Mental health is defined by the World Health Organization as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” One in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness in any given year, but, for many, the stigma surrounding the topic of mental health will prevent them from seeking health care. Having a positive outlook, wellness skills and good habits help us to deal with the ups and downs of life, while also keeping our minds and bodies healthy.
Almost 50% of people who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have not seen a doctor about it.
Youth ages 15 to 24 are more likely to experience mental illness than any other age group.
70% of mental health challenges have their onset in childhood or adolescent years.
Mental disorders can be diagnosed, managed and treated as accurately as the most common physical disorders.
Mental health is clouded with misinformation about what it is and the stigma surrounding it. For example, many people perceive people suffering from mental illness as violent or dangerous, when in fact they are the ones at risk of being harmed or harming themselves. You can help end the stigma by making sure you are using proper language when speaking about mental health, educating yourself on the matter and by talking about mental health openly and honestly. The more mental health becomes a part of public conversation the easier it will be for people to ask for the help they need.
CAMH: The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Canadian Mental Health Association Government of Canada: About Mental Illness CDC Well Being Mental Health: Stigma and Discrimination MentalHealth.gov: What Is Mental Health The State of Mental Health in America NAMI: Mental Health by the Numbers World Health Organization: Mental Health