FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The importance of mental health literacy among all of the awareness

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Jan. 30, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today our media feeds will be filled with support for mental illness and it will feel like awareness is high,  but awareness alone is not enough.

“While mental health awareness can be a good start, it cannot be the sole or most important focus of public engagement,” says Dr. Stan Kutcher, the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health. “If we really want to make a difference in the mental health of the population, we need to improve mental health literacy and rapid access to effective mental health care.”

Mental health literacy is the basis for mental health promotion, prevention and best available care. It is the foundation for which we can build on and move beyond awareness.

Dr. Kutcher and his team at TeenMentalHealth.Org realize the importance of literacy and are working hard to make education in mental health a priority.

Derived from health literacy and sharing its importance in being an effective intervention to improve health outcomes, mental health literacy is the knowledge and understanding that helps us become responsible, effective and successful in living full and healthy lives. With good mental literacy we learn how to take better care of ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. We are empowered and provided with the skills we need to help us build better lives, better systems of care and a better society.

“One of the important outputs of mental health literacy helps people distinguish between normal and necessary negative emotional states of everyday life and signs and symptoms of a mental illness,” says Dr. Kutcher.

Dr. Kutcher believes by implementing mental health literacy interventions at a grassroots level (such as schools and social services settings), improved outcomes for patients will  follow. Studies of mental health literacy embedded into the school curriculum have shown a wide range of improvements in meaningful domains.

Conversations about mental illness are always important.  Informed conversations supported by mental health literacy is where positive change will occur and improvements will be seen.

For more evidence-based information on mental health and mental illness, visit


In Collaboration with youth, parents, educators and health providers, TeenMentalHealth.Org uses the best scientific evidence available to develop application-ready training programs, publications, tools and resources to enhance the understanding of adolescent mental health.


Kate Elliot, Communications Coordinator
Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health
(902) 470-8444

Mallory Comeau, Communications Coordinator
Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health
(902) 802-8376

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at