Book Aims to Erase Stigma of Mental Illness

Nicole Million

Organizer of local support group shares personal story in publication

Paul Morton, who heads up the Midland/Penetanguishene depression and manic-depression group, is one of many voices in a book called “Dancing in the Rain,” which tells the struggles and triumphs of people living with a mood disorder in their own words.

MIDLAND – A new book released last month offering help for individuals suffering from mood disorders includes insight from the head of a Midland/Penetanguishene support group.

The book from the Mood Disorder Association of Ontario celebrates the group’s 25 years of offering support to people living with depression, anxiety and
bipolar disorder. Called “Dancing in the Rain,” it features stories of hope, healing and recovery of people living with a mood disorder.

One of the individuals featured in the book is Paul Morton, who heads up the local depression and manic-depression group.

Morton, whose struggle with mood disorders began in his teens and who was eventually diagnosed with bipolar effective disorder, told The Mirror the reason he got involved with the book was to help erase the stigma of mental illness.

“Unless people that are recognizable come out and say, ‘Yes, I have a mental illness,’ then all people get to see are the Charlie Sheens that are going
off the deep end. They don’t see all the people that are (managing their illness),” he said. “I went through so much hell myself that I wanted to try to
help other people keep from going through it themselves.”

The aim of the book, he noted, is to help provide hope to individuals living with mental illness.

“One of the biggest and hardest things to overcome with mental illness is the lack of hope,” he said. “I lost my job because I wasn’t able to do it anymore.
There’s this feeling that it destroys your entire life and you’ve got to have some sort of hope…. Without hope, it’s a pretty dark world.”

The stories in the book come from across Ontario, including Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, Niagara, Toronto and Midland.

The book is available for purchase by donation on the association’s website at

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