Mental Health Matters: Extra! Extra! Here’s mental-health news
It has been some time since we told you about new developments in mental health.
This is important to report because, did you know our column is read by people all over North America — and sometimes by people in countries overseas?
We have found links to Kamloops This Week’s online edition of our column tweeted and re-tweeted to places as far away as South Africa.
Our last column on the benefits of dark chocolate was picked up by a tweeter in Ontario.
The link was then re-tweeted by a reader in Courtenay.
It went across the country and back again.
That is one of the reasons we love receiving your questions and comments.
They make our information relevant to readers from Parliament Hill to Washington, D.C. and to people all over North America.
Keep those questions coming!
For those of you who remember the stand-up comedian and Saturday Night Live writer-turned U.S. Sen. Al Franken, you will be happy to hear he has introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate that would support the creation of mental-health services in U.S. schools.
Local groups (just like ours) would be able to make proposals to access funds to increase access of services for students.
By the way, voters in California chose counsellors over armed policeman in their schools as the No. 1 way to reduce school violence.
Surveys show attitudes about people with mental illness have changed a little, but still have a long way to go.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the general population supports more spending on mental illness, but mainly because fear and suspicion about those with mental illness has increased.
About half the polled population feels people with mental illness are “by far more dangerous” than the general population — in spite of the fact only four per cent of violent crimes are committed by people with mental illness and people with mental illness are 11 times more likely to be the victim of violence than the general population.
Last month, all seven of the Canadian-based National Hockey League franchises announced an initiative to increase awareness and discussion about mental health and treatments.
One game in each of the seven cities will be dedicated to “Hockey Talks,” where teams will speak up to encourage a national conversation about a topic related to mental illness.
What a great form of leadership from athletes who are so admired by young people.
And, finally — but certainly not the last of the stories making news about mental health — it seems the hour of sleep we lose when we “spring forward” can have rippling negative effects and can take some people several days to recover from them.
Loss of sleep is a particular threat to mental health.
If you are one of those people who are impacted every spring, start adjusting your sleeping patterns a little ahead of anticipated change and take care of your mental health.
Thank you again for reading and tweeting about our column and for all your questions sent to us a Kamloops@cmha.bc.ca.
We have been hearing from youth lately, so stay tuned for some of the mental-health issues on the minds of young people.