Over half of Canadians will experience mental illness in their lifetime

Sente Mushunduzi
By Sente Mushunduzi April 6, 2018 14:26

Over half of Canadians will experience mental illness in their lifetime

Jessica Tetreault-Fazio is an advocate for mental health and University of Windsor student. Photo by Sente Mushunduzi

By Sente Mushunduzi

In any given year, one in five people in Canada will experience a mental health problem or illness.

Mental illness affects people of all ages, education, income levels and culture. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age.

Kylie Hayes is a 21-year-old who is planning to attend the University of Windsor to study psychology. She is also an advocate for people with mental illness

“You often just know a person’s face or name and not their story. The next time you see someone you know, you have no idea as to what he/she may be going through behind closed doors and that smiling face,” said Hayes. “Often, we judge a book by its cover, yet, a person has a vast variety of material in their book, and this material is what makes it more splendid.”

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association website by age 40, 50 per cent of the population will have a mental illness.

Tara Payne is a support worker with the Early Intervention Program at CMHA. She said most people do not know how to identify a panic attack, even when they are having one.

“A person can experience an anxiety attack if they feel they are in danger, even if they are not. Panic attacks are sudden and overwhelming feelings of anxiety and fear,” said Payne. “People who experience panic attacks often describe symptoms such as shortness of breath, extreme rapid heartbeat and very shallow breathing. Sometimes people will call 911 thinking they are having a heart attack.”

Jessica Tetreault-Fazio is a University of Windsor student and is an advocate for mental health with Jack.org

“The truth is we all have mental health and mental illness and that can make it really hard. That’s why it’s important that advocacy work is happening,” said Tetreault-Fazio.

Jack.org is a network of young leaders transforming the way we think about mental health with initiatives and programs designed with the input of young people.

Hayes advises people with mental health challenges to communicate more and be frank about their problems.

“Be more straightforward. Help is everywhere around you and you don’t have to struggle alone,” said Hayes. “Who knows maybe the burden you are carrying might have to stigmatized. It gets better.”


Sente Mushunduzi
By Sente Mushunduzi April 6, 2018 14:26

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