Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness. This year, MIAW is October 5 - 11th.

Mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling and mood.  It also affects a person’s ability to relate to others and impacts the way they function daily.  The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the handbook used by health care professionals to assist them in understanding and clarifying the criteria for diagnosing mental disorders.

A few different types of mental illnesses include:

Major Depressive Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Schizoaffective Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Bipolar Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Every person’s mental health can be affected by day to day stress, but living with a mental illness means consistently suffering from signs and symptoms.  Mental illness can be scary when suffering alone or in silence.

“20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime."
See the Canadian Mental Health Association website for more facts about mental illness.

You or someone you know is suffering from a mental illness.

The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health have launched their “Faces of Mental Illness Campaign” to show Canadians that it affects everyone, in all walks of life.  Please check out their website and read the stories along with the faces that share their personal struggles and success in managing a mental illness.

Terri Ward is a Mental Health Therapist at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.