Canada: The Mood Disorders Society of Canada (Host Institution)
The Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC) has evolved to become one of Canada’s best-connected mental health NGOs with a demonstrated track record for forging and maintaining meaningful and sustained partnerships with the public, private and non-profit sectors throughout Canada.
The MDSC has grown out of the vision and drive of a number of mental health consumer leaders from across Canada who in 1995 saw the need for a broad-based structure to bring consumers of mental health services together and who believe that consumers have a key role to play with regard to education and advocacy at the national level.
It was formally launched and incorporated in 2001 with the overall objective of providing people with mood disorders with a strong, cohesive voice at the national level to improve access to treatment, inform research, and shape program development and government policies with the goal of improving the quality of life for people affected by mood disorders.
The MDSC’s overall objective is to provide people with mood disorders with a strong, cohesive voice at the national level by:
- Raising awareness that mood disorders are treatable medical issues and working towards eliminating barriers to full community participation in reducing discrimination and stigma, involving members of the public, government and treatment/service providers.
- Building a national clearinghouse of information and resources related to mood disorders.
- Advocating for the creation of adequate and accessible stigma-free programs for Canadians living with or suffering from mental illness.
- Ensuring that the voices of consumers and family members are accurately understood and communicated on issues of national importance by building on exisiting networks and alliances.
Collaboration is an MDSC operational principle. The Society fulfills its mandate through an active partnership approach that engages like-minded organizations in the public, private and voluntary sectors. The MDSC is engaged on an ongoing basis in a wide range of projects and initiatives designed to support the inclusion of persons with disabling mental illnesses in Canadian society and has taken a lead proactive role in public policy and program development in many capacities on the national stage.