According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 49% of people—yes, almost half—who have felt symptoms of depression and anxiety never seek medical help. In any given year, one in five Canadians will experience a mental-health problem, and by age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness.
So why aren’t we talking about this more? The taboo around speaking openly about mental illness still exists, although campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk and Opening Minds (established by the Mental Heath Commission of Canada) are working to eradicate it.
Celebs who get candid about their own mental-health struggles also help chip away at the stigma. From Meghan Markle talking about the toll of media scrutiny on her mental-health to Kanye West opening up about being diagnosed as bipolar, here are the figures who have shared their own deeply personal experiences in the name of raising awareness, eliminating stigma and helping us all feel a little less alone.
Celebrities speaking out about mental health
Chris Evans may play Captain America , but even superheroes need to take care of their mental health. While appearing on The Hollywood Reporter's "Awards Chatter" podcast, Evans opened up about his experience dealing with panic attacks.
After acting in a string of what he calls "bad" movies, Evans says he started to experience panic attacks while on the set of his film Puncture in 2010, causing him to consider quitting the industry altogether. “It was the first time I started having mini panic attacks on set,” he said on the podcast. “I really started to think, ‘I’m not sure if this [acting] is the right thing for me, I’m not sure if I’m feeling as healthy as I should be feeling.’”
In 2011, when the actor was first offered the chance to test for the role of Marvel's Captain America, in Captain America: The First Avenger, he was worried about the additional pressure that would come from the fame. But, after many offers from Marvel (including giving him the role outright), and after consulting with his therapist, friends and family, Evans eventually said yes to the role. "It was the best decision I've ever made," Evans said.
If you or someone you know is struggling, contact Crisis Services Canada at 1-833-456-4566, find a 24/7 Crisis Centre via the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention or reach out to a resource in your province:
British Columbia: Province-Wide Mental Health Support Line (24/7 hotline: 310-6789) | Alberta: Distress Centre Calgary (24/7 hotline: 403-266-4357) | Saskatchewan: Prince Albert Mobile Crisis Unit (24/7 hotline: 306-764-1011) | Manitoba: Manitoba Reason to Live (24/7 hotline: 1-877-435-7170) | Ontario: Connex Ontario (24/7 hotline: 1-866-531-2600) | Quebec: The Quebec Association for Suicide Prevention (24/7 hotline: 866-277-3553) | New Brunswick: Chimo Helpline (24/7 hotline: 450-4357) | Nova Scotia: Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team (24/7 hotline: 1-888-429-8167) | Prince Edward Island: Island Helpline (24/7 hotline: 1-800-218-2885) | Newfoundland: Mental Health Crisis Line (24/7 hotline: 1-888-737-4668) | Northwest Territories: NWT Help Line (24/7 hotline: 1-800-661-0844)
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