In any given year, one in five Canadians experience some kind of mental health problem, with a total of those afflicted rising to almost 7 million people, the Globe and Mail reports. When friends, family members and other individuals personally affected are taken into account, the number of individuals who have felt the influence of mental health problems rises even more.
The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences reports that the burden of mental illness and addiction in one Canadian province is more than 1.5 times that of cancer when premature deaths and reduced cognitive functioning are taken into account. Even with these striking figures, the country spends relatively less on mental health issues than comparable countries, including Great Britain and New Zealand.
There are several ways professionals can work to improve the situations of the mentally ill in Canada. By following the basic strategy outlined by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the nation can invest in the future of these individuals.
Start at an Early Age
Up to 70 per cent of young people suffering from mental health problems believe that their symptoms started in childhood, according to the news source. Many of these individuals were not given the care they needed. Developing positive habits and patterns early in life can keep mentally ill patients on a pathway to success.
Enable Individuals to Have a Good Life
When working with the mentally ill, the main goal should be to make sure the individuals end up with a safe and happy life. This means focusing on sorting through problems that may be contributing the mental stress or come about as a result of it, such as substance abuse problems or trauma.
Continue the Efforts
Simply meeting with an individual once is not enough. Most people who have severe problems need to have sustained care or treatment, but the only way to do that is to have more facilities and resources. Professionals are needed to run and work in care centres, offering long-term solutions for afflicted individuals and aiding them in their quest to overcome issues and find job opportunities and affordable housing.
Those interested in training for a career in the social services field can enroll the Addictions and Community Services Worker program at Vancouver Career College. For more information, fill out the form on the right.