The 68th annual Mental Health Week is being held May 6-12, 2019 by the Canadian Mental Health Association and there are lots of ways for you to get involved. This year the message is all about reducing stigma and getting loud about mental health. At Wellin5, we believe this message is so important which is why we are taking the time to tell you about it today.
The Canadian Mental Health Association says, “Many Canadians confuse the terms mental health and mental illness and use them interchangeably—this confusion contributes to the stigma of mental illness; it divides people into those who experience mental illness and those who don’t.
When people understand that mental health is something we ALL have, they realize that mental health is everyone’s issue—we all benefit from celebrating, promoting and acknowledging the role that good mental health plays in living a full and meaningful life.” We couldn’t agree more!
Reducing stigma has been an ongoing conversation through initiatives like Bell Let’s Talk. But is it working? This is what the research has to say:
- 57% of Canadians believe that the stigma associated with mental illness has been reduced compared to five years ago.
- 81% are more aware of mental health issues compared to five years ago.
- 70% believe attitudes about mental health issues have changed for the better compared to five years ago.
You can contribute to further reducing mental health related stigma by getting involved with Mental Health Week. There will be a wide variety of events hosted by local CMHA locations, you can find a list here. You can #GetLoud yourself on social media by downloading handy graphics and suggested social media posts to post on your social media feed. You can even add a graphic to your email signature to show your support. The Canadian Mental Health Association has all sorts of resources on their website. If you’re a teacher, you can download a school toolkit, poster and activities to do with your students as well.
Mental Health is an issue that affects everyone and want Canadians to feel empowered to talk about it and not feel ashamed if they need help. Think you might need help yourself? Have a look at their checklist, talk to your doctor, explore our website to learn how counselling can be covered by your extended health insurance and take action towards feeling better. You deserve to feel better!
We invite all Canadians to #GetLoud on Mental Health Week and support a sense of community where difficult topics can be discussed without shame.