Some statics and facts about Mental Illness in Canada
- In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental illness or addiction problem.
- By the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 have—or have had—a mental illness
- Mental illness can cut 10 to 20 years from a person’s life expectancy.
- The disease burden of mental illness and addiction in Ontario is 1.5 times higher than all cancers put together and more than 7 times that of all infectious diseases. This includes years lived with less than full function and years lost to early death.
- About 4,000 Canadians per year die by suicide—an average of almost 11 suicides a day. It affects people of all ages and backgrounds.
- Just 50% of Canadians would tell friends or co-workers that they have a family member with a mental illness, compared to 72% who would discuss a diagnosis of cancer and 68% who would talk about a family member having diabetes.
Mental well-being is bigger than the presence or absence of a mental illness.
Mental health is key to our well-being. We can’t be truly healthy without it. It involves how we feel, think, act, and interact with the world around us. Mental health is about realizing our potential, coping with the normal stresses of life, and making a contribution to our community. It may be more helpful to think of good mental health as thriving. Good mental health isn’t about avoiding problems or trying to achieve a ‘perfect’ life. It’s about living well and feeling capable despite challenges. Mental well-being is bigger than the presence or absence of a mental illness. People who live with a mental illness can and do thrive, just as people without a mental illness may experience poor mental health
This year with having COVID-19 is both magnifying and contributing to Canada’s mental health crisis. The health, economic and social consequences of the pandemic are taking their toll on the mental health of the population, with some groups at greater risk of developing more severe difficulties. Fortunately, governments at all levels have recognized the negative impact that COVID-19 can have on mental health and are ensuring that resources, supports and care are available. But more is needed. The negative mental health impacts of COVID-19 can be expected to last for some time and will place added burden on Canada’s already overwhelmed mental health system. It is time for us to step up and make mental health a priority by investing in along-term, system wide response. It is time to recognize that mental health is health.