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Mental Illness Awareness Week

Updated: Apr 2, 2022

By Alma Barranco-Mendoza Ph.D.

The week of October 4 to 10 is Mental Illness Awareness Week in Canada.

The week was established by the Canadian Psychiatric Association in 1992 with the objective to raise awareness about the thousands of lives in Canada affected every day by mental illnesses and to eliminate the stigma associated with their treatment. 1 in 5 (6.7 million) Canadians suffer from a mental illness each year ª. The economic cost of mental health problems $51 billion, out of which $20 billion stem from the workplace ª. The goal is to help our society see mental health treatment as a normal part of everyone's overall health and wellness management.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes World Mental Health day every year on October 10. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact in our every day lives and in most people's mental health. To recognize this, the WHO has determined the impact of COVID-19 as this year's theme, recognizing the drastic change that has come to our daily lives because of it.

If you or a loved one has been feeling affected by this pandemic, here are some helpful links:

Mental Health by the Numbers. Mental Health and Canadians. While Canadian society has grown in its recognition that mental health is important. CAMIMH believes it is crucial to understand the numbers that illustrate the burden of mental illness across the life span. By 2020, depression will become the second leading cause (next to heart disease) of disability adjusted life years for all age groups and both sexes. Suicide rates for Inuit youth are among the highest in the world at 11 x the national average. 33% of hospital stays in Canada are due to mental disorders. First Nations youth die by suicide about 5 to 6 x more often than non-Aboriginal youth. Help us bring more awareness and action to these issues.
Mental Health by the Numbers. Source: Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH)


a. Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) 2020 partnership kit.

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