There is help for mental health
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.