There is help for mental health

The Compass - - OPINION -

im­por­tant way and where the govern­ment has made this one of its top health pri­or­i­ties.

This year alone, more than seven mil­lion Cana­di­ans will ex­pe­ri­ence a mental ill­ness. It is no ex­ag­ger­a­tion to say that it will have an im­pact on all of us sooner or later — ei­ther per­son­ally, or af­fect­ing some­one we know or some­one we love.

Stigma is the rea­son why many peo­ple liv­ing with mental health is­sues do not seek the help they need. Peo­ple who live with mental ill­ness re­port that the stigma as­so­ci­ated with their con­di­tion is of­ten worse than the ill­ness it­self. What’s even more dis­turb­ing is that peo­ple who seek help of­ten re­port that they ex­pe­ri­enced some of the most deeply felt prej­u­dice from fam­ily, friends and health care pro­fes­sion­als.

Last year, the MHCC launched its 10-year anti-stigma/ an­tidis­crim­i­na­tion ini­tia­tive, called Open­ing Minds. Open­ing Minds is part­ner­ing with or­ga­ni­za­tions across Canada who al­ready have anti-stigma pro­grams tar­geted at youth and health care pro­fes­sion­als, in or­der to eval­u­ate them and see which are most ef­fec­tive in chang­ing at­ti­tudes and be­hav­iours. The goal is to learn from this re­search and dis­sem­i­nate these strate­gies across the coun­try so that our chil­dren do not per­pet­u­ate the cy­cle of stigma and our front­line health pro­fes­sion­als be­come even bet­ter at as­sist­ing peo­ple with a mental health prob­lem. Soon, Open­ing Minds will also be tack­ling stigma in the work­place and with the me­dia.

Play a part in elim­i­nat­ing stigma

It’s time to make mental health a pri­or­ity and end stigma. We need your help. The com­mis­sion is pro­vid­ing a Canada-wide pro­gram called Mental Health First Aid, which trains peo­ple to re­spond to mental health emer­gen­cies, en­abling them to bet­ter man­age both po­ten­tial and de­vel­op­ing mental health prob­lems in them­selves and oth­ers.

In New­found­land, there are now four mental health first aid in­struc­tors in dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties across the prov­ince, as well as over 230 trained mental health first aiders. This is a great way for you to help oth­ers!

Go to www. ment­lahlealth­firstaid. ca and find a train­ing course near you. Hav­ing first-aiders is es­pe­cially im­por­tant in ru­ral ar­eas where the pop­u­la­tion is small and spread out. If you have al­ready taken a tra­di­tional first aid or CPR class for phys­i­cal health, con­sider adding Mental Health First Aid and help even more peo­ple.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.