—Toronto, ON, September 25, 2016—
Last night the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) presented its CPA President’s Commendation to Margaret Trudeau in appreciation for her important role as a mental health advocate.
“Her ability to transform her struggle with bipolar disorder is an inspiration,” said CPA President, Dr. Sonu Gaind. “She has shown great courage in recounting her story, helping many Canadians facing mental illness to seek treatment and support.”
Ms. Trudeau was not available to accept the award in person, which was presented at the President’s Gala on the last evening of the CPA’s 66th Annual Conference in Toronto, but sent a few words of thanks that were read to the audience.
“For the last decade, I have been given the extraordinary opportunity to be an advocate for those struggling with mental health issues. My experiential expertise comes from a very real story of mental disorder,” wrote Ms. Trudeau. “My final episode of my bipolar, untreated predicament put me in the path of complete destruction of everything I held dear. With the help of my doctor, and the support of my family and friends I successfully returned to my day to day life full of hope and gratitude.”
The Canadian icon was also remembered by the CPA for her frank and open participation in its 2007 Public Forum on Stigma and Discrimination in Montreal – a panel discussion aimed at building understanding between people with lived experience, their loved ones, the public, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals.
“I was given the help to turn my poor life choices into mindful, balanced ones. My gratitude is immense,” she added. “Without facing my fears and finding courage to live again, I would have no story to tell—more important, no life to live.”
Ms. Trudeau sits on the Executive Advisory Board of the UBC Mental Health Institute as a community advocate, and is the author of four books, including her bestselling title, Changing My Mind, which charts her life’s ups and downs.
The Canadian Psychiatric Association is the national voice for Canada’s 4,700 psychiatrists and more than 900 psychiatric residents. Founded in 1951, the CPA is dedicated to promoting an environment that fosters excellence in the provision of clinical care, education and research.