Mood Disorders


What is
EN // FR

What is Bipolar Disorder?
EN // FR

Workplace Mental Health
EN // FR

What's New

Mental Health Education

combating stigma

This Web-Based Continuing Medical Education (CME) program entitled “Combating Stigma for Physicians and other Health Professionals”. This interactive online course intends to educate family physicians and specialists in the recognition of stigma related to mental illness.  The course is designed to provide participants with an opportunity to recognize attitudes and behaviours that could potentially lead to stigma as well as provide an example of a practical clinical approach to helping doctors, other healthcare professionals and patients. Course Information

Sept 19: Mental Health Fair in Hardisty aimed to open eyes and end stigma around depression and suicide (Link)

July 8: The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) has announced the five Canadians selected for the 12th annual Faces of Mental Illness campaign (PDF)

May 8: Canada-Wide Defeat Depression Campaign Encourages Members of Parliament to Get Involved (PDF)

Apr 16: Ipsos Canada partners with MDSC to feature Elephant in the Room Anti-Stigma Campaign and Work With Us on national Wellness Boards. (PDF)


What BETTER Feels Like


What Better Feels Like: Answers from People Who Have Experienced Depression

(Download PDF)

Many interviewees agreed that
better is not a destination but a journey. This document offers a place to start.

What Better Feels Like: A Guide to Maintaining Wellness

(Download PDF)
Each interviewee emphasized the importance of maintaining their wellness, once better was achieved.

The interviewees

Ten people from across the country agreed to be interviewed about their depression and their journey to better. All had experienced at least one major depressive episode with many having recurring bouts. While each voice is unique, their experiences had striking similarities.

Special thanks to interviewees

John L
John S


Just like it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression so people will seek treatment, it is also important to recognize the signs of recovery - what better feels like.

Mood Disorders Society of Canada embarked on a project to learn from others - who have "been there", what better feels like to them. Ten people were interviewed who had experienced depression. They answered questions like, What is depression like? What are the signs of getting better? What helped and what didn't? And what does better feel like?

The results... two documents and several videos in the words of those who have lived experience


Nancy's Story

Deanna's Story

Lucy's Story

More About the Project

The questionnaire

Each interviewee received the questions in advance so they could reflect upon what their answers would be. Interviewees often remarked that they found the questions to be challenging. People said that they had to really think about their answers. All felt that they had been made to think - in a good way. And all were pleased to be able to contribute.

1. Can you recall the first sign (s) you noticed that made you think that your depression might be lifting? Can you describe those signs?

2. How did you know you weren't getting better and what did you do?

3. What do you think was the trigger (s) that allowed you to turn the corner?

4. What do you see as the "ingredients" that led to your getting better? What was helpful?

5. If not covered in the question above, can you tell me specifically how you worked with your professional caregivers? What was not helpful?

6. Define what better feels like - for you.

7. Tell me what you do to maintain your wellness?

The documents

While the research focused on the answer to the question, what better feels like, the questionnaire covered a number of topics - as did the interviewees who did not feel at all constrained by the format and talked about their experiences in whatever ways they wished.

The "Answers" document is organized around the themes that emerged, some of which follow the questions asked and some of which do not. It stays true to the voices of the interviewees. This way, their personalities, their passions and their sage advice is in their own words.

The "Guide" is based on what interviewees learned. It is a woven narrative of a summary of the points they wanted readers to understand. Their actual words punctuate sections of the guide to provide emphasis and insight into their recommendations on how to maintain wellness.


Read November 2014 E-News