Host Michael Landsberg talks about Depression

Michael Landsberg
Host Michael Landsberg talks about Depression
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Laura Machan

Laura Machan

Laura Machan is a senior recruiter with 20 years of experience. She solves complex business problems one search at a time.

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He gets to take the worst thing in his life and share it with everyone. That’s how Michael Landsberg describes his life today.

Landsberg, a very successful sports broadcaster on TSN, and past host of  Off the Record  revealed to the world that he suffers from near-crippling depression and anxiety on his show in 2009.

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce invited him to speak at a luncheon held at the Oakville Conference Centre on April 17th. The crowd of about 200 laughed, sighed and generally hung on his every word.

Landsberg has been described as a polarizing figure. He has a reputation for saying controversial things on his show. He is using that audacity to bring forward issues facing people with mental illness.

Michael says that the more we talk about it, the more familiar and less stigmatised it will feel. He knows from the letters he has received that talking openly about medication and therapy makes people realize they don’t have to feel embarrassed or weak.

David Goldbloom speaks about Mental Health at Canadian Club Dinner

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He really brings a clarity to the topic and asks some very interesting questions. For example, why are Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s classified as “brain” illnesses, but Depression and Anxiety are called “mental” illnesses.

There is a suicide attempt per week along the CN Montreal/Windsor corridor.

He asks why you can go to the doctor with high blood pressure and see a cardiologist in week, but if you go to your doctor because you cannot find any joy in your life, you will wait 9 months to see a psychiatrist.

After he saw the impact of talking opening about his illness, he started a foundation called SickNotWeak to help people understand that mental illness is a sickness not a weakness. He posts video with tips and stories from the community. It is meant to provide education and support for people with mental illness and the people who care about them.

Kudos to the Chamber for providing a platform for SickNotWeak and to CN Rail for sponsoring the event. A constable with CN Rail gave a startling overview of the volume of mental health issues they see along the rail lines in Canada. She estimated that there is a suicide attempt per week along the Montreal/Windsor corridor.

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