Wellness & Prevention: Why We Must Talk About Mental Health

Maricruz Casares
May 11, 2019

Some researchers suggest that part of this rise is attributed to improved screening and diagnosis; however, this can not completely account for the fact that one in three young adults is reporting mental health issues.

A mental illness is an illness and it affects the way people think, feel, behave, or interact with others. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds North Dakota had the country's largest increase in suicide rates - 57% - between 1999 and 2016. However, if your mood, thinking, or behavior has changed to the extent they are seriously interfering with your everyday life and lasting for a few weeks or more then you may be experiencing a mental health problem.

Her son Jack took his own life six months ago, but Kujawa says that she draws from her sons legacy of helping others to advocate for policies that can help young people that suffer from mental illness and thoughts of suicide. "Together we can raise awareness and end the stigma often associated with mental illness in children and adolescents". Imagine if we said, "He is so cancer", like the way we say, "He is so bipolar". For urgent help phone the Sarnia-Lambton Mental Health First Response Service (available 24/7) at 1-800-307-4319. Like learning CPR, there are several mental health basic training courses offered in Orange County. "We're co-hosting this with the Canadian Mental Health Association, our adult partners, and we've done that for the past two years because mental health is across a lifespan, from birth to death, so working together and integrating services more and more helps all the families in our community that much more".

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The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMIoc.org) presents programs for students, professionals and parents on topics ranging from lowering mental health stigma to better understanding how to support a loved one who is struggling. The training helps attendees to identify, understand and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses.

May is Mental Health Awareness month, providing an important opportunity for reflection and collective action to address barriers, including the ongoing stigma and stereotypes preventing many individuals from getting the care they need.

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