The World Health Organization, ranks mental health disorders as one of the greatest public health challenges of our time.
According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, one in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. Sadly, only a third of these people get the help they need.
But these are not the only troubling mental health statistics:
- Nearly 40 percent of patients are readmitted to hospital within one year of discharge (Healthcare Quarterly)
- 70 to 90 percent of people with serious mental illnesses are unemployed (Mood Disorders Society of Canada)
- $51 billion is the estimated cost of mental illness to the Canadian economy in terms of health care and lost productivity (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)
- 90 percent of people who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental illness (Mood Disorders Society of Canada)
While these are primarily Canadian stats, the global picture is very similar. The significance is in the fact that these numbers represent people; the ones you and I care about-our family members and friends.
Mental illness is most frequently treated with drugs alone. While medication is often essential for symptom management, it cannot cure the illness and is not a sustainable solution to the problem.