A Family Concern: Fast Facts About Mental Illness in Canada
Mental illness is often stigmatized within society, and people tend to brush it off when brought up in conversation. It is important to talk openly and honestly about mental illness, as it will affect everyone, in some way, at some point in their lifetime.
This includes family.
Many people avoid the topic of mental illness because they simply do not understand it. To help give everyone a better understanding of what mental illness encompasses, how it may affect them, and how to approach it, we have put together these fast facts about mental health in Canada.
What Is Mental Illness?
Mental Illness typically refers to a variety of disorders that affect your mood, thinking abilities, and behaviour.
Who Does Mental Illness Affect?
- 1 in 5 Canadians will experience mental health issues this year
- Whether you are experiencing this personally, or it is a family member, friend, or public figure, you are affected.
- Mental illness does not discriminate age, sex, race, etc. Anyone can suffer from mental illness.
What are Some Types of Mental Illness?
Mental Illness can take a variety of forms, each affecting the individual in a different way.
- Depression and Bi-Polar Disorder are Mood Disorders; they will affect how the individual is feeling.
- Anxiety is a disorder that causes severe worrying and irrational fears that make day-to-day life difficult for the individual
- Eating Disorders, such as Anorexia and Bulimia, affect an individual’s physical health, and are characterized by a negative relationship with food and eating habits.
These are only a few of the Mental Illness affecting Canadians today
What are Some Visible Symptoms of Mental Illness?
Each form of mental illness will come with unique identifiers. Some signs and symptoms that could point to mental illness include:
- Withdrawal from activities, outings, and socializing with family and friends
- Dramatic mood swings
- Constant feelings of sadness with no explanation
- Excessive worrying over minor things
- Inability to cope with day-to-day problems
- Detachment from reality
- Extreme changes in eating habits
- Suicidal thoughts
What Treatment is Available for Mental Illness?
There are many forms of therapy available for the treatment of mental illness, from government programs, to non-profits, to private facilities in cities like Calgary where psychologists are available to provide counselling & other therapies.
In conjunction with therapy, there are also medications available to help ease manage the symptoms that are present.
What are Some Available Resources Regarding Mental Illness?
Canada has many resources available for individuals struggling with mental illness, and for those affected by someone else’s mental health.
Check out the resources below to learn more about mental health or to get help for yourself or someone you may know.
- Canadian Mental Health Association – http://www.cmha.ca/mental-health/
- Healthy Minds Canada – http://healthymindscanada.ca/resources/
- Canada Institutes of Health Research – http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/47915.html
- Mental Health Helpline – http://www.mentalhealthhelpline.ca
Let’s end the stigma behind mental health for good!
These fast facts about mental health in Canada are here to help you better understand what mental health is, how widely it reaches, and to offer help to those who are affected. Every Canadian will be affected, in some way, by mental illness in their lifetime.
Mental illness is real, the affects of it are real, and the people it affects are real.