Mental Illness Awareness – Dr.Vivienne Guy, ND


Each month our attention is drawn to particular areas for health promotion. Health Canada provides information on the monthly topics and individual days. One area of focus for October is Mental Illness.  World Mental Health Day was on October 10th. All across the world people gathered to acknowledge the impact of mental illness on their lives.

Mental illness takes so many forms, just as a physical illness can. Anxiety, depression,  psychosis, ADHD, Eating Disorders, schizophrenia, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, post traumatic stress disorders, post partum depression.

According to Stats Canada, In 2012, approximately 2.8 million people, or 10.1% of Canadians aged 15 and older, reported symptoms consistent with at least one of six mental or substance use disorders in the past 12 months. The six disorders measured by the survey were major depressive episode, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and abuse of or dependence on alcohol, cannabis or other drugs.



 It used to be that no one ever talked about their mental health, and people suffered in silence. In my clinical practice there is open dialogue in this area.

The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”. It was previously stated that there was no “official” definition of mental health. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how “mental health” is defined.

One cannot be healthy overall without feeling mentally well. Let’s talk.




I’m sure that you have heard the Naturopathic philosophy of treat a person, not a disease. It doesn’t matter if you have been given a label in the past, when we work together, the conversation is all about you, not the label. We chat about your eating habits, social habits, energy levels, health goals,  how are you feeling. And the protocol is based on you.



I have had cases where medical doctors have sent clients to me who either weren’t candidates for or didn’t want pharmaceuticals for their diagnosed “condition”. In many a case the situation was one that could be explained. The client was overloaded, maybe was burning the candle at both ends, was suffering with grief or loss or wasn’t eating well. They appreciated it when we looked at all of this and when they could see that it made sense that they weren’t feeling 100%. They felt listened to after our time together felt hopeful and they felt supported.


When we look for a reason why, there is most often an answer. 

While there are times when mental illness doesn’t quite fully go away, the person can always be helped. When we look for a reason why, there is often an answer. Many controllable things may contribute to mental illness. It is important to look for underlying causes.  As mentioned above, life circumstances could be at the root of why a person is suffering.

Naturopathic doctors also know that important areas to assess are nutrition and digestion.

Some questions asked are.

Are there vitamin or mineral deficiencies present? Are there food intolerances?

Here are top physiological and nutritional imbalances that we can check for when you are suffering with mental health issues. From the website of a Toronto based ND . His website is a wealth of information that details all that is in a Naturopathic Doctors treatment bag.

We can do food intolerance testing, we can also do vitamin and mineral assessments, we can determine if you are digesting properly and absorbing all of the nutrients from the food that you are actually eating. We can look for reasons why you or someone you love isn’t feeling as well as they could be mentally. Contact the clinic if you would like to work with Dr.Vivienne Guy, ND


Resources for you

If you need immediate help 24 hours a day you can call the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region. Whether you are worried or anxious or considering harming yourself, give them a call. Caregivers can also call and get assistance in helping those in distress.

Visit the Ottawa Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association. Their physical location is close to our clinic. It is at 1355 Bank Street, Suite 301 Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8K7

F (613) 737-7644
P (613) 737-7791


Remember that you are not alone. Remember to keep talking about mental illness. There should be no stigma. Remember that there are many ways that mental illness may show up in life.

Anxiety, depression,  psychosis, ADHD, Eating Disorders, schizophrenia, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, post traumatic stress disorders, post partum depression.

Remember that there is always help and support and often steps to take to get you or your loved one feeling better.

mental illness no stigma

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