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October 10 marks World Mental Health Day

2012.11.10

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is encouraging Canadians to take the opportunity on World Mental Health Day to learn more about mental illness, as well as ways to promote positive mental health.

Starting in 1992, the World Federation for Mental Health selected October 10 as World Mental Health Day. This year's theme Depression: A Global Crisis also marks the 20th anniversary of educating and awareness raising across the world.

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is encouraging Canadians to take the opportunity on World Mental Health Day to learn more about mental illness, as well as ways to promote positive mental health.

According to the World Health Organization "Depression affects more than 350 million people of all ages, in all communities, and is a significant contributor to the global burden of disease. Although there are known effective treatments for depression, access to treatment is a problem in most countries and in some countries fewer than 10 per cent of those who need it receive such treatment."

World Mental Health Day 2012 aims to encourage governments and civil society around the world to address depression as a widespread illness that affects individuals, their families and their peers, and to recognize that it is a treatable condition. People should be alert to the early signs of depressive disorder—it can affect anyone, from young people to seniors. With the alarming numbers of people affected by depression, it is a wakeup call for us to address this global non-communicable disease.

One in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime and approximately one million people in Canada live with a severe or persistent mental illness. Despite the prevalence of mental illness across all segments of the population, the stigma that has always been associated with it continues to be a major problem. Far too many people have been unable to get the help they need.

NUPGE has been calling on all governments in Canada to invest more resources to ensure Canada develops a comprehensive and integrated approach to:

  • Combating stigma.
  • Preventing, diagnosing and treating mental illness.
  • Promoting good mental health.

In the national mental health strategy released by the Mental Health Commission of Canada in May 2012, pressure on federal and provincial governments to take action on the issue. NUPGE was encouraged to see many of its recommendations included in the strategy, including a focus on mental health within the justice system.

"This is one of the most pressing issues we have to face in our society," said James Clancy, NUPGE National President. "We now have yet another study that puts the onus to improve mental health services squarely where it belongs - on the shoulders of the prime minister and the premiers. This strategy offers Canada's First Ministers an opportunity to demonstrate collective leadership, to invest the necessary resources to ensure top-quality mental health services are available to all Canadians when they need it."

"Today, of all days, we must recommit to continuing to pressure all levels of government to live up to their commitment to address this global epidemic. We can also do our part by taking care of our own mental health, supporting someone else, working on public policy, or challenging every day stereotypes. We all have a role to play to ensure mental health issues are brought to the forefront," added Clancy.

More information:

World Federation for Mental Health: Depression: A Global Crisis

Mental Health Commission of Canada: Mental Health Strategy

No Health Without Mental Health

National Union endorses April's Not Myself Campaign to support mental health

NUPGE urges Health Ministers to act on mental health services

NUPGE Correctional Officers call for national action on mental health problems in jails

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

Source: http://www.nupge.ca/content/5325/october-10-marks-world-mental-health-day

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