By Dorcas Ifeoma
Mental Health is a leading cause of disability in Canada, preventing 500,000 employed
Canadians from attending work each week. To make matters worse, the cost of disability leave
as a result of mental health is about double the cost of leave due to physical illness. All in, the economic burden of
mental illness in Canada is an estimated $51 billion per year including
health care costs, lost productivity and reductions in health-related quality of life.
Who are affected?
Young people aged 15 to 24 are more likely to experience mental illness and substance
use disorders than any other age group.t
Even in 2021, despite being one of the most progressive nations on earth, mental health is still
stigmatized. It remains one of the top social problems in Canada. One in every five Canadians is affected each year by mental illness. The most commonly diagnosed illnesses includes:
Substance abuse disorder or addiction
How to curb this crisis?
According to Canadian Mental Health Association, great work is being done, but
resources and funding is still lacking. Stigma and discrimination still surround the issue of
mental health. In order to curb this social issue, the government need to do more in fighting
discrimination of those with mental illness, by making provisions for counselling, psychologists,
and social workers. The general public should also do their part by not stigmatizing people living
with mental illness, but rather be shown love, compassion whichever way possible. By so doing,
we are providing a conducive environment for all regardless of their status, background, ethic,
and culture thereby promoting fundamental human rights of every individual.