The phrase “off the record” connotes a hushed conversation, but TSN’s popular talk show of the same name was anything but secretive. Hosted by Michael Landsberg, the series—which recently ended after an 18-season run—was full of personality, humor, debate, sports commentary, pop culture, and big name personalities. On stage, Landsberg was a candid and funny host who didn’t shy away from taboos. He speaks openly about his personal battle with depression, and considers breaking the stigma around mental illness his life's most important calling.
Michael is an ambassador for Bell Let’s Talk, an initiative raising awareness about mental health, and the founder of #SickNotWeak, a charity that reframes mental illness as a health issue, rather than a character flaw. The foundation serves as both a resource and community for people living with mental illness, and those who wish to support their loved ones. “I want people who suffer from depression to feel motivated to share and to get help without fear of being judged. And I want people who don't suffer, but who will be touched by depression, to look at this as an illness and not a weakness and to create an environment where more people can share and not feel like they are being judged,” Landsberg explains. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Landsberg has extended his efforts with #SickNotWeak to create Isolation Nation: a digital program dedicated to mitigating the dangerous effects of social isolation on mental health. Now he wants to bring the message of hope to associations and companies across the country with Isolation Nation Two-Point-Oh!
In his documentary Darkness and Hope: Depression, Sports, and Me, Landsberg opened up about his own struggles with depression, as well as interviewing famous guests about their own battles. Olympian Clara Hughes, two-time Stanley Cup champion Stéphane Richer, and four-time World Series winner Darryl Strawberry all appeared in the film. Darkness and Hope was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award, and Landsberg was personally honored with the organization’s Humanitarian Award. The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health also named Landsberg one of its Champions of Mental Health.
One of the best-known personalities in Canadian broadcasting, Landsberg has been with TSN since the network’s inception. He hosted Off the Record from its debut in 1997 to its finale in 2015 and is currently the co-host of TSN’s First Up. Twice nominated for the Gemini Award for Best Host or Interviewer in a Sports Program or Sportscast, Landsberg was the Whistler Host for Olympic Daytime on CTV during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. During the London 2012 Olympic Games, he anchored TSN’s Olympic Daytime.
A veteran broadcaster and former host of Off The Record, Michael has is known in the world of sports and as a mental health advocate. Twice nominated for the Gemini Award.
Michael publicly talking about his own struggle with depression for decades. In talks, he shows us that the road to healing begins with non-judgemental conversation.
Bell Let's Talk
Michael was so good! I was feeling off and could not pin down what was wrong with me. After listening to, I thought maybe I was feeling a little depressed and anxious. So I decided to look into RBC Mental Health site and sought help. Thank you for this. I didn't
know that I needed it.
We were beyond thrilled with Michael! He was an incredible speaker and had such an impact on our community. He was engaging, down to earth, humorous, and inspirational. The school where he presented had very positive feedback, and the attendees at our sold-out gala were so impressed. He spent time speaking with our guests, our sponsors, and our youth. Thanks again!
Bluewater Health Foundation
Michael was excellent! So much better to hear a speaker that has experinced depression than someone who talks from book knowledge. Great information, especially for those with no insight to mental health, what to look for and how to address it. It was the brest keynote I have heard in a very long time. Relatable, engaging and real
Workers Compensation Board of PEI
Being in my 40s and dealing with this the last 4 yrs, I didn't think to look at my 80+ year old mom and wonder if she was dealing with the same things. Now I will be having those important and needed conversations with her, especially during this crazy COVID pandemic time we are living in.
Mosey and Mosey
"Imagine if you had the power to change lives just by talking. Imagine if you knew you could save lives by simply telling your story … Together, we can change the stigma that surrounds this disease." - Michael Landsberg, CTV News