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Mental Health Week

Okay I’m pretty late…Happy Mental Health Week!  Mental Health Week was May 1-7.  Okay…so I’m very late!

Life has been crazy busy, having a newborn and all.  Other than the regular hormones, I’ve been feeling mostly great.  Baby boy does not nap much but I am very luck that he sleeps wonderfully at night! Getting a good 6-9 hours of sleep every night has been exceptional for my mental health.

I’m shocked I haven’t had any bouts of PPD.  I know how lucky I am.  I think I can credit this to placenta encapsulation.  I know….kind of gross…I may be judged for this.  But I decided that if I possibly prevent PPD, I would give it a shot.  I have felt a lot of energy and been generally pretty happy, other than the normal struggles with a newborn.

Anyway, lets talk a bit about Mental Health Week and what it means to me.  As you know if you read my blog, I’m all about talking about mental health in order to lessen the stigma.  Recently I’ve been hearing about many teens and young adults struggling with their mental health.  I can remember being 16 and realizing “wow this is not normal,” but also feeling like a total freak.  Doctors?  No.  Medication? No thanks.  Therapist? Are you kidding me.  Psychiatrist? Never!  I finally got help at the age or 22 and it was the best decision I've ever made.

The stigma around mental illness has come a long way in 14 years but it still has a long way to come.  I believe in a small town it is especially hard for teens and young adults to reach out.  Will everyone find out?  What will people say?  Will they judge me?

  • It is estimated that 10-20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder – the single most disabling group of disorders worldwide.
  • Today, approximately 5% of male youth and 12% of female youth, age 12 to 19, have experienced a major depressive episode.
  • The total number of 12-19 year olds in Canada at risk for developing depression is a staggering 3.2 million.
  • Once depression is recognized, help can make a difference for 80% of people who are affected, allowing them to get back to their regular activities.
  • Mental illness is increasingly threatening the lives of our children; with Canada’s youth suicide rate the third highest in the industrialized world.
  • Suicide is among the leading causes of death in 15-24 year old Canadians, second only to accidents; 4,000 people die prematurely each year by suicide.
  • Schizophrenia is youth’s greatest disabler as it strikes most often in the 16 to 30 year age group, affecting an estimated one person in 100.
  • Surpassed only by injuries, mental disorders in youth are ranked as the second highest hospital care expenditure in Canada.
  • In Canada, only 1 out of 5 children who need mental health services receives them.

(Statistics taken from http://www.cmha.ca/media/fast-facts-about-mental-illness/#.WR3z_xiZP6Y)

I truly hope that someday in the near future, more teens are willing to talk about their mental health, help each other more, and be less afraid to speak out.  The world can be a scary place, but it would be wonderful if we could come together and help each other out.