'We all need to learn more about the burden of mental illness on individuals, families and our society and try to raise awareness and advocate on behalf of those Canadians who are suffering in silence.' - James Clancy.
Ottawa (7 Oct. 2009) – The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is encouraging Canadians to take the opportunity during Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct. 4-10) and World Mental Health Day (Oct. 10) to learn more about mental illness, as well as ways to promote positive mental health.
“For too long the battle against mental illness has taken place in the shadows,” says NUPGE national president James Clancy. “We all need to learn more about the burden of mental illness on individuals, families and our society and try to raise awareness and advocate on behalf of those Canadians who are suffering in silence.”
Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual national public education campaign designed to help raise awareness of the level and reality of mental illness in Canada. The week was established in 1992 by the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) and is now coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH).
Mental illness affects Canadians in all segments of the population. One in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime and approximately one million people in Canada live with a severe or persistent mental illness. Despite the prevalence of mental illness across all segments of the population, the stigma that has always been associated with it continues to be a major problem. Far too many people have been unable to get the help they need.
NUPGE is calling on all governments in Canada to invest more resources to ensure Canada develops a comprehensive and integrated approach to:
- Combating stigma.
- Preventing, diagnosing and treating mental illness.
- Promoting good mental health.
“Mental health and mental illness have been neglected in Canada far too long,” says Clancy. “Our governments need to bring mental health services into the mainstream of our public health care system and increase resources so that people living with mental illness receive the help they need and to which they are entitled.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE