Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week
Posted On: October 06, 2021

Mental Illness Awareness Week

October 3 - October 10, 2021

Click here to read more about:

  • What is mental illness
  • Basic warning signs of mental illness
  • Tips to maintain good mental health
  • How you can bring awareness
  • What counselling looks like

Shedding light on mental health

We are all affected by mental illness in some form or another whether we ourselves have been diagnosed or whether we have supported a close family member or friend who has. This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week capped off by World Mental Health Day on Sunday, October 10th. It falls on one of the busiest and often most stressful times of year as laid-back summers become fully scheduled back-into-routine autumns. Kids return to school and extra-curricular activities and work ramp up for a new season. It is timely then, that we reflect on the impact of stress and mental illness in Canada and how we can be a part of the solution. 

  • 6.7 million Canadians live with mental illness
  • By the time Canadians reach 40, 1 in 2 will have experienced mental illness
  • 1 in every 3 Canadians will experience mental illness in their lifetime
  • 20% of Canada's youth suffer with mental illness
  • In 2011, mental illness accounted for 6 billion dollars in lost productivity

Despite this, many suffering with mental illness are hesitant to seek help as a result of possible stigma and discrimination. In fact, 49% of all those who report experiencing depression and anxiety never sought medical help at all according to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). Yet mental illness is just as important as one’s physical health. If we would seek medical treatment for a broken bone, we should seek treatment for mental health as well.
The pandemic has exasperated this trend as lockdowns and limited access to regular resources has caused 38% of Canadians to report increased feelings of loneliness and isolation. Those experiencing such feelings were four times more likely to report major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder according to Stats Canada. A silver lining, the pandemic has highlighted the necessity of prioritizing mental health in the same ways as we do our physical health as the majority of us have struggled with increased stress, anxiety, or depressive symptoms as a result.