Mayor proclaims May as Mental Health Awareness Month


What's more, one in 5 of today's adolescents will experience a serious mental illness during their lifetime.

A clinical psychologist with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Dr. Katy Kamkar, has said that in the last decade there has not been such a strong stigma anymore regarding mental illnesses as it has become normal to talk about this nowadays and it is easier for people to conversate about this topic.

Since this year's theme is all about encouraging people to "Get Loud" about what mental health really looks like, most of these events are created to engage directly with the community and especially local youth.

Within South Africa, one in six people suffer from anxiety, depression or problems associated with substance abuse and over 40% of those living with HIV suffer from a mental disorder.

Parents can help children identify a safe place and safe people.

In all, 42 percent of those who had never had a mental health diagnosis or had never known someone who did were afraid of people with mental disorders.

Once diagnosed, many find it hard to get the right treatment for their mental health condition.

The survey also showed that fewer than one in five would do research online for help (19 per cent) or handle it themselves (15 per cent).

Almost 4 of 5 respondents agreed that less stigma and shame around mental health disorders would lower suicide rates. "We promote that year round", said Lynn Wardell, the interim executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association Oxford.

About 78 percent of young adults said a mental health disorder was nothing to be ashamed of, compared with 92 percent of seniors and 89 percent of 35- to 64-year-olds.

With more people trained to assist those with mental health issues, Christiansen's hope is that people who are struggling will be able to receive help earlier on.

As part of the campaign, CMHA wants people to understand mental illness is something that everyone has and moreover, mental illness is everyone's issue. However, while there is widespread agreement that mental healthcare should be deinstitutionalised, Prof Chima argues a key lesson from the Life Esidimeni tragedy is that deinstitutionalisation can only be achieved when adequate human and financial resources are devoted to community mental healthcare; when families are educated about mental illness so the stigma can be eradicated and when mental health patients are regularly assessed to determine the most appropriate form of treatment on a case-by-case basis.