The Mental Illness Awareness Week blog, sharing stories of recovery, personal experiences, and mental health/mental illness news.


Meet the 2014 Campaign Chair

As Co-Chairs for the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH), it is our privilege to introduce the new CAMIMH Campaign Chair for 2014:  Florence Budden!  Florence brings an enthusiasm to the role that will surely translate in the campaigns this year and will undoubtedly inspire more Canadians to join the conversation. 

-Dave Gallson and John Higenbottam, CAMIMH Co-Chairs.

Hello!  My name is Florence Budden and I am a psychiatric nurse from Newfoundland and Labrador.  It is my pleasure to introduce myself today as the 2014 Campaign Chair for CAMIMH.  I began my nursing career in NL at the Waterford Hospital in 1988 after graduation from Memorial University School of Nursing. In 1998 I began teaching at the Centre for Nursing studies where I teach mental health clinical to Bachelor of Nursing and Practical Nursing students along with other teaching that includes health promotion and seniors care. I am certified by the Canadian Nurses Association as a psychiatric/mental health nurse. In September, 2012 the Canadian Nurses Association recognized me as a nurse to know in the area of mental health.

I have been a volunteer all my life. In 1999 I became involved with the Schizophrenia Society of NL (SSNL). I have held numerous positions with SSNL and the Schizophrenia Society of Canada (SSC) since. These have included, Vice President of SSNL (2002-2004), President of SSNL (2004-2011), Chair of the Advocacy Committee of SSC (2003-2009), to name a few. I am the current President of SSC and also a board member of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada Foundation.

I have represented SSC with the Canadian Alliance of Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) since 2011.  I am involved with the Public Affairs Committee at CAMIMH. In 2013, I was part of the Mental Illness Awareness Faces Campaign selection committee.

This connection to volunteer work summarizes why I want to be involved with CAMIMH in my new role as Campaign Chair for 2014. I believe lives can be changed, recovery is possible and the mental health system in Canada can be better, but only if we work together as a country to make this happen. Throughout my life I always believed that I must be the change I want to see in the world.

The Champions of Mental Health campaign recognizes exceptional Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to the field of mental health in Canada. Through this campaign CAMIMH can spread the conversation about mental illness through every region. I believe I am well suited in this role because anyone who knows me knows how much I like talking!!! We need to continue the public discussion on mental health and mental illness to reduce stigma and improve access to mental health services. This campaign creates a network of inspiring advocates in mental health and highlights the positive “can do” approach of Canadians.

Through the Faces of Mental Illness campaign and Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) activities we will continue the conversation on mental illness and mental health by introducing Canadians to five inspiring individuals who represent positive examples of recovery from mental illness who share their stories to help other people on their recovery journeys and to create an environment across Canada that supports recovery from mental illness.

I am very excited to be a part of this year’s campaigns and to help move the mental health agenda forward as Campaign Chair for 2014.