Canada is an interesting place. Often cited by social theorists as being incredibly progressive with its social policy, but like most places, it’s a land of contradictions.
Next to the United States, I’ve never come across a place as regressive as what Canada is, particularly in some provinces, when it comes to its treatment of Indigenous people. That’s a story for another day.
But since spending a fair amount of time in Canada, I got waxed on to reading their national newspaper, The Globe and the Mail, and now I have it digitally delivered to me everyday and read it from cover to cover.
Today on page 20, there is this vibrant, contemporary full page advertisement, dressed in a shock purple. Surely it belongs to a well-heeled company with a lavish marketing budget. This is a good ad. I scroll down the page and lo and behold, it’s a proud advertisement by CAMH (the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health) letting me know that they are converting their Queen Street site into a welcoming, integrated urban village that responds to the needs of everyone in the community. How could you not love it!
Addiction plagues many Australian families, but we’d prefer not to talk about it, let alone take out a full page advertisement to let us know that this slick outfit is taking good care of addicts. My family hasn’t escaped it, we’ve been terrorised by it and we’ve been to landscapes that we would have preferred not to.
At CAMH, they rightly see addiction and mental illness interrelated. I couldn’t agree more!
Addiction is a trip to hell and back again for all involved. A great place to start mapping out good interventions, is for the community to own it.
In the words of CAMH, defeat denial, help defeat mental illness.