Globe Editorial

Explode the mental illness stigma

From Monday's Globe and Mail

September 27, 2010

The stigma and shame associated with mental illness will not be lifted all at once, but by degrees, as the issue is brought out of the shadows and into the open. The harm done by the tenacious and anachronistic silence around mental ill health is immense, because it prevents or delays people from getting help, which only worsens the illness. That is why the corporate sector needs to show leadership in helping erase the shame around mental illness. Maintaining a healthy work force is a matter of corporate self-interest, and companies are beginning to take notice.

Bill Wilkerson, co-founder of the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Mental Health, sees a sea change of late in Canadian business, after years in which companies mostly paid lip service to mental-health issues. Bell Canada president George Cope spoke this week about his mother's depression and announced a $50-million donation to mental-health-related causes, and has enlisted Clara Hughes, Canada's flag-bearer at the Vancouver Olympic Games to spread the message – the six-time medalist has suffered depression. Canada Post Corp. and Great West Life also have major mental-health initiatives under way. “About two years ago, we started to see something happen, driven by CEOs with family experience with mental illness.”

Not many CEOs have not gone public, Mr. Wilkerson said, but “senior figures in the financial services industry, in the steel and energy industry” have wrestled with the issue It's not just a pet cause, but an investment based on sound business principles. “By investing in the brain health of employees, in an economy where cerebral skills are at a premium, we are investing in competitive strengths.”

There is a lot of work to do in the mental health field where corporate Canada can make a difference. Companies need to attend their employees' own mental health. They can also be part of public-private partnerships that can expand community services and supports for sufferers of mental-health related diseases and conditions. And they can help support research into prevention and treatment.

What one doesn't talk about, one stigmatizes. The silence around mental illness as a business issue is beginning to break up.







Society has an attitude to mental health that it is an extraordinary taboo subject. At present, only a handful of occupations have applicant's screened for the existence or occurrence of mental health and or personality disorders.

Take the legal profession. In any year, a significant percentage of the population claim disability and cannot work or actually cease practicing permanently but there is NO, mental health or personality screening for the Judiciary which attracts those who are the most corruptible with the nastiest of personalities and propensity to abuse power.

Ontario has some judges whose appointment as judges came as a result of political pressure from politicians and others from the extreme feminist movement who wish to make sure decisions are made their way and male legal rights made redundant. Put those two interests together and you get some of the worst examples of humanity being made judges.

Ottawa is the home of several judges who are well, mad as haters and psychopaths.

The award for the craziest female judge in Ottawa is Catherin Aitken, known as "the fembox" of Ottawa, for sheer deprivation of legal rights, its a tie between Denis Power and Allan Sheffield.

Denis Power has an anger management problem, he simply should never have been made a judge. He suffers from "court room rage". The psychopath in Ottawa is a judge known as "The worst of the worst" Justice Allan D. Sheffield.

For a female psychopathic tendencies its Justice Robertson, another man hater and of course most recently, Madam Justice Lynn D. Ratushny is making a name for herself in sheer corrupt decisions that are about political correctness, her form of political correctness that means decisions for her friends while tearing up other judges decisions. Not nice and why judges need mental health screening before hire and upon complaints that cross the line, a line that does not exist at present.