“In any given year, one in five Canadians will experience some form of diagnosable mental illness”, according to Dr. David Goldbloom MD, one of Canada’s leading psychiatrists and an articulate spokesperson for the field of mental health. Guest speaker at the Canadian Club of Halton dinner on November 17, 2016 the focus of the evening was on his book How Can I Help? A Week in My Life as a Psychiatrist.
Dr. Goldbloom talked about why he wrote the book, how he wrote it, and the larger themes and personal stories that the book reflects. The goal of the book, co-authored with Dr. Pier Bryden MD, is to reduce public fear of psychiatrists by showing what it is that they really do, the conditions they treat, the resources they deploy and the setting in which they work. The book quickly became a bestseller in Canada after its release in February 2016.
When asked for a show of hands, it was clear that almost everyone in the room had encountered some form of mental illness either personally themselves or with a family member or a friend. The stigma is real. The vision endures. In the past, people experiencing mental health issues were isolated from the general population, often being sent to “lunatic asylums” or “hospitals for the insane’ outside the borders of a community.
Dr. Goldbloom is happy in his role as a Psychiatrist. He has succeeded in making changes, both in the way that society looks at people who are mentally ill and for the individuals that he sees in his practice. Since 2003 Dr. Goldbloom has been the Senior Medical Advisor at the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto.
In addition to the many educational and professional awards that he has received over the years, David is a Distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Psychiatric Association and the American Psychiatric Association. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and, in 2014, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. He served as Vice-Chair and then Chair of the Board of the Mental Health Commission of Canada from 2007 to 2015. In addition to his professional activities, Dr. Goldbloom is past Chair of the Board of Governors of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada.
Article and photos courtesy of Janet Bedford.
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