Who Is To Blame For The Opioid Crisis In Canada?

 The opioid crisis is real and rampant throughout Canada.  With an increase in overdose, how can it not be?  But who is to blame for the opioid crisis?

Opioid addictions are no longer present in just your stereo typical drug abuser on the streets.  It has made it’s way into our homes and no longer discriminates.  Our parents who are prescribed it after surgery, our children taking unused pills out of our medicine cabinets or even our grandparents that are in pain because of a chronic condition.  

Who’s To Blame for Opioid Crisis?

We discussed in our August newsletter that there are many theories such as blaming the drug companies for the marketing of opioids.  Fingers have been pointed in many places.  The truth of the matter is that Canada doesn’t have the proper, consistent tracking of opioid addiction and overdose nationally.  The data and statistics are fragmented and left up to each individual province.  

What we do know is that the rate of prescribing opioids increased by 203% in the years 2000-2010.  This is a staggering number of how much is being distributed.

Could Long Medical Wait Lists Be A Factor?

To date, no one has suggested another possibility for the increase in opioid addiction could be from the sky high wait times.  At least not that we’ve come across.  Opioids are meant to be short-term solutions, not long term ones. Studies have shown an addiction can start within 5 continuous days of taking an opioid.  

If you need a knee replacement, the pain may be unbearable. The doctor might put you on an opioid to manage it.  What happens if you have to wait 9 months before you can have your surgery though?  Nine months is not short-term.  Most people are going to believe that if the doctor put them on a medication, then it is the best treatment.  You can still develop a dependence, even if the opioid was legitimately prescribed by the doctor in an appropriate manner.

If you find yourself in a position of requiring long-term solutions because you are on the wait list for your surgery, reach out to us for other options.  We can provide private health care solutions so you don’t have to endure months of pain or risk creating additional health concerns.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

The Benefits of Dancing

The Benefits of Dancing For Physical and Mental Work Out

Dancing with the Stars has become a popular, well-loved show that has inspired others to get moving.  Dancing not only provides entertainment for a person but can also be a great outlet for stress relief and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  It is being utilized in gyms such as the ever so fun Zumba and in private studios.  But hey, you don’t need a formal place to dance.  It can be done right in the privacy of your own home.  You do not need to be a professional to dance.  All you have to do is crank the music and MOVE!  Below we will provide some benefits to dancing.

Improved Memory

Our cognitive function, hence memory, begins to decline as we age.  A study done by Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience did a study on ways to combat this.  The researchers studied adults ranging from 60-80’s who showed no signs of memory loss or impairment.  Participants were assigned 1 of three activities:  stretching, brisk walking, dance classes or balance training and monitored for a 6 month period.  The individuals that were assigned dancing practiced and learned choreography 3 times a week.  The goal was to see if or how aerobic activity protects our brains from aging. (1)

At the end of the study, all participants had a brain scan.  These were compared to scans done prior to the study began.  The dancers fared better than the other groups and had less deterioration in the brain.  It seems logical as dancing requires learning, memory, and combined cognitive and physical training. (2)

Another study found in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests dancing may boost your memory and prevent you from developing dementia as you get older. (3)

Improvement in Balance and Coordination

Dancing requires a great deal of coordination and balance.  Various athletes, such as football players, take dancing or ballet classes.  This is to improve their balance, flexibility, structure, and posture.  The benefit of creating better balance and coordination is to prevent falls. 

Per CDC  ‘1 in 4 Americans aged 65+ have a fall each year.  Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries and the most common non-fatal trauma-related hospital admission among older adults. 

Click To Tweet
 Per CDC  ‘1 in 4 Americans aged 65+ have a fall each year.  Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries and the most common non-fatal trauma-related hospital admission among older adults. Incorporating dance into your exercise routine will improve your agility, balance, physical strength and muscle tone.’ (4)

Social Interaction and Physical Touch

We all love to be touched.  It can send endorphins in a similar way that exercise can.  Dancing provides this as well as social interaction.  Being able to interact with others and have fun lowers your stress level, allows for making friendships and being socially engaged, supports a stronger immune system and makes for a fun time.  Something as simple as clasping hands reduces stress-related activity in a brain area called the hypothalamus.  This lowers the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, within your system.

Weight Loss

Losing weight is a tough and miserable process, at least it always has been for me.  It normally involves eliminating all of the foods you love, discipline and countless hours in the gym, none of which I like.  Doing this long term is grueling and makes it easy to fall off the wagon.  Dance is fun, it’s social and doesn’t have to be the same monotonous thing.  It provides variety, little skill and gets your heart rate up quickly.

Gyms now have incorporated dance classes such as Zumba or Hip Hop Dance into their class schedules.  There are also plenty of private facilities teaching ballroom or salsa dancing.  Being able to shake your bum with others makes the time go quickly and before you know it, you are drenched with sweat and burning calories.   It can help tone your body as you are using all of the muscles in your body.

Increase in Energy

Any kind of exercise provides for an improvement in your energy, and dancing is one of them.  Dancing can be as light or heavy of a work out as you want.  Moving all of our body parts wake us up and ready for the day.  You get a healthy sweat that will release your natural ‘feel good’ endorphins to set your day off right.  Listening to upbeat music also improves our moods and makes us have positive thoughts, thus increasing our energy.

 

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

 

  1.  https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnagi.2017.00059/full
  2. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnagi.2017.00059/full
  3. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa022252
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/index.html

5 Tips for Managing Seniors Medications

5 Tips for Managing Seniors Medications

With a growing population of older adults and the availability of medications, the potential for medication safety problems will increase. When people age, they are more likely to be taking more than one type of medication.  Seniors normally take more than three.  Taking multiple medications increases the risk for mix-ups in what is being taken, drug interactions and potential side effects.

Aging adults are more susceptible to effects from medications and may respond differently than younger individuals.  Changes in the kidneys, heart, liver and central nervous system occur. This causes more vulnerability to overdose or severe side effects.  Eyesight and memory loss can be affected as we age.  This makes it harder to remember taking medication and following directions.  Below we will explore some tips on managing medications for seniors.

Bring A Medications List To Your Doctors Visit

Take a list of prescription medications, including supplements and vitamins, you are taking with you to the doctor.  This is especially important if it is the first time you are seeing a doctor.  Many people, especially seniors, see more than one doctor.  Each doctor may not have access to all of your records so the more information they have, the more accurately they can prescribe medications.  This will also help them identify any potential drug interactions or adverse side effects.  You may also want to take someone with you to help take notes. Once a year ask your doctor to review everything you are taking including supplements and vitamins.  A good way to remember this is to do it at your annual checkup.

Purchase An Organizer

Buy a pill organizer to keep things on track.  These are small boxes to put your weekly medications in to keep them organized.  They have small compartments that are labeled for 7 days at a time.  Larger ones allow for morning, afternoon, evening and bedtime slots.  It is a great way to stay on top of taking your medications consistently and on time.  These can be purchased at a local drug store or you can order online through Amazon.  Click here to see an example of one on Amazon.

Know the Potential Side Effects That Might Occur

Know the potential side effects or adverse effects of what you are taking.  This will tip you off to health changes that may occur in response to a new medication or combination of medications. If health changes do occur, contact your doctor immediately. Side effects can be from the combination of medications being taken together and can mimic other health issues.  Be sure to follow the directions as indicated by your doctor or pharmacist.  If you have questions or are unsure how to take the medication, be sure to ask.

Sometimes there are alternative medications that might be better suited for a senior.  Click here for a sample list.  This, of course, is the doctor’s decision on what is best for you and your medical history.

Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist Questions

Knowing how to take your medication is very important.  Some medications may require you to take on an empty or full stomach.  Others might require the elimination of certain supplements, vitamins or foods.  You will want to know what the dosage is and when to take it, proper storage such as refrigeration, or side effects you might experience. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist prior to taking if there are any concerns about the combination of medications or how a new medication might affect you.

Taking your medications correctly will ensure they work effectively and the pharmacist will be able to provide that information.  You should always take your medications as prescribed and never stop taking them without discussing with your doctor.  Doing so could be unsafe as some medications need to be titrated down and may be necessary to keep you healthy.

Be Aware of Medications Deemed Unsafe For Seniors

The Health In Aging put together a list of medications that older adults should avoid or use with caution. Some pose a higher risk of side effects or interactions, while others are simply less effective.  A commonly prescribed sedative in the benzodiazepine category, such as diazepam (Valium) is an example.   These are on the list because seniors may have more sensitivities to these types of drugs.  Ask your doctor if you are concerned about a particular medication.

Something else to consider is to take control of your loved one’s medications if they have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or show signs of confusion.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

Clinical Trials

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are studies to find out whether the drug is safe and effective for people. It is the end result of many years of research. Research occurs in many places, such as a pharmaceutical company or university labs. A clinical trial takes the development of the discovery to test in a population where it can impact health.  The people who take part in trials are volunteers. They may be patients with a specific disease, or healthy people wanting to contribute to the advancement of medical knowledge.

What is the process for a clinical trial?

It is a long process, often taking 15-17 years between the research and the approval of a drug or medical device or therapy. The goal is to try to introduce new therapies. Clinical trials must be approved by Health Canada in Canada or by FDA in the USA. There are various phases of clinical trials. In both countries, there are 4 phases of clinical trials. Each has its purpose and answers a certain question.

What do I get by participating?

Clinical trials often offer benefits to their participants. Many offer early access to cutting edge treatment that’s not available to others. You may be cured and even if not, your quality of life may improve. In addition, another perk may be access to expert care because of the time spent with the research team.

Sometimes it is hard to find volunteers for clinical trials. It is because many people do not want to be a guinea pig. All clinical trials come with risks. It can be a serious side effect because the effects of the drug are still under investigation. The risks have to be well explained and understood. Every person who participates in a clinical trial must give their informed consent before beginning the trial. Health Canada clinical trial regulations are strict in order to protect people’s health, ensure that the studies are well designed, conducted and monitored, and side effects are reported to Health Canada. All trials have to be reviewed by Research Ethics Board.

Who can participate in clinical studies?

Sometimes the requirements for a clinical trial are very specific. Each trial is different and requires a different number of participants and they have to qualify. After careful screening for age and presence of certain risk factors about 80% of volunteers do not meet the criteria set out in the trial.

Cancer trials are getting smaller and smaller because the researchers are looking for specific genetic markers and/or tumor specifications. Certain types of cancer have the same markers. Cancer clinical trial participants in phase 1 usually get a chance to try a new therapy. A healthy person will never receive cancer drugs. So, the volunteers for those are much different than other over the counter new possible drugs.

In the US, those with cancer that have tried everything suggested by a doctor and not responding to treatment can use the FDA’s expanded access program. If approved, they can reach out to the drug manufacturer and ask to try a drug. FDA approved more than 99% of applications under its expanded program.

What are the success rates for clinical studies?

Hematology or blood-related clinical trials tend to be most successful. Least successful trials are in oncology, which can be very discouraging. Sometimes discoveries never make it to a phase of clinical trial. The large majority of targets will fail before they even reach the early stage of phase 1 of a clinical trial.

It is somewhat easier to test a drug than a therapy or a device because you administer a chemical vs placebo and you observe a certain outcome. In therapies or exercise studies it is a much more subjective question of how a therapy or exercise impacted participants and how many people felt the improvement.

A new study carried out at MIT has found that the likelihood of a drug at Phase I making it all the way to the market is 13.8%

What are the resources for clinical trials?

In conclusion, we list some helpful websites that will be able to provide you with more information about clinical trials and how to access them. As always Health Vantis is happy to help with any questions you may have in regards to access to medical help. Contact us toll free 877 344 3544 or email us at info@healthvantis.com

Canada Health

It Starts With Me

Canadian Cancer Trials

Health Benefits To The Approaching Summer

What Are The Health Benefits To The Approaching Summer?

We can feel the sun on our face and it brings excitement and joy every time we realize that summer is almost here.  It is by far my favorite season.  Being able to shed winter layers for flip flops and shorts is what I look forward to every single year.  Some of the great things about summer are of the many.  High on that list are the health benefits it offers.  Below we have shared some of those:

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables

Doesn’t it seem like we associate winter with heavy, comfort food?  But when summer approaches and we start to shed the extra layers, heavy meals suddenly don’t seem as appetizing but the colorful fruits and vegetables do. That is because the summer heat drives our hunger down as our bodies do not need to expend as much energy to keep us warm.  It tells our minds we only need something lighter to sustain us.  

Fruits and vegetable look so much more vibrant in the summer.  I am more apt to grab a piece of fruit as a snack now than I would in the winter based on esthetics alone.  It’s  local also time for the local Farmer’s Market’s to open back up with local vendors presenting their organic, wholesome, fresh food.  While some are open during the winter, the summer months present more excitement and color.

More Opportunities for Exercise

There is nothing worse than sitting behind a desk and staring outside to the beautiful sun shinning, envious of those out there enjoying it.  The sluggish feeling of winter fades and we are suddenly energized making us more productive, even at work.  This also affects the way we exercise.  

People naturally want to be outside.  Summer gives us more options on how and where to exercise.   Not everyone is a gym rat.  That can seem like a daunting, monotonous task but summer opens doors to activities that people love to do.  Things like gardening, mowing the lawn, hiking/walking, riding a bike, playing a game or sport with our children/grandchildren or swimming.  And what happens when you are in the sun and exercise or work outside?  You sweat!  Sweating detoxifies your body, which is another excellent health benefit. 

More Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins in our body for optimal health.  It strengthens our immune system, can play a role in cancer prevention, strengthens our bones, speeds up metabolism and improves the overall emotional health. 

   When exposed to the sun, our Vitamin D is replenished and stored.  

Over the years, with more awareness of the dangers of too much sun, we have been taught to block the rays out with sun screen.  People are also working more hours keeping them indoors and shielded them from the rays.  Due to this, many now suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency.  

Having a Vitamin D deficiency can cause you to have bone pain, muscle cramps, stooped posture, loss in height and weakness and tingling.  During the summer months it is easier to store up on your Vitamin D.  After coming off Melanoma Awareness Month we wouldn’t suggest you to disregard the yields to applying sun screen, but newer research has shown that exposing your body to a little bit of sunshine can actually be good for you.

Overall Feel Good Attitude

  Summer time offers us longer days and more opportunity for the sun to shine.  Having the extra daylight gives us more time to be outside and possibly get outdoor exercise in.  This can produce the happy endorphins more so than if you exercised indoors.  Regular sun has also been known to halt moderate depression.  There are individuals that have an illness called Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD), which is normally present during the fall and winter months.  Once summer arrives, it magically disappears.

Vacation!

Nothing rejuvenates your spirit and mental health like a vacation.  Taking a vacation, whether it’s a quick 3-4 day weekend get-away or a week off, can be beneficial to your overall well-being.  Summer presents more time for people to take time off work and spend it with their families.  Studies have shown over and over that stress can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure.  Making the time to take a vacation not only gives you a break from the normal stressors of daily life but it can strengthen your relationships by spending quality time together.  

Summer is often a short lived season in Canada.  Make the most of it by watching less TV, putting the devices down and getting outside to explore all of the wonderful things available to us. A little bit of sunshine can go a long way!

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

Newer Orthopedic Surgical Techniques

Newer Orthopedic Surgical Techniques Are Bringing Greater Results To Patients

Orthopedic procedures are skyrocketing in Canada due to the aging Baby Boomer population. High on the list are hip and knee replacements. These are considered major surgeries and in years past, required overnight stays in the hospital with a long recovery period. Newer orthopedic surgical techniques and procedures are now available to make the surgery out-patient vs inpatient with a less invasive approach. This has the patient up and moving within hours of the surgery and a much quicker recovery. 

Posterior Approach 

In years past, these surgeries were done posteriorly, which entered through the back side of the knee or hip. This required a large incision, cutting through the muscle and other soft tissues. In the case of a hip, a wide piece of fibrous soft tissue at the top of the outer thigh was cut and the large gluteus maximus muscle that attaches to it. The surgeon would cut the external muscles that connect the top of the femur to the pelvis. These are the muscles that provide hip stability preventing dislocation out of the back of the hip socket. The muscles are repaired and reattached at the end of the surgery. This approach provides a good view of what they are doing to the surgeon, thus the preferred approach for most. 

Having a posterior approach would require at least 2-3 days stay in a hospital and then 2-3 weeks of physical therapy in a rehab hospital. There is a much longer process for healing and mobility with this approach. 

Anterior Approach 

The Anterior approaches is preformed through the front of the hip or knee.  This technique requires a very skilled doctor. Not all physicians are trained to do this approach, furthermore, there are not many surgeons in Canada offering it at this time. While both techniques provide you with the same overall outcome, there are greater benefits to doing the replacement(s) anteriorly. Some of those are: 

.–  Lower rates of infection

–Sparing the muscles and tendons, allowing the patient to move the joint duringrecovery

–  Less pain

–  Faster recover time

–  Improved mobility

–  Reduced scarring

–  Improved stability

–  Reduced risk for dislocation after surgery

–  No overnight hospital stay

 Patients who have undergone direct anterior procedures have reported post operative pain and discomfort markedly less than traditional approaches. Recovery is expedited and they are able to resume normal actives sooner.

Microdiscectomy For The Spine 

Microdiscectomy for the spine is the most common minimally invasive spine surgery procedures being done. Like traditional posterior hip and knee approach, traditional discectomies are done with a 6-8” incision that requires cutting through the back muscles. This technique has significant muscle damage with a slow, painful recovery. 

Microdiscectomy is preformed with advanced technology that uses an endoscope

Click To Tweet
 Microdiscectomy is preformed with advanced technology that uses an endoscope. This only requires a tiny incision the size of a pin and is able to burrow through the muscles as opposed to cutting through them. The endoscope is removed and the heart muscle closes naturally. Per Chiropractor and rehab therapist Dr. Amy Cannutta, this allows for less down time, greater results, less pain and practically no infection rate. Her experience has also seen people’s recovery period much easier and quicker than traditional discectomy. 

Which Surgical Technique Is Right For You? 

Just like any surgery, only your doctor will know what is the right approach for your situation. Not everyone is a candidate for Microdiscectomy or an Anterior Approach for hip or knee replacement. If you are ever in doubt or would like to explore an alternate approach, solicit a second opinion. Health Vantis can help you with this. Contact us today at info@healthvantis.com or 877-344-3544 as we have facilities that offer these techniques and are able to provide you with a second opinion. 

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com 

Avoid Running Injuries – Yes, Stretch!

 

May is the perfect month to get some outside running under your belt. Multiple health benefits of running have been established. However, runners are prone to injury. Common running injuries vary in intensity and severity from blisters to iliotibial band syndrome and may include the following:

  • pulled muscles
  • chafing
  • runner’s knee
  • ankle sprain
  • patellar tendinitis
  • shin splints
  • plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendinitis.

If you are training for a marathon or just casually running in your neighborhood keep these tips in mind as you go through your training

Stretch to avoid running injuries

Some of you may think – “thank you captain obvious”, but in practice, stretching can be daunting for a runner as it is slow and unpleasant. However, never rush through this hugely important step.  Spend about 10 min slowly stretching your calves, hamstrings, glutes and quads after each run. Hold stretches for 30 to 90 seconds.

Hydrate and eat a well-balanced diet

Ensure you are well hydrated by drinking 16-20 oz of fluids 2 hours prior to training and another 8-10 oz after. The best foods every runner should include in his or her meal plan are bananas, oats, peanut butter, potatoes, broccoli, whole grain pasta, yogurt and dark chocolate.

Include strength training in your running program

Strength training helps bones, ligaments and muscles endure the grunt of running. It improves your overall athleticism and reduces muscle fatigue that leads to poor performance and injuries. Runners will benefit from a program of 2-3 strength training sessions per week. Make sure to include the exercises that train your lower body, upper body and core.

Increase your distance gradually

Give your body a chance to prepare gradually to handle the workout stress of running.  Slowly build up the amount of training and intensity. It should be a staircase progression in volume and intensity, with periods of reduced volume and intensity at certain times during your training.

Invest in a good pair of running shoes

Find a good local running shop and have them analyze your running style. A good running shop specialist will be able to help select a pair for your particular foot type and style of running. Use orthotic inserts if you need a correction specific to your foot structure.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

How to Choose the Best Hospital For Your Surgery

How to Choose the Best Hospital For Your Surgery

If your doctor determined that a surgery is necessary for you to get better, you are probably wondering where to have it done. With many options in medical travel care around the globe, how do you choose? In this blog, we will talk about some points to consider when searching for the best hospital to have a procedure done.

Like most people, you are probably looking to for a facility that has the best outcomes for the type of surgery you are seeking, offers quality care before, during and after the procedure and has comfortable amenities for recovery. We offer you some insights into what to look for and how to obtain the information needed.

Accreditations and Awards

First and foremost, ensure that a hospital of your choice is a reputable one. There are a few companies that offer hospital accreditations. The most known one is Joint Commission International (JCI), which is considered a gold standard in global healthcare. Other organizations such as Accreditation Canada and Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) provide for a way to tell that the facility has met the accredited body health care standards. Many good hospitals are also winners of various awards in excellent care. All this information can be found on the hospital’s website. Ensure you know what the accreditation and award organizations check and rate.

Important hospital statistics

The next step would be to look at a hospital infection, re-admission and mortality rates and compare it to a state, province or country average. This should also be available on the hospitals’ website. Some hospitals make it a point to tell their patients what they are doing about lowering those rates, which is an indicator of being proactive and caring about the outcomes.  Also, check with the states’ or provinces’ department of health. Many of them now require monitoring for serious reportable events or incidents (SRE/SRI) – preventable, adverse events that are unambiguous, and largely, if not entirely preventable, such as operating on a wrong body part, performing a wrong surgery and so on.

When researching a hospital, look for a number of surgeries performed a year for your particular type of surgery. It takes practice to become an expert and there is proficiency in numbers.   Ask the hospital if they have a floor for recovery and an operating room just for your type of surgery.  Nurse to patient ratio is also used to assess the quality and ease of access to pre- and post-surgery care.

Brand names vs smaller facilities

Famous names and large hospitals are not always the best for your type of procedure.  Smaller regional hospitals can do a better job at a better price. Smaller cities can be easier to access with less traffic, more parking and larger hospital rooms.  Many smaller independent surgical facilities employ surgeons that also operate at large brand-name hospitals.

Finding out the pros and cons of the different facilities can be time-consuming and confusing.  Health Vantis can do all the legwork for you and present you with 2-3 options so that you can focus on getting better.  Contact us for your free 1-hour consultation to learn more.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

Bell Lets Talk Day January 31st 2018

 

 

 

Today, January 31st is Bell Let’s Talk Day. It marks the 8th year of the initiative dedicated to moving mental health forward in Canada.  On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell will donate towards mental health initiatives in Canada, by contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet, social media video view and use of our Facebook frame or Snapchat filter. Bell’s total donation to mental health programs now stands at $86,504,429.05 and they are well on their way to donating at least $100 million through 2020.

One of the biggest challenges in addressing mental health issues is that people prefer not to talk about it because of stigma. Bell is trying to end this stigma by supporting the mental health initiatives and encouraging people to talk to others about mental health and mental illness.

So what is mental health? According to Canadian Mental Health Association, it means striking a balance in all aspects of your life: social, physical, spiritual, economic and mental. Reaching a balance is a learning process. At times, you may tip the balance too much in one direction and have to find your footing again. Your personal balance will be unique, and your challenge will be to stay mentally healthy by keeping that balance.[1]

Mental illness is a disease or sickness, just like any other physical illness. It causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines.  It can take many forms.  Mental illnesses are still feared and misunderstood by many people, but the fear will disappear as people learn more about them. If you, or someone you know, has a mental illness, there is good news: all mental illnesses can be treated.[2]

Whether it is mental illness or mental health, Health Vantis stands to help with ending stigma and keep the conversation open about mental health issues.  You can help by participating in Bell Lets Talk today in 5 ways:

  1. Consider the language you use in mental health conversations. Words matter!
  2. Educate yourself about mental health and mental illness
  3. Be kind. You do not know another person’s life or circumstances, so their behavior may be strange to you yet it may be a sign of distress for them.
  4. Listen and ask. Express your concern and compassion and offer help
  5. Break the silence. Talk about it in a positive way.

More information about Bell Lets Talk day can be found here.

[1] https://cmha.ca/resources

[2] https://cmha.ca/mental-health/understanding-mental-illness