Mental health blog for Parkinson's

Why we’re talking about mental health during Parkinson’s Awareness Month


If somebody were to ask you to list Parkinson’s most common symptoms, what would you say? 

A loss of balance?
Muscle stiffness?

Yes, these are some of the common physical symptoms, but they are not the only ones. A Parkinson’s diagnosis brings with it many mental health symptoms such as depression, anxiety, apathy, and feelings of isolation. Sadly, we don’t always talk about mental health enough in this country and that means many people impacted by Parkinson’s minimize these feelings; they don’t realize it’s possible to access support dealing with these mental health symptoms just like they would for physical symptoms. So they often deal with them alone. 

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and we are taking this opportunity to shine a light on an often-overlooked conversation: Parkinson’s and mental health. We need you to help us amplify this conversation so that every Canadian impacted by Parkinson’s can hear our message: “With the right support, a rich and fulfilling life is still possible!” 

Every person’s experience with Parkinson’s is unique. Whether you’re a care partner, somebody who has been recently diagnosed, or if you’ve been living with Parkinson’s for years, you know that every journey is different. You also know that every day can be different. Because of this, Parkinson Canada offers an incredibly vast array of support and resources to help our community, no matter where individuals find themselves on their journey. 

Here is a short list: 

Support line: You have access to a toll-free Canada-wide phone line that will be answered by a real human being who is here to help you judgment-free. It doesn’t matter what your connection to Parkinson’s is, or what your questions are; if you have a question that you need answered, call this number. More information can be found here.

Support groups: There are many in-person and virtual groups to choose from. Some groups have a specific focus or age group, and some are broad. All support groups offer a safe environment for talking about your experiences and your physical and mental health, which can help you cope with the daily challenges of Parkinson’s. Find a group that’s right for you here.

Webinars: Throughout the year, we host free webinars online, featuring guests from all walks of life who are here to share their experiences, and tips for living well. We also keep an archive of past webinars on our website. You can access past educational webinars, video and audio resources here. 

Helpful resources: Parkinson Canada provides a broad range of reading materials and downloads to help you learn about living well with Parkinson’s, including resources focused on your mental health and wellness. Whether you are newly diagnosed or have been living with Parkinson’s for some time, we hope our ‘Resources’ page helps make the journey a little easier.

It can be easy to let Parkinson’s pull you into a dark and isolating place. But it doesn’t need to be this way. This April, please help us take conversations about mental health and Parkinson’s out of the shadows. Click one of the buttons below to share this blog with your friends and family: 

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Below is an example of what sample quote that we hear all the time when talking to our community: 

“When I was first diagnosed, I thought my whole world was crumbling. I felt alone and scared, and I lost all motivation to do anything. I had no idea that these exact feelings were actual symptoms of the disease. As soon as I learned that, I started to get the right kind of support. Today I can tell you this: my world is NOT crumbling and I have found that with the right support in place, it is still possible for me to enjoy my life every single day.” 

Throughout the year, Parkinson Canada will continue to share more ways you can access support and more ways you can help make this conversation louder. Whether you or somebody you love is living with Parkinson’s, we are here for you. Make sure you’re signed up to receive our emails so you don’t miss out