It’s about time we got real on mental health and disorders. Whether you’re battling with a mental illness or disorder or not, the conversation is important for all. I love the whole idea of #BellLetsTalk. I love that Bell. one of Canada’s largest telecom companies, is attempting to bring awareness to an issue that is begging for attention. An issue that affects more Canadians than we know. It is not just a Canadian, it is a global.
It is estimated that 1 in 5 Canadian suffer from some sort of mental illness or disorder in any given year. Of the stats, it is said that people are affected by mental disorders and disturbances at some point in their lives. To put this into perspective, by age 40, about 50 percent of population would have suffered from some sort of mental illness. What is even more shocking is how the realities of mental illness affect Canadian youth. It is estimated that 10-20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder. Overall, there is a staggering 3.2 million youth at risk of developing depression. Within these stats, risks are higher for female youth. Considering that life expectancy in Canada is 82 years, it is more than likely that most Canadians are faced with or suffer from some sort of mental disorder in their lifetime. There is no discrimination when it comes to mental illness and disorders. It affects all people from all races, ages, cultures, backgrounds, income and education levels. It is more common than we think, more common than we like to talk about.
As much as I appalled large companies and celebrities for bringing attention to issues of mental illness, it is just as important that everyone pay more attention to the issues and realities of mental illness in many forms. Although there are limitations to every discussion, larger conversations highlighting the troubles with social phenomena at least introduce avenues or forums for additional conversations to occur. It is equally important that individuals and communities be open and receptive to the fact that mental illness and disorders are present and a reality for many people.
It is important that we open ourselves to the realities of mental illness and disorders. Although it may not affect you directly, it likely affects someone you know. Mental illness and disorders take on many forms ranging in gin severity. The point is that it occurs in varying degrees for different people. It is not always apparent or obvious. Whether obvious or not, the stigma attached to mental illness often closes off venues for dialogue, understanding and often resolution.
I urge anyone and everyone reading this article to take some time and read up on fact sheets disclosing information about mental illness and disorders. I urge anyone suffering in silence to speak up and seek help. You are not alone. And I urge communities and individuals to be mindful of their prejudices towards mental illness and disorders as ignorance perpetuates the problem instead of addressing it.
It’s as important today as it is for tomorrow. I myself want to keep this conversation going. Although I don’t have a platform as large as some people, I want to, in any way that I can, look at sharing some approaches to managing stresses in everyday life. I am not sure how I will approach this topic but I am open to suggestions or comments. Click my Let’s Chat page to send in an email with your questions or concerns. Let’s keep the conversation going. Let’s keep any and every conversation like this going. Raise your voice, raise awareness.
Stats information from CMAH and the World Bank.