66th Annual Mental Health Week, May 1 - 7, 2017.
Mental Health Week is here! Once again, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is asking Canadians to join them and GET LOUD for Mental Health from May 1st to May 7th.
GET LOUD by taking action and using your voice to raise awareness and build support for those around you and for yourself. It means speaking out against the discrimination and stigma directed at people with mental illnesses. Every year, CMHA selects a specific mental health-related issue to focus on during CMHA Mental Health Week. This year, we are paying special attention to the long times Canadians experience waiting for a mental health professional – and improvements to the mental health system in Canada – as part of our Sick of Waiting: Get Loud for Mental Health campaign. We’re sick of waiting a year or more for access to a mental health professional. However, we need more than just access to a doctor and medication if we’re going to prevent illness and promote mental health. We are still waiting for access to counselling, community-based interventions, and social supports that aren’t funded.
In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental health problem, and by the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 will have – or have had – a mental illness. Long wait times are a serious issue for any Canadian seeking care; those with mental health problems or illnesses know this very well. Some youth reported that they had wait up to a year and a half to see a psychiatrist. These long wait times are not only frustrating, but being forced to wait for so long can make whatever problem or illness someone is experiencing worse.
During CMHA Mental Health Week, we also encourage all Canadians to reflect on their own attitudes towards mental health. Reducing discrimination and stigma is paramount, so that people no longer feel shame due to a mental illness and will no longer wait to seek the support and help they need. Some of the ways we’re suggesting Canadians #GETLOUD this year include sharing their experiences and speaking out on social media, talking to a loved one or friend, and much more! For more ideas on how you can GET LOUD, visit mentalhealthweek.ca.