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Council proclaims May 6-12 as Mental Health Week in Blackfalds

posted on May 3 2019

Blackfalds, Alberta (May 3, 2019) – Council proclaimed May 6 – 12, 2019 as Mental Health Week in Blackfalds at the April 23 Regular Council Meeting. This is part of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) awareness campaign that is asking all Canadians to “Get Loud” on social media and in their communities, workplaces and schools about what mental health really is. It is another opportunity to help clear up the difference between “mental health” and “mental illness” and suggest what good mental health looks like.

“According to CMHA, mental illness is increasingly recognized as a serious and growing problem. It is estimated that 1 in 5 Canadians will develop a mental illness in any given year. Many of these Canadians are our family, friends and colleagues which is why every order of government needs to be involved,” states Mayor Richard Poole.

Mental health means striking a balance in all aspects of one’s life: social, physical, spiritual, economic and mental. At times, the balance may be tipped too much in one direction and one’s footing must be found again. Everyone’s personal balance is unique and the challenge is to stay mentally healthy by keeping the right balance. Mental health is as important as physical health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has always considered mental well-being as an integral part of the general definition of health. WHO defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. CMHA believes that everyone must have good mental health, including people living with mental illness daily.

During the week, the Town will share helpful tips and create awareness for where you can get help. For more information about CMHA Mental Health Week, or for information or tools about your own mental health and how to celebrate, protect and promote it, please visit www.mentalhealthweek.ca. Be sure to watch for those updates all week by following us on Twitter: @blackfalds and Facebook: @blackfaldsAB using: #GetLoud #MentalHealthWeek

Mental Health Week was introduced by CMHA in 1951 and has since become a Canadian tradition.

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For more information:

Richard Poole

Mayor

Town of Blackfalds

403.885.6372

rpoole@blackfalds.com

 

 

Dean Turnquist

Communications Officer

Town of Blackfalds

403.885.6259

dturnquist@blackfalds.com

 

Backgrounder

Fast Facts about Mental Illness Who is affected?

  • Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague.
  • In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness.
  • Mental illness affects people of all ages, education, income levels, and cultures.
  • Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.
  • About 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder (or “manic depression”).

 How common is it?

  • By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness.
  • 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 adolescence to middle age.
  • The mortality rate due to suicide among men is four times the rate among women.

 What causes it?

  • A complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors causes mental illnesses.
  • 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.

 What is the economic cost?

  • The economic cost of mental illnesses in Canada for the health care system was estimated to be at least $7.9 billion in 1998 – $4.7 billion in care, and $3.2 billion in disability and early death.
  • An additional $6.3 billion was spent on uninsured mental health services and time off work for depression and distress that was not treated by the health care system.
  • In 1999, 3.8% of all admissions in general hospitals (1.5 million hospital days) were due to anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, major depression, personality disorders, eating disorders and suicidal behavior.Sources: The Report on Mental Illness in Canada, October 2002. EBIC 1998 (Health Canada 2002), Stephens et al., 2001

 How does it impact youth?

  • It is estimated that 10-20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder – the single most disabling group of disorders worldwide.
  • Today, approximately 5% of male youth and 12% of female youth, age 12 to 19, have experienced a major depressive episode.
  • The total number of 12-19 year olds in Canada at risk for developing depression is a staggering 3.2 million.
  • Once depression is recognized, help can make a difference for 80% of people who are affected, allowing them to get back to their regular activities.
  • Mental illness is increasingly threatening the lives of our children; with Canada’s youth suicide rate the third highest in the industrialized world.
  • Suicide is among the leading causes of death in 15-24 year old Canadians, second only to accidents; 4,000 people die prematurely each year by suicide.
  • Schizophrenia is youth’s greatest disabler as it strikes most often in the 16 to 30 year age group, affecting an estimated one person in 100.
  • Surpassed only by injuries, mental disorders in youth are ranked as the second highest hospital care expenditure in Canada.
  • In Canada, only 1 out of 5 children who need mental health services receives them.