In recent months, there has been so much support for mental health in Canada, an area of our well-being that has largely been ignored in the past. With Bell Media’s 10 million dollar donation to CAMH announced just a few days ago, I am overwhelmed and hopeful that treatment will be more accessible than ever before.

Bryce Wylde of CP24’s Wylde on Health, and many others are climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for support and treatment of mental health. For more information and a link to the donation site, see link at the bottom of this article.

With all of the media attention toward these high profile donations, I know that it will, at the very least, get people talking about the issues we all face. 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. The remaining 4 will have a friend, family member or colleague who will (Health Canada 2002).

Yet depression, anxiety, panic and many other psychological issues are often kept quiet. We don’t share information about our mental health as readily as we would if we were order xanax doctor facing a physical illness. In the Canadian Medical Association’s Annual National Report Card on Health Care, it was reported that just 50% of people would share a diagnosis of mental illness with others, compared to 72%, who would tell others about a diagnosis of a physical disease, like cancer (2008).

It’s time we talk about mental illness in Canada, because having a conversation can help to normalize these issues. Many individuals are afraid to seek treatment because they don’t want to be judged by their friends, family and coworkers.

Many therapists, including myself, have begun to offer telephone and internet sessions so that our clients, no matter what their location, can gain access to treatment. Mental illness is a rural and urban issue, so the availability of treatment must be more widespread.

Don’t let location, fear or stigma prevent you from accessing treatment that will help you overcome any psychological issues you are struggling with. Let a professional help you to have a fulfilling and happy life!