By Dorcas Ifeoma Mental Health is a leading cause of disability in Canada, preventing 500,000 employedCanadians from attending work each week. To make matters worse, the cost of disability leaveas 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 includinghealth 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 substanceuse disorders than any other age group.tEven in 2021, despite being one of the most progressive nations on earth, mental health is stillstigmatized. 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 Eating disorder Depression Bipolar disorder SchizophreniaHow to curb this crisis?According to Canadian Mental Health Association, great work is being done, butresources and funding is still lacking. Stigma and discrimination still surround the issue ofmental health. In order to curb this social issue, the government need to do more in fightingdiscrimination 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 livingwith 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.Reference:www.camh.caMental Illness and Addiction: Facts and StatisticsFind the latest facts and statistics on mental illness and addiction, including who is affected and the impact of these illnesses on Canadians.