Chances are you, or someone you know, is dealing with a mental illness. In fact, a recent Sun Life survey found that 60% of Canadians are experiencing mental health issues. To help, we’ve rounded up some reading on the subject. What follows can help you start conversations – whether you’re seeking help for yourself or others.
You’ll find answers to questions like:
- What are the barriers to seeking help with mental health?
- How can talking about mental health help?
- How can you cope with anxiety?
- How can you tell if your teenager is dealing with depression?
- How can you talk about mental health at work?
- How can you find professional help for mental health?
If you’re struggling, a mental health professional can help. Reach out to a counsellor or therapist for support. Use Lumino Health to find a mental health-care provider near you.
What are the barriers to seeking help with mental health?
The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing a rise to mental illnesses. Whether it’s loneliness from isolation, substance abuse, or anxiety and depression, people are suffering now more than ever before. However, the pandemic has signalled a shift in how we talk about mental health. It’s helped open conversations about mental health. Meghan Markle and other celebrities going public with their own mental health struggles has helped start the public conversation.
Despite how common mental illnesses are and the increased media coverage, many Canadians are still suffering in silence. In fact, a survey by Sun Life found that over half of Canadians dealing with mental health issues have not sought help.* Why? For a variety of reasons you may relate to:
- they feel they don't need medical help,
- they think they can't afford it, or
- they’re too embarrassed to ask for help.
*Source: Sun Life, March 2021
How can talking about mental health help?
If you’re dealing with a mental health issue, one of the best things you can do is tell someone. It may be frightening, but talking about your issues can help. It can help others too. Simply hearing someone else talk about their own mental health issues can have a lasting impact.
What can you do?
- Read and share: Do you need a mental health check-up?
How can you cope with anxiety?
Mood and anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in Canada. Sun Life found that anxiety tops the list of mental health concerns, followed by stress, depression and addiction. Anxiety disorders can make every aspect of your life challenging. Things like meeting deadlines to spending time with friends and family can be hard. But living with anxiety disorders doesn’t have to be debilitating. If you have an anxiety disorder, or know someone who does, help is out there.
What can you do?
- Read and share: How to deal with fear and anxiety
How can you tell if your teenager is dealing with depression?
Mental illness affects people of all ages. While many conversations around mental health focus on adults, 10 to 20% of Canadian youth have a mental illness.* And Gen Z, (Canadians aged 18 to 23) are more than twice as likely to say they’re experiencing addiction issues.
The good news is that identifying a mental illness early can help teens and young adults manage their disorders better. That’s where parents, caregivers and friends can help. A good place to start is learning to recognize the signs of teen depression.
What can you do?
- Read and share: How to recognize the signs of teen depression
*Source: Canadian Mental Health Association, 2013.
How can you talk about mental health at work?
Talking about your own or someone else’s mental health at work is something you might never dream of doing. But mental illness affects the workplace in measurable and powerful ways. It can:–
- lower employee engagement and employee productivity, and
- increase absenteeism.
Managers have an important role to play, but everyone can help foster mental wellness at work. Find some tips to help you start a conversation about mental health with your employer.
What can you do?
- Read and share: How to talk to your boss about your mental health
How can you find professional help for mental health?
If you’re struggling with a mental health condition, a mental health professional can help. Reaching out to a counsellor or therapist for support can help.
Do you have employee benefits at work? Check to see if your benefits include an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This program often offers free virtual counselling or therapy sessions for employees and their families.
You can also use Lumino Health to find a mental health-care provider in your area. Lumino’s provider search is available to everyone and offers a hub of health resources, including:
- a stress and anxiety explorer, and
- a library of mental health articles.
Many health-care professionals now offer virtual appointments or e-therapy sessions. This way, they can help people during the pandemic while reducing the spread of COVID-19.