Mental Health Awareness

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Mental Health issues are on the rise as mental health is skyrocketing.

Not only here in Canada but the rest of the world as well.

The number of children on prescription drugs such as Prozac, Ritalin, and Risperdal tripled from 1987 to 1996. In 1996 there was such a surge in the prescription Ritalin that the drug manufacturer could not make enough of the drug to meet the skyrocketing demand.

Mental Health Awareness

Prescriptions for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, and others to treat depression and anxiety increased by 62% in older children and teenagers (Ambulatory Pediatrics, March/April 2002; 2).

These drugs are used to control the symptoms and not the disease itself. Zyprexa has been linked to a greater risk of developing sugar diabetes and is more likely to be obese (British Medical Journal, August 3, 2002; 325 (7358): 243).

Power corrupts, and when the state of our mental health is in our government’s hands, it does not leave much room to fix the issues that the government denies.

If we want a better, healthier society, the government should be spending far more on mental health than they do. Instead, 23% of our overall health care costs are for mental health care issues. And only 7.2% of the health care budget is for mental health.

The cost containment issues could be solved through better government programs, more funding towards mental health, more mental health professionals, and more significant healthcare professionals’ incentives to work in Canada.

If 86% of our mental health issues are brought up to our family and regular doctors, they should be better trained at dealing with these mental health issues and not just throw pharmaceuticals at the problems. As it only masks the issues and does not solve the underlying issues.

Initiating a universal basic income could dramatically reduce mental illnesses and their costs. For example, the study in Manitoba with UBI showed it reduced health care costs by 8%.

Philanthropy could initiate a UBI program before and better than any government agency (Nettle B, 2011). Health care in Canada has become a business, and it has gone away from being about the citizens.

Mental Health Awareness and Symptoms 

According to the dictionary, mental illness is defined as are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behaviour (or a combination of these).

Mental illnesses are associated with distress and problems functioning in social, work or family activities.

Primary care is seen as necessary for integration, often the first or only way to the health care system for people with a host of mental and physical issues (Fierlbeck K, 2011).

The introduction of addiction services and mental health into primary care is supported internationally to gain faster access to mental health care, and several models have been proposed.

This suggests that persons with substance use disorder and poor mental health risk being in the primary care system with special access.

In contrast, individuals with high mental health and substance use and physical health complexity are served in the unique mental health and substance use care system, coordinating primary care (Fierlbeck K, 2011).

This unique model suggests using standardized screening tools and including a behavioural health provider in the environment to assist with assessment, treatment and care management.

The primary care physician (PCP) and a psychiatrist or other mental health professional are concurrently involved in the patient’s treatment, but the PCP typically remains the ongoing healthcare provider. Several benefits are associated with IC (Druss BG, Rosenheck RA, 2000).

One is increased population access to mental health care. This is important because many individuals with mental health needs do not receive mental health services.

PCPs are the most commonly contracted providers and often the only providers contacted for mental health care.17–19 In the United States and Canada, studies have found that PCPs are responsible for prescribing between 60 and 80% of psychotropic medications (Druss BG, Rosenheck RA, 2000).

Canada’s mEntAl iLLNeSS extends further than just here.


Carney CP, Allen J, Doebbeling BN. Receipt of clinical preventive medical services among psychiatric patients. Psychiatric Services 2002; 53(8):1028–1030.

The Committee on Crossing the Quality chasm: Adaptation to mental health and addictive disorders. Improving the quality of health care for mental and substance-use conditions: Quality chasm series. 2006.

Druss BG, Bradford DW, Rosenheck RA, Radford MJ, Krumholz HM. Mental disorders and use of cardiovascular procedures after myocardial infarction. Journal of the American Journal Association 2000; 283(4):506–511.

Druss BG, Rosenheck RA. Locus of mental health treatment in an integrated service system. Psychiatric Services 2000; 51(7):890–892.

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Dean Mathers


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