Mental Health – Is it a real issue in Canada?

By 4  am on

It’s local, It’s federal, It’s around the world!

Mental health is not defined as an exact medical issue or problem. There is no one size fits all solution.

Mental health is a social issue. It is wrapped up in up family circumstance, income, education, employment, and housing.

A positive state of mental health allows one to be able to relate to others, keep a job, and make choices. One can cope with life and its challenges. But, when one suffers from poor mental health, such as depression or anxiety, the likelihood of maintaining a healthy balance to cope with life’s daily struggles drop dramatically. Stress, job loss, failed relationships, social isolation and thoughts of suicide are all too common.

Sure, we all have ups and downs.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague. Here are a few eye-opening facts from the CMHA:

  • Mental illness affects people of all ages, education, income levels, and cultures.
  • Anxiety disorders affect 5% of the household population, causing mild to severe impairment.
  • Stigma or discrimination attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier, not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community.
  • Each day, over 500,000 Canadians are absent from work because of mental health-related reasons.
  • 1 in every 5 Canadians (20% of the population) suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives.
  • After the age of 40, 1 in every 2 Canadians suffer from some form of mental illness.

The numbers are staggering.

Mental health is a real issue for Canadians and the system needs to catch up.

We need all hands-on-deck to help direct resources and money towards mental health support and services. Government, community and business support is required.

The current situation, facing those afflicted with mental illness, in all 13 provinces and territories, is long wait times (commonly up to 1 year) before one can see a doctor just to discuss their issue. Immediate attention is reserved only for the most severe cases.

Are you or someone you know struggling with mental health issues?

Here are 10 tips that you can use or pass along to get on the road to recovery.

Identify your abilities and weaknesses together, accept them, build on them and do the best with what you have.

  1. Build Confidence
    Identify your abilities and weaknesses together, accept them, build on them and do the best with what you have.
  2. Eat right, Keep fit
    A balanced diet, exercise and rest can help you to reduce stress and enjoy life.
  3. Make Time for Family and Friends
    These relationships need to be nurtured; if taken for granted they will not be there to share life’s joys and sorrows.
  4. Give and Accept Support
    Friends and family relationships thrive when they are “put to the test”.
  5. Create a Meaningful Budget
    Financial problems cause stress. Over-spending on our “wants” instead of our “needs” is often the culprit.
  6. Volunteer
    Being involved in the community gives a sense of purpose and satisfaction that paid work cannot.
  7. Manage Stress
    We all have stressors in our lives, but learning how to deal with them when they threaten to overwhelm us will maintain our mental health.
  8. Find Strength in Numbers
    Sharing a problem with others who have had similar experiences may help you find a solution and will make you feel less isolated.
  9. Identify and Deal with Moods
    We all need to find safe and constructive ways to express our feelings of anger, sadness, joy, and fear.
  10.   Learn to Be at Peace with Yourself
    Get to know who you are, what makes you really happy, and learn to balance what you can and cannot change about yourself.

-Ten Tips for Mental Health provided by CMHA

Raise your awareness.

To read deeper into this global social crisis, access the resources below to take a dive into the broader view of how and why every country around the globe is facing a crisis with mental health awareness and lack of immediate care and assistance.

Mental Health explained

Canada’s Mental Health

Fast Facts about Mental Illness-CMHA

World Mental Health Day

What can you do?

Start with an open heart.

There’s no shame in having a mental illness. It takes strength of character to seek assistance. You have to be strong and you can’t wait. The longer you wait, the worse it will get and things will get more difficult.

It takes a lot of courage to go ahead and say “I need help.”

If you know someone who is suffering, encourage them to talk about it. Be there for them with an open ear and open mind. If there are substance abuse problems on top of the depression or anxiety, positively encourage talking to a counselor right away.

Don’t be discouraged!

There are parts of the system that do work. There are many dedicated mental health care professionals that work very hard, every day, in a collaborative environment and deliver great services.

Erase the stigma! Be part of the conversation.

Be well aware – with treatment, support, and help, people recover from mental illnesses every day.

Today, October 10th, we take part in the conversation about World Mental Health by talking about the issue.

At Home Care Assistance Vancouver, we focus on providing long-term quality care for adults and seniors.

Have questions for us? We can help you or a loved one today. We serve all of Greater Vancouver. Contact us now for your complimentary in-home consultation at (778) 715-5098. To learn more about our services, visit

Request Free Information or
Schedule a Free in-Home Consultation