May is Mental Health Awareness Month

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To kick off Mental Health Week in Canada, the provincial government announced an "additional" $174 million in funding to address service gaps across Ontario. It was emulated after a similar mental health research scholarship launched in 2009 by CMHA Newfoundland and Labrador. Both diseases have grave underlying biological and genetic causes, yet we tend to ignorantly toss around mental health terms.

There has been some confusion that mental health and mental illness mean the same thing when they do not.

If you or someone you know is fighting a mental illness, there are resources available to assist, and if you visit your local ER, you should be able to find help. Not everyone will experience a mental illness but in the course of a lifetime but "everyone will struggle or have a challenge with their mental well-being (i.e., their mental health) just like we all have challenges with our physical well-being from time to time", as indicated by the Canadian Mental Health Association.

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Mental health illness is a very real nationwide problem that is plaguing our country and hurting endless numbers of people from all walks of life.

'The group risk industry is at the forefront of supporting mental health in the workplace, and the employers that utilise group protection to support the mental wellbeing of their staff are the winners.

In America today, approximately 45-47 million, or 1 out of 5 Americans, is suffering with a mental health issue; and approximately 1 in 25 adults is now experiencing a serious mental illness that substantially interferes with one or more major life activities.

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CMHA Ontario's fellowship program was open to full-time doctoral students in public health, clinical sciences, health policy, epidemiology or related fields.

'Often clients suffer because they do not want be identified as someone who has mental health problems, ' states Dr. Lynne Friedman-Gell, Co-Founder of Trauma and Beyond Psychological Center.

African Americans and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about half the rate of whites in the past year, and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.

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However, she says stigma on this issue and other mental health conditions is a big barrier. United Counseling Service is the designated agency serving residents of Bennington County.

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