 at 9 pm and 12 am ET
Helena Tøeštíková’s remarkable documentary traces 14 years in the life of Katka, a young drug addict struggling to be free of her dependence on heroin and to fulfill her dreams of one day becoming a mother.
War in the Mind – Sunday May 13 at 10:30 pm ET
Filmmaker Judy Jackson’s powerful documentary gives voice to Canadian soldiers living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), exploring their thoughts and the therapeutic treatment they undergo to help erase the stigma surrounding PTSD.
Poppy Shakespeare – Sunday May 13 at 9 pm and 12 am ET
Clare Allan used her 10-year stint in the mental health system as inspiration for her acclaimed novel, Poppy Shakespeare. In this feature adaptation, Anna Martin Maxwell stars as N and Naomi Harris is Poppy Shakespeare, two patients at the Dorothy Fish Psychiatric Day Hospital who discover they have more in common than they had imagined.
Saturday Night at the Movies: Managing Our Anger – Saturday May 12 beginning at 8 pm ET
TVO’s feature film anthology series looks at the near uncontrollable spiral we face when untapped anger rises to the surface with Changing Lanes (2002), starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson, and Punch Drunk Love (2002) with Adam Sandler. The Interviews, which follows each film, features discussions with Changing Lanes actors Matt Malloy and Kin Staunton, as well as with screenwriter Michael Tolkin. Anger management therapist Alice Wiafe also joins the conversation.