Today is World Mental Health Day. Worldwide statistics say that 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 10 children experience mental health issues. In Canada, 1 out of 5 Canadians experience mental health challenges. One in 5 of those are children, 1 in 10 will have chronic issues, however, only 1 in 3 will actually seek out treatment.
Mental health problems make up 70% of disability costs in the workplace. According to the Mental Health Commission, this can cost the Canadian economy upwards of $50 billion dollars.
Mental health has been a squeaky wheel within the health care system in Canada for a long time. Under the current guidelines for mental health, many services do not meet the eligibility requirement of what is deemed ‘medically necessary’ creating a gap. Most psychological services must be paid for out of pocket by the patient, leaving something critical for well-being untreated. When the burden of cost is left up to the individual, it’s easy to see why their mental health gets shoved aside.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made a vow to provide more support with regards to de-stigmatization and increased public spending for mental health but this will be a long and slow process.
How To Have Access To Affordable Treatment
- Have your General Practitioner treat you or ask them to refer you to a Psychiatrist. This should be covered by your Provincial Health Care.
- Ask your employer if there is an employee assistance program. Find out if there are counseling services available to you or if they cover additional costs included with your benefits.
- Look for mental health organizations such as the Canadian Mental Health Association, Mood Disorders Association of Ontario, and Schizophrenia Society of Ontario. Services like this can direct people to the right place for treatment.
- Try the Beacon app.
Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only national helpline for young people between the ages of 5 and 20. It offers:
- 24-Hour confidential and anonymous support.
- Professional counsellors and counseling options.
- Online resources that provide tips and advice on the challenges that young people face.
This information is provided by the Government of Canada.
If you are experiencing feelings of hurting yourself, call 911 or contact one of the crisis centers that are available 24/7.