For communications professionals in the healthcare sector André Picard is the guy you want fighting for your cause.
As the Public Health Reporter for the Globe and Mail, Picard is the most prominent health policy writer in Canada and can influence both society and decision-makers by telling stories which focus on areas in healthcare which require attention.
When I first moved into communications and mental health care, it seemed as though Picard was the only reporter regularly writing about mental health. He gave a voice to patients in need of treatment and professionals wanting a change in public importance and system navigation. He has played a significant role in reducing stigma and raising the public consciousness of mental illness.
Aside from his work in the Globe and Mail, Picard is the author of the best-selling books CRITICAL CARE: Canadian Nurses Speak For Change and THE GIFT OF DEATH: Confronting Canada’s Tainted Blood Tragedy.
He has won numerous awards for his writing, including the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service Journalism, the Canadian Policy Research Award, and the Atkinson Fellowship for Public Policy Research.
In 2005, he was named Canada’s first Public Health Hero by the Canadian Public Health Association, and in 2007 he was honoured as a Champion of Mental Health.
As an admirer of his work, it was an honour to have him join the #MindVine podcast earlier this month to talk about his career as a journalist, his passion for healthcare writing and his empathy for people living with mental illness.
He is certainly insightful and passionate about the opportunity to change the way mental health is viewed and treated.
The #MindVine podcast featuring Picard and all previous episodes are available YouTube, SoundCloud, iTunes and Google Play.