TSN Broadcaster Recognized for Anti-Stigma Efforts

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Thursday January 19, 2012

Michael Landsberg to receive Hero Inspiration Award from the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario

Toronto, Ontario: TSN broadcaster Michael Landsberg is being recognized with the Hero Inspiration Award from the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario for his willingness to speak openly about his experience with depression, helping to stop the stigma surrounding mental illness.

The Hero Inspiration Award, founded eight years ago, honours a high profile individual who has a personal experience with depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder and who inspires others. Previous Hero Inspiration Award recipients include CBC Radio Host Shelagh Rogers and Olympic gold medalist Mark Tewksbury.

“Michael has done so much to foster awareness and compassionate understanding of depression as a real, treatable, medical illness, not as a character flaw or weakness,” said Ann Marie Mac Donald, President and Chair, Mood Disorders Association of Ontario. “This award acknowledges his tireless work in his public life, as a true champion for mental health. Michael is proof that it is okay for someone successful and living in the public eye to seek help; he inspires others who need help to seek it without shame. We are humbled and so proud to honour Michael with our Hero Inspiration Award, and we look forward to celebrating with him and his family at our gala event.”

 Michael will receive the award at the Mood Disorders Association’s annual MAD About You Awards Gala on February 11, 2012 in Toronto, just a few days after Bell’s national Let’s Talk Day, set for February 8, 2012.  Let’s Talk Day was started by Bell last year to grow the dialogue on mental health. A documentary about mental illness featuring Michael and his experience will air on CTV at 7:00 p.m. on Let’s Talk Day (February 8, 2012).

“I have an illness. I didn't choose it –it chose me,” said Michael. “Having a mental illness doesn't make me weak and talking about it doesn't make me strong. I am blessed to have platforms to share and if sharing can make others feel less isolated then shame on me if I don't use those platforms to reach as many people as possible. Besides, I'm tough to shut up and in this case no one wants me too.”

Michael Landsberg has been the host of Off The Record, TSN’s highly acclaimed 30-minute daily sports debate show, since the show’s debut in September 1997. He was also the Whistler Host for Olympic Daytime on CTV during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Outside of his TSN duties, Michael hosts a variety of charitable events and golf tournaments each year, devoting the majority of his time to two causes: The Hospital for Sick Children and eye research. Michael has battled depression for more than a decade, and has talked openly about it to encourage others to open up and to seek treatment and support.

The MAD About You Awards Gala will also recognize a health care professional for research, diagnosis or treatment in the area of mood disorders with the Hope Inspiration Award and an individual who provides support to someone living with a mood disorder with the Heart Inspiration Award. These awards will be presented at the gala event.

All award recipients will be acknowledged at the MAD About You Awards Gala on Saturday, February 11, 2012 at The Carlu (444 Yonge Street at College). Tickets are available to purchase online via the gala website at www.madaboutyougala.ca or by calling (416) 486-8046.

About the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario (www.mooddisorders.ca): Our understanding of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder is shaped by our lived experiences. The Mood Disorders Association serves individuals and families across Ontario by providing: awareness, education and training; family and youth clinical support; recovery programs; and, peer support.

For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Jennifer Foulds, Mood Disorders Association of Ontario, (416) 486-8046 ext. 232; (647) 771-5815 (cell)