October 6th-12th is Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW): an annual campaign that sets out to raise awareness towards the reality of mental health struggles and to reduce stigma.
Did you know there are more than 200 classified types of mental illnesses? Or that by the age of 40, 50% of the Canadian population will have, or have had, a mental illness? 5% of which being anxiety disorders, causing mild to severe impairment.
These numbers are likely highly underestimated though, as 49% of those who believe they have depression or anxiety never actually go to see a doctor about it. It is believed that the stigma or discrimination that unwillingly comes along with mental illnesses likely has something to do with this. Which is why campaigns like MIAW are so critical!
One of MIAW’s major initiatives is the Faces of Mental Illness campaign, a national outreach campaign featuring the stories of Canadians living in recovery from mental illness. Not only does this campaign encourage a sense of normalcy to mental illnesses, but it also instills a feeling of connection and hope to those struggling, knowing that they are not alone.
It’s time to join the conversation and help spread awareness! Visit their website to learn more about how you can support #MIAW19
To learn more, check out:
Mental Health Commission of Canada (2013). Making the case for investing in mental health in Canada.