There is an important message here and it is “Let’s Talk”. All too often people who are dealing with mental health issues keep it to themselves, struggling, hiding and not getting help. Some people feel that mental health issues are something that they cannot talk aboutbecause of the negative stigma that has historically been associated with it. However, you should never be ashamed to talk about the issues that you are dealing with. Everyone is dealing with their own set of issues, and some of us deal with mental health, and that’s okay. You do not need to struggle alone. “ Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures” states the Canadian Mental Health Association.
The point is to tell someone, a friend, a trusted colleague, a professional, or your doctor. The best thing you can do for yourself is to speak up even when you don’t feel like it. Often you will find supportive, caring help and you are on the road to feeling better about yourself. Sometimes by speaking with others, you learn about resources that are able to help you through different issues in your life that you may face.
Let’s look at some other Fast Facts about Mental Illness, provided by the Canadian Mental Health Association:
- Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend, or colleague.
- 20 % of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
- Approximately 8 % of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.
- Schizophrenia affects 1 % of the Canadian population.
- Anxiety disorders affect 5 % of the household population, causing mild to severe impairment.
- Suicide accounts for 24 % of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16 % among 25 – 44 year olds.
- Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescents to middle age.
- Almost one half (49%) of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about this problem.
- Stigma or discrimination attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier, not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community.
- Mental illnesses can be treated effectively.
All kinds of people living with mental health issues lead productive, happy and fulfilling lives (just look at those participating in Bell’s Let’s Talk advertisements). The key factor is that these people had the courage to stand up and talk about what they are dealing with. They reached out during difficult times, and received help for themselves. They worked hard and made changes in their own lives, and now they are helping others to make changes as well. Their message is you don’t have to go through this alone, since you are not alone. Together we will talk about mental health, the issues that we are facing, and we will end the negative stigma around mental health.
Remember mental health is just one aspect of our overall well-being as people, there’s also our physical and spiritual side. We are not compartmentalized into these three aspects of our lives, rather they are intertwined. If we are having physical issues then our mental and spiritual health can suffer, if we have mental health issues we can suffer in our spiritual and physical health. If we have spiritual issues then our mental and physical health can suffer. We need to take care of ourselves as a whole person and pay attention to all aspect of what make us human. If we had a broken arm, we wouldn’t hesitate to go to the hospital or the doctor’s. In the same respect, if we are experiencing mental health issues we should not hesitate to seek professional help through a doctor, psychotherapist, psychiatrist, or counsellor.
Here at ACT Associates we help people with all aspects of their lives and if you feel you have no one, come and see us. We encourage you to pick up the phone and call us today. It will make a difference.
Now whether or not you are currently experiencing a mental health issue we would like to have your opinion on the following:
Are you excited that mental health is being addressed?
Are you glad there is an openness to talk?
What would make it easier to talk about mental health issues?
What is your experience when it comes to dealing with mental health issues?
Where have you found compassion and caring?
Are there any places where you feel unsafe to discuss mental health issues?
What have been the places that you have felt safe and supportive that have surprised you?