May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Posted May 04, 2017

"While more funding is being promised, it's unclear how much, and if any new money is going to be spent." says Kyle MacDonald People's Mental Health Report spokesperson.

"The main goal of mental health awareness month is to just get people talking about mental health issues", explained Myron Gargis, the executive director of Mountain Lakes Behavioral Healthcare.

Since 2012-13, Ontario has supported 34 pilot projects at postsecondary institutions to address student mental health needs, with a particular focus on transitioning students, Indigenous students, and students struggling with addictions.

"We are looking to improve alignment of [the] government's response across the board".

Two free Youth Mental Health First Aid training classes are planned in the mid-valley.

Dr Coleman said over the past decade demand for secondary mental health and addiction services had increased from 2.3 percent of the population to 3.6 percent - from around 96,000 people to nearly 168,000 people.

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The Defeat Depression Campaign is a national fundraising campaign created to allow individuals and organizations to raise funds in support of local mental health programs and services.

"Everywhere I go people tell me stories of someone who's been let down by mental health services which are stretched to breaking point".

Mental Health America has developed a series of fact sheets which are available at on specific behaviors and habits that may be warning signs of something more, risk factors and signs of mental illness, and how and where to get help when needed.

"We started doing it in memory of Lukasi, who had mental health issues that led to his demise", said Forrest, referring to his son, who died by suicide in February 2016. The number of full-time equivalent psychiatrists employed across DHBs had increased by well over 100 over the past eight years.

A small percentage of mentally ill individuals may become violent; however, according to the National Institutes of Health, people with a mental health diagnosis are 11 times more likely to be the victim of violence.

Dr Jonathan Coleman still carries a key from his time as a medical student at Kingseat Hospital, as "a reminder of how things used to be".

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