Each year, 1 in 5 Canadians experience mental health or addiction related challenges. 70% of these problems begin in childhood or adolescents.  The economic cost of mental illness in Canada is estimated at $51 billion per year. This includes costs incurred due to time away from work or school; screening, assessment and treatment as well as factors related to poor health outcomes.1, 3 Despite increased knowledge around mental health and addiction, stigma continues to get in the way of early identification, support and effective treatment. So often, many try and suffer through it alone, still believing that they can “pull up their socks” or “will it away”. We know this is not the case.
If you are struggling with mental health or addiction related problems, reach out, get help and speak up. The Canadian Mental Health Association is hosting their 65th annual Mental Health Week. Check out their website http://mentalhealthweek.cmha.ca/ and tweet #GETLOUD to get in on the conversation. Together we can make a change.
If you are a patient of Burlington Family Health Team and need support, please see your doctor and ask for a referral to one of our social workers or other services available to you in the community. You are not alone! We care.
 Government of Canada (2006). The human face of mental health and mental illness in Canada. Ottawa: Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada.
 Lim et al (2008). A new population-based measure of the burden of mental illness in Canada. Chronic Diseases in Canada, 28: 92-8.