Mental Health Week May 1-7

Smoky River Family and Community Support Services – In Focus

Jean Moore-Lemoine
Community Development Coordinator
Jean Moore-Lemoine, Smoky River FCDSS Community Development Coordinator, will be submitting a few articles on Mental Health, please enjoy the readings.
Mental Health Week in Alberta is May 1-7 this year.

This is a week designed to celebrate mentally healthy lifestyles and positive attitudes as well as providing information and support to assist in having a mentally healthy lifestyle. We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. Mental health is more than the absence of mental illness. It’s a state of well-being.

Did you know that in any given year, one in five people in Canada experiences a mental health problem or illness?

Only one in three of those people report that they sought and received services or treatment.

Most of the more than 4,000 Canadians who commit suicide each year were confronting a mental health problem or issue.

Did you also know that adults with severe mental health problems and illnesses die up to 25 years earlier than other adults and of those who die, most die due to cardiovascular disease? Did you know that women are more likely than men to experience anxiety and depression? Did you know that girls and women attempt suicide at higher rates but men (particularly older men) die by suicide more often?

Did you know that First Nations youth die by suicide about five to six times more often than non-Aboriginal youth?

Did you know the suicide rates for Inuit youth is 11 times the national average?

This even though Aboriginal youth represent less than five per cent of the youth in Canada!

A recent study shows that only 63 per cent of people hospitalized for depression had a follow up visit with a physician within 30 days of discharge compared to 99 per cent of those who have heart problems. And for Aboriginal youth the percentage is higher as more than 50 per cent of Aboriginal youth live in urban settings with 30-40 per cent being out-of-home situations often resulting in less support.

Please watch for more information on mental health and how it affects each of us.

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