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The obvious phrases you don’t want to hear

The obvious phrases you don’t want to hear

This is the new awareness campaign from CAMH, the Centre For Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto.
The campaign recognizes the challenge faced by many people experiencing a mental illness and the tendency for others around them to dismiss it. Research indicates that as many as two thirds of people with a mental health problem do not get the help they need.

It features phrases of dismissal and denial and is shot POV to add a very personal dimension to the spot. “I think we’ve all said things like this without even thinking about the signal we might be sending,” comments Gary Watson, Creative Director at DentsuBos who also directed the commercial. “It’s almost like saying, I don’t really want to hear about it or deal with it. And for someone living with a mental illness, that’s just another reason not to speak up or get help.”

The campaign contains a video, a radio spot and a serie of print ads with the well-known phrases.
The purpose of this campaign is two-fold: First, to get people to re-evaluate their outlook on mental illness; second, to give the public a deeper understanding of the programs, facilities and vision at CAMH, Canada’s largest research and teaching hospital in the field of mental health.

The print ads have been placed in newspapers, magazines and bus shelters in select locations.


“Our commitment is to lead change in mental health.  However, we recognize we can’t do it alone. We need our community partners and the public to play a critical role,” said Dr. Catherine Zahn, CAMH President and CEO. “We’ve all heard or said things like ‘Don’t worry, it’s just a phase’, ‘It’s all in your head’, ‘Snap out of it’ and ‘You just need a night out’.  While we’re all familiar with this trivializing language, until we recognize that it deters people from seeking help, we won’t be able to help the two out of three Canadians suffering from mental illness who have been denied and dismissed.”



@mocha_grl took this picture at the Queen subway station in Toronto. Nice outdoor campaign item with the same phrases as used in the print items.


CAMH, the Centre For Addiction and Mental Health
Additional credits:
Director/Creative Director/Writer: Gary Watson
Art Director: Simon Duffy
Production Company: Holiday Films
Executive Producers: Josefina Nadurata/Derek Sewell
Producer: Marie Robertson
Director of Photography: Andre Pineaar
Editorial: School Editing
Editor: Mark Morton
Post: Alter Ego
Sound: RMW Music
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