Did you know that one in five individuals will be affected by mental illness at some point in their lifetime? Because of the stigma and discrimination associate with mental illness, however, 75 per cent of those people will never seek the help they need.
Mental health awareness initiatives, such as the You Know Who I Am campaign run by The Royal and championed by Ottawa Senators NHL captain Daniel Alfredsson have done a lot in recent years to end the stigma associated with mental illness, which is a wonderful thing. But we still need to do more; more to help people who are suffering get the help they need, and more to take charge in maintaining and improving our own mental health in the first place.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and, in Canada, Mental Health Awareness Week is May 7-13 this year. This gives us a great opportunity to do what we can to shine a light into the dark corners of mental illness and to help make the world a better place for those in need, including ourselves. We can do this by participating in mental health awareness events and by supporting mental health awareness campaigns in our own communities, wherever they may be.
Why should we care about mental health awareness?
So why should any of us give a damn about mental health awareness? Because 20% of us will be personally affected by a mental illness at some point in our lives and the remaining 80% will be affected by mental illness in family members, friends or people we work with. Every single one of us is affected by mental illness, in one way or another.
The Facts: Mental illness statistics
Here are just a few of the statistics regarding mental illness, from the Canadian Mental Health Association:
- 20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
- Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures.
- Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.
- Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16% among 25-44 year olds
- Almost one half (49%) of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about this problem.
- Stigma or discrimination attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier, not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community.
- Mental illnesses can be treated effectively.
From: Canadian Mental Health Association: Fast Facts Mental Health/Mental Illness
What Arcana Dea Design does to support mental health awareness
Arcana Dea Design donates partial proceeds from the sale of all items to The Royal (formerly knows as The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health). I do this because of my own struggles with dysthymia and Post Partum Depression (PPD), and also because of the sudden loss, to suicide, of someone close to me in 2011.
When I started Hope Collection line, I was originally donating partial proceeds from the sale of items within that particular line (and only that line). In February 2012, I made some major changes to this initiative and am now donating partial proceeds from the sale of any and all items to both The Royal and Canadian Cancer Society (the latter is in honour of my father, who is currently fighting stage 4 colon cancer). If you would like more information about this endeavor, it is available on the About the Hope Collection page in my online store.
I’ll be writing more about this is another post, but I do firmly believe that mental health awareness is the responsibility of each and every one of us, and that we do have the power within us to make things better for ourselves and for each other.
Together, we can help. Together, we can be the light, be the change, and be the difference.