Posted on: Sunday, October 3rd, 2021
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 1 in 5 people in Canada personally experience a mental health problem or illness every year, and by the age of 40, approximately 50% of Canadians have or have had a mental illness. However, all Canadians are affected by mental illness at some point in their lives, whether it is directly or indirectly through a family member or friend.
This year, Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) will begin on Sunday, October 3 and end on Saturday October 9. The Week is a public education campaign aimed at increasing mental illness awareness, combating discrimination, and giving support and validation to those who struggle with poor mental health. It provides an opportunity for people to discuss all elements of mental health and the many factors that influence it in our daily lives.
Last year, the Canadian Mental Health Association’s theme for MIAW was There is no health without mental health. We often see mental health not being focused on, or not taken as seriously as physical health. However, last year’s theme reminds us that mental and physical health are equally important components of our overall health.
There are many ways to manage or mitigate mental illness, one of which is accessing support early before the illness becomes severe and more complex. Early interventions have been proven to help individuals with mental illness live a better life. Additionally, reducing stigma by treating people with mental illness respectfully goes a long way, especially when stigma is sometimes more difficult to live with than the illness itself.