Mental Health Matters: This week, become aware of mental illness
This year, Oct. 2 to Oct. 9 is the week set aside to raise awareness about mental illness.
Mental Illness Awareness Week is an annual national public-education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness.
The week was established in 1992 by the Canadian Psychiatric Association.
National Depression Screening Day always occurs during this week.
This year, you can participate in our free depression screening in the Old Main Building at Thompson Rivers University today (Oct. 6) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
If you time your visit, you can also hear Heather Reibin of Kamloops Mental Health and Addictions talk about depression and get your questions answered.
Find out more about mental-health first aid and see if this is training that makes sense for you to take.
Most businesses know how to handle a physical injury or illness, but do you know what to do when someone is experiencing a panic attack or appears to be going through an acute mental-illness crisis?
Mental illness will be diagnosed in one of every four Canadians.
We can only assume it is present and remains undiagnosed in others.
Regardless, mental illness affects everyone in the family, classroom or workplace, and all of us are touched by the impacts of mental illness either directly or through the costs to employers and the health-care system.
Depression is a very common mental illness in Canada, with one in 10 people being diagnosed with a serious depression.
When there are downturns in the economy, there is a concurrent increase in the number of people seeking treatment for the blues.
Thanks to the efforts of many people and organizations, there is more acceptance now than in years past for people seeking help when they suffer from depression or any other mental illness.
Can you name any five of the most common symptoms of depression?
If you said low mood (sadness), decreased interest in activities, weight changes, sleep disturbances, restlessness, fatigue, feeling guilty or worthless, or experiencing foggy thought processes, give yourself an A+.
If you are experiencing any of these, see your doctor and find out if you are experiencing depression or some other illness.
The sooner depression is treated, the better the outcomes tend to be.
If you are feeling too low and too lethargic to make the appointment, tell someone who cares about you and ask for their help.
In the end, their life will be improved, along with yours, when you seek the treatment you need.
Depression can be treated and there are more effective therapies and medications being developed.
If you have questions or want more information, there are many sites on the web that offer information about depression and other mental illnesses, including the CMHA website at cmha.ca.
Doug Sage is executive director of the Kamloops chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association. His email is here. The CMHA Kamloops website can be found here.