Sports broadcaster Michael Landsberg chats with Warden about mental health

June 11, 2020   ·   0 Comments


Renowned Canadian sports broadcaster and talk show host, Michael Landsberg spoke with Dufferin County Warden Darren White last Friday (June 4) about mental health through COVID-19, and the increasing need to address the stigma surrounding mental health. 

“We want to make sure that people are, essentially, not scared to ask for help if they need it,” said Warden White. 

The discussion, which happened digitally via Zoom, focused on Mr. Landsberg’s thoughts on mental health throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Landsberg, who has been with TSN since the network’s launch in 1984, was the host of Off The Record for 18 years during its 1997-2015 on-air run. He is an ambassador for Bell Let’s Talk and has been very open about his personal struggles with mental health over the years. 

“This is a really important talk to me and for me,” he said during the one-on-one conversation. 

The talk, which people can watch online on the Dufferin County YouTube page, was organized by Warden White, who wanted to make sure that discussions surrounding mental health are as prevalent today as they have ever been. Many in the community have struggled in recent months, as COVID-19 continues to change day-to-day life. 

“We were sort of triggered by the knowledge that some of our staff, because of their positions and having to deal everyday with COVID and the effects of it, were facing some concerns with regards to stress, overwork, and depression,” said the warden. 

He also said that part of the reason for the conversation with Mr. Landsberg was to highlight the lack of local resources for mental health programs and to advocate for more within the community. 

Early in the conversation Warden White spoke candidly about his own experience with emotional exhaustion during the three-month long response to COVID-19, touching on a recent 24-hour period where he says he “just couldn’t deal anymore.” 

Mr. Landsberg spoke briefly about, a website and not-for-profit corporation that he started in 2009 to help other people dealing with mental illness. He also spoke about his new show Isolation Nation, a daily digital talk show where he and guests speak candidly about the struggles of mental health during the pandemic and the COVID- 19 health, economic, and social crisis. 

“This show Isolation Nation is probably for me kind of the fulfilment of a dream,” he said.  

A donation of between $100 to $200 on behalf of Dufferin County will be given to Mt. Landsberg’s initiative. 

Speaking directly to anyone struggling with mental health, Mr. Landsberg said, “Come forward and share, find one person to share with – it starts with one person.”



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