What is Mental Illness?

Mental illnesses affect how we think, feel and behave. Mental illnesses can range in symptoms and severity, including a depression that lasts for several months; or recurring anxiety; or schizophrenia, requiring long-term treatment—similar to diabetes. And just like other illnesses, people with mental illness can and do lead productive, full lives when provided with the hope, support and effective treatments that come from understanding.

What is Stigma?

Stigma is the negative beliefs we have about mental illness and addictions and the assumptions we make about people living with those conditions. Stigma covers a range of attitudes and behaviours. Fear of being judged or misunderstood because of the stigma associated with mental illness and addictions prevent many people from talking about what they are experiencing and from getting the help they need.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is an irresistible craving for a substance or activity that turns into a compulsive behaviour—a behaviour that, because of its frequency, has harmful effects on physical health and day-to-day life. You can have an addiction to a substance, like alcohol, or to doing something, like gambling. Addiction can be difficult to understand because we all get cravings, but not with the same intensity felt by those living with addictions.

Newfoundland & Labrador HealthLine

Connect with a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, by calling: 811

Mental Health Crisis Line

Connect with a mental health professional, 24 hours a day, by calling: 1 888-737-4668