When CAMH’s Transforming Lives Awards program launched in 1998, the concept was one co-chair and co-host Valerie Pringle calls “massively groundbreaking.” The awards would celebrate individuals affected by mental illness, the steps they’ve taken towards recovery, and most importantly, their fight against discrimination.
But although much has been done since then to reduce stigma, Pringle says that the power of the recipients’ stories remains just as strong as ever.
“Even though we are becoming much more aware, it’s still remarkable to get a sense of the massive effort that it takes to recover,” says Pringle. “It’s wonderful [for award recipients], who have dealt in this realm of shame, to have it turned on its head. They should be applauded for their struggle. The message to everyone, implicitly, is that recovery is possible.”
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