Opening Minds

60% of people with a mental health problem or illness won’t seek help for fear of being labeled.

Opening Minds is the largest systematic effort in Canadian history focused on reducing stigma related to mental illness. Established by the MHCC in 2009, it seeks to change Canadians’ behaviours and attitudes toward people living with mental illness to ensure they are treated fairly and as full citizens with opportunities to contribute to society like anyone else.

Tackling stigma on multiple fronts
Opening Minds is addressing stigma within four main target groups: health care providers, youth, the workforce and the media. As such, the initiative has multiple goals, ranging from improving health care providers’ understanding of the needs of people with mental health problems to encouraging youth to talk openly and positively about mental illness.

Ultimately, the goal of Opening Minds is to cultivate an environment in which those living with mental illness feel comfortable seeking help, treatment and support on their journey toward recovery.

Why stigma?
People living with mental health disorders often say the stigma they encounter is worse than the illness itself.  

A number of programs across Canada are working on reducing stigma. Opening Minds has been evaluating more than 70 of these projects to identify those most effective at reducing stigma so they can be replicated across Canada. Evidence gathered through these evaluations will reveal best practices that will contribute to the development of anti-stigma toolkits and other resources, to be released soon.

At the same time, Opening Minds’ evaluation process is forging ties throughout Canada’s mental health field, creating a valuable network for sharing best practices and programs designed to reduce stigma.

Opening Minds Published Articles




application/pdf icon
964.4 KB

Opening Minds coordinated and funded a series of evaluation projects of anti-stigma programs for healthcare providers, one of OM's key target groups, with the ...

application/pdf icon
913.11 KB

The Mental Health Education program at the Canadian Mental Health Association - Calgary Region (CMHA - Calgary) is a contact-based education program focusing on ...

application/pdf icon
307.64 KB

The Downward Spiral of Systemic Exclusion Final Report James D. Livingston, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminology, Saint Mary’s ...

application/pdf icon
581.38 KB

The PSP Adult Mental Health Module was developed to enhance the capacity and comfort of family physicians to diagnose and engage patients in the management of their ...

application/pdf icon
922.87 KB

The Durham TAMI Coalition will provide the assembly model to schools that have participated in a summit and want to continue to increase awareness of mental illness ...

application/pdf icon
681.82 KB

This intervention was a one-hour online training course to help faculty better understand their role in identifying and supporting students with mental health issues.

application/pdf icon
580.55 KB

The Partnership Education Program celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2014. Since 1994, the program has offered contact-based education on schizophrenia and related ...