Mental Health Education

“The body says what words cannot.” – Martha Graham

Anxiety: it’s something I’ve had many experiences with already only being 18! And I never handled it in a healthy way! It was just to overpowering on me, to fight!

  • factors leading to good mental health
  • extent and impact of mental illness in Canada
  • access to and use of formal and informal mental health services and supports

Body shaming for as the many celebrities that have been over the past few years have been disappointing to how humans have been raised and taught. Taught that it’s okay to body shame others regardless of any facts or who they are. Or for the fact that they are who they are and there should be no discrimination nor any shaming of any kind.

So I believe that we should create a revolution or a group or something to help decrease the events and body shaming. Kinda like a war to end all wars but with ending body shaming. But maybe not a war kind of solution here to this problem.

Selena Gomes, Pink, Kelly Clarkson and other celebs have been body shamed on top of others in the outside of the celebrity world.

And I have to share with you all, that I have! I break easily and at one point, I was just broken! To the point that I couldn’t nor wouldn’t get better! Recover. It’s people out there who have to make the decision to help me get better by the best way possible! I’ve learned a lot from my mental illness!

Many times we think of all the bad things about something but never think or focus on the good things. Like failing a test, but getting the chance to retake it is the good part about that! That’s how you should look at these situations in life!

It’s something we all experience and deal with in our lives! People post things online that they wouldn’t say to someone’s face. Many of us react to these comments very similar. Most of the time, we let those comments get to our heads and keep us up at night. Which has also lead to believing them at some point because we don’t have the right mind to not let those thoughts affect us overall.

Judgments are a huge thing in the social virtual world! And there are many problems with what people can and do post online. But recently,I saw this video about cyber bullying. And it really touched and inspired me to do something as amazing as that! Stopping cyber bullying from the source before it happens.

Even celebrities are affected by this daily! And people tend to forget that they are as human as we all are and that they don’t actually think before posting negative things online. For example, Justin Bieber on day 1 people posted comments saying that he looks and sounds like a girl, that he has no talent, and the list goes on. You may ask why he is such an inspiration and role model to millions of fans!

It’s because he inspires them through his music lyrics, music videos and actions. He acts on the negative comments toward him. He stated that these things do get to him but never actually shows real emotion on them. But what he actually does that inspires others to do in these situations is when he decides to stay positive and know himself. Like one of his quotes.

As long as you know yourself, nothing can get to you for you know what’s true and what’s not. And doing that, shows the bullies and haters out there that what they say can’t get to us and maybe we all hope that they will stop permanently spreading hate about people overall!

Bullying:

It’s something that everyone goes through in their lives at some point. There are two ways to act on this particular issue: negativity or positively! The right thing to do is know yourself, and stand up for yourself by saying that you know who you are and that your nothing of what they say or think you are.

Because doing that, most likely stops these kinds of people from doing it to ten, hundreds, thousands, millions of people. But if you do the wrong thing instead, doing that, is what gives them power. You can’t be afraid to stand up for yourself when something like this happens. You have to fight for what you know. Most importantly teach those people right from wrong.

SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE

2015 Pan-Canadian Survey Raises Warning Signs on Mental Health Services

The Canadian healthcare system continues to critically under perform for individuals with mental illness, according to Mood Disorders Society of Canada’s (MDSC) June 2015 pan-Canadian survey of the country’s mental health community.

The survey, conducted between June 16th and June 27th, received a remarkable 2,245 responses.

Results of this national survey clearly illustrate that Canadians are calling for immediate action and change on systemic issues identified in Canada’s mental healthcare system. The issues highlighted in this report are considered to be critical areas for government focus, with particular emphasis on. increasing access to mental healthcare professionals across Canada.

Key Findings

Of the top two priorities suggested for government action, a total of 91% of respondents indicated that increasing access to mental healthcare professionals, (e.g. psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, etc.) was their top priority, while 88% reported the need to focus on increasing community mental health services.

When asked directly, 38% of respondents indicated that the time between initial help seeking and diagnosis exceeded a period of 12 months. Retrospectively, following a similar 2011 MDSC national mental health survey, it was reported that a total of 35% of the respondents indicated having to wait more than 12 months for a diagnosis. These comparative results show that our performance on diagnosis has not improved. Comments received indicated a shortage of professionals available to diagnose and treat individuals with mental health issues.

The majority of individuals had been dealing with mental illness for more than ten years, either first-hand or through provision of care for someone experiencing mental illness.

Canada’s mental healthcare system is perceived to need substantial improvements. The provision of adequate, appropriate, and timely services to support individuals with mental illness as well as their family members, caregivers, and even healthcare professionals is generally considered to be lacking and ineffective, therefore critical areas for government attention.

Of great concern is the finding that one third of those with an undiagnosed mental illness ignore their condition, or self-medicate.

While the majority of those surveyed have both provincial and private health coverage, more than half believe their coverage is inadequate, including a greater proportion of those with an undiagnosed mental illness. Additionally, those with provincial health coverage alone were more likely than their counterparts to face cost barriers to treatment. Across survey results, several key factors are found to influence perceptions and experience of care, including health coverage, cost barriers, receipt of a diagnosis and age.

Coping strategies for those dealing with an undiagnosed mental illness varied across ages. Specifically, younger individuals were more likely to ignore/deny evidence and existence of their mental illness, while middle-aged individuals were more likely to self-medicate, and older individuals were more likely to rely on friends and family for support. These findings suggest a need for greater access to support services, particularly for youth who are more likely to engage in maladaptive behaviours to manage their undiagnosed mental illness.

Perceptions were largely positive regarding the availability of community mental health organizations and the overall treatment of mental illness provided by family doctors and healthcare professionals. However, the availability of healthcare professionals, as well as the care provided through walk-in clinics and hospital emergency rooms warranted attention.

Moving forward, efforts to improve the overall treatment of patients with mental illness in all healthcare forums should be focused around the degree of respect and empathy demonstrated by staff, addressing the perceived lack of prioritization of mental health patients, reducing wait times, and reducing the appearance of being rushed among healthcare providers during patient consultations.

Mood Disorders Society of Canada thanks all who participated in the Mental Health Care System Survey!

Diana was the Content Developer at mindyourmind for over nine years. She enjoys balance, yoga and wellness. You may find these topics highlighted in her posts, along with mental health in the news, stigma reduction and anything else relevant or inspirational. Her fav quote is “you can’t get what you want if you don’t ask for it!”.

It is not surprising that the identified barriers to accessing support include “worrying what others might think” as the biggest reason for not reaching out for help. Stigma continues to be a barrier to help.

  • Approximately 2.8 million people, or 10.1% of Canadians aged 15 and older, reported symptoms consistent with at least one of six mental or substance use disorders in the past 12 months. The six disorders measured by the survey were major depressive episode, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and abuse of or dependence on alcohol, cannabis or other drugs.

Note that this does not include all mental illnesses. For example the inclusion of eating disorders, psychosis / schizophrenia, other anxiety disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder, etc. would actually make the number of people living with a mental illness much higher. It is estimated that 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental illness throughout their lifetime.

  • Symptoms consistent with a mood disorder were cited by 5.4% of Canadians aged 15 and older, while 1.5% met the criteria for bipolar disorder in the past 12 months.
  • 2.6% of Canadians aged 15 and older reported symptoms consistent with generalized anxiety disorder, an anxiety disorder characterized by a pattern of frequent, persistent worry and excessive anxiety about several events or activities.

According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada, “the 12 month prevalence for any anxiety disorder is over 12% and one in four Canadians (25%) will have at least one anxiety disorder in their lifetime”. Again, important to note that the 2.6% mentioned above pertain to generalized anxiety disorder only. There are 7 other anxiety disorders that are not part of this statistic. In fact, anxiety is the most common mental illness in Canada.

  • More youth (aged 15 to 24) met the criteria for mood disorders and substance use disorders than any other age group.

This confirms that youth need the tools and resources to help them manage their mental health issues and that stigma reduction needs to continue being a priority in Canada.

Take a look and explore the rest of the results for yourself and tell us what you think the Canadian health care system can do better below.

Last week, actress Kristen Bell opened up about her personal experience with mental illness – namely depression and anxiety – during an episode of Off Camera with Sam Jones.

Today, performer Selena Gomez announced she will be cancelling the remainder of her world tour, taking time off to deal with depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. She described the issues she was tackling as stemming from her lupus.

Living Through Mental Illness

Tyler Simmonds is a 26 year old Designer, Stylist, Filmmaker, and Mental Health Advocate from Halifax, Nova Scotia, living with anxiety and depression. Tyler is releasing a book in Summer 2016 called “Understanding And Surviving: Mental Illness”. See more of his videos here.

Depression is living in a body that fights to survive with a mind that tries to kill it.

These tips are all about ways to cope with depression, manage your mood & feel better.

Mental Health Superheroes: How we are changing the world together

Alicia shares her story of dealing with depression, anxiety, attempting suicide and eventual recovery at the International Association for Youth Mental Health. She explains what it means to be a mental health superhero.

Read More About Mental Health Superheroes: How We Are Changing The World Together

Road to Recovery

Oh sweet solitude! Shelter from social strife,

You have burned me and shamed me into ruined life.

I cast aside your shackles and step into the light.

This anxiety I will tackle, I’m ready for the fight.

Oh warm depression! The only comfort I have known.

You have since chilled me, down to the very bone.

I shake off your gentle slumber and rise from your bed

‘Cause sooner or later you’d leave me for dead.

Dear friend avoidance, the content I have known,

The one who consoled me when I was all alone.

You robbed me of interest in this very world,

Away from you winds carry me, my sails now unfurled.

And to my beloved troubled mind I shall say:

From now on you shall speak in only kind ways.

No longer will I allow you to cast hurtful stones,

Today and on you’ll work for me and strengthen these brittle bones.

Welcome new acquaintance, thou who art love,

The one I will embrace, an angel from above.

Show me how to care as others care for me,

Show me how to love myself, wellness’ key.

By Jeff D., age 36.

The fourth line in my poem bugs me a little now that I have matured; it’s been ten years since I wrote this. The truth is fighting my anxiety didn’t work. Accepting and not being afraid of being anxious is what truly freed me. I do things all the time that trigger anxiety, but it’s OK, and because I see it as OK the anxiety has no power over me.

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