Margaret Trudeau was the guest speaker at the third annual Antigonish Business Ability Banquet on November 10. Trudeau detailed her experiences with mental illness and shared her recovery efforts.

ANTIGONISH: A local banquet featured one of the country’s most well known advocates for mental health.

The Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) Antigonish hosted the third annual Antigonish Business Ability Banquet on November 10. The guest speaker for the evening was mental health advocate Margaret Trudeau.

During her speech, Trudeau detailed her early life and her famous marriage to former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. She detailed her experiences with bi-polar disorder, which she admitted to suffering from in 2006. Her book, Changing My Mind, also dealt with the topic of mental health and describes her recovery through therapy and other avenues.

Trudeau said one of the antidotes for mental illness is purpose.

“I can tell you that with absolute conviction,” she said.

“Change your point of view before it goes too far, before you’re no longer in control of it.”

She said one of the hardest things to do for someone suffering from mental illness is to ask for help and yet it is the only way to get better.

“When you stop eating, when you stop sleeping, when you stop engaging and participating in your life, this is a flag, a big flag that you have a mental illness,” she said.

“I want you to think about your brain… and all the things you can do to help your brain out.”

Trudeau, who received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Western Ontario for her work as a mental health advocate in 2013, is an honorary patron of the Canadian Mental Health Association.