The topic I wish to quickly discuss today is of mental health with regard to funding and treatment, as well as the lack of understanding around it.
Now, I should say right away that my own knowledge of mental health is fairly naive, I do have experience with anxiety, which has somewhat increased as I have grown older and also due to recent events.
The general consensus seems to be that Canada and other developed countries around the world are not spending enough on mental health research and treatment, despite overwhelming evidence for the many disorders humans can have. Biologically, we know that what happens in your brain has a direct, and in many cases lasting, effect on the rest of your body and as such can greatly influence your physical health. Many anxiety disorders can lead to heart palpitations, fainting spells, headaches, fatigue and dizziness to name a few. Decreased productivity in the workplace or at school has lead to millions of dollars in avoidable costs every year for employers across Canada. Many people have disorders so intense that functioning normally day to day is a struggle that takes most of their energy.
The stigma surrounding mental health is one that should be quickly and drastically reduced. Mental health can affect anyone and over 30% of people experience at least one sort of mental health issue at some point in their lives. When scaled globally this amounts to billions of humans, so you are not alone when it comes to having mental health issues. The pharmaceutical companies have taken advantage of this by producing drugs to help people cope with their disorder. Often, however, this merely numbs the human and doesn’t actually address the issue.
Humans need to have an outlet and proper professional help and do so in the same timely manner as if they had obtained some physical injury. The Canadian government also needs to make sure that Canadians have this option in the first place. Education of mental health in the early years of public school will hopefully lead to adults that are more aware of not only their physical health but also their mental health. If the brain is not functioning at full capacity then the rest of the body is suffering needlessly.