Statistics show that 1 in 5 Canadians will experience mental health challenges in any given year. The focus is on finding help and solutions. Revealing the illness can be easier than finding just the right person to talk to about it and to get the help required. In some cases, the mentally ill are not cared for properly. These cases require specialized help which is sometimes difficult to find when one is not properly informed on the subject.
Mental illness is not specific to the young or old. It cannot be prevented. In Canada, more than 70% of adults with a mental health issue report having experienced symptoms in childhood or early adulthood. But less than 20% of our children and youth receive the care they need. And even with access to support, they remain vulnerable because they risk losing the care as they transition to adult mental health services.
Mental health is a delicate thing. Admitting the illness is difficult. Finding ways to cure it is even more difficult. Health systems can at times be inaccessible if one is seeking particular services. It is hard to know where to look for help. The problem exists; finding the right treatment is most difficult.
According to the UN General Secretary:
“Although, in our mind, diseases remain distinct and separate, in reality, people are often victims of multiple ailments at the same time. Many people suffer from both a mental illness and a physical illness. This concomitance is particularly tragic for certain population groups such as the elderly and the poor. Indeed, diseases tend to multiply and worsen with age or when living conditions are difficult.
That is why, when treating an illness, you have to look at the whole person. For this reason, those who provide health care — mental and physical — must combine their efforts in the exercise of their responsibilities. On World Mental Health Day, let us make a commitment to take a holistic approach and care for the body and mind at the same time.”
If you may know someone with mental illness and don’t know how to support them, here is a link with information about different mental illnesses:
If you have a mental illness and need services or information online, please visit this link:
The Mental Health Commission of Canada has designed a very simple video with some tips on taking care of oneself on a daily basis:
1-866-APPELLE (277-3553) is available everywhere in Quebec, 24/7. If you are outside Quebec, Suicide prevention will provide you with a list of help centres near you.