The Human Face of Mental Health and Mental Illness in Canada

1 January 2018

Mental health can affect children, adults or seniors and it can be triggered by simple daily actions such as a high stress life, balancing relationships or biological factors. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, nearly 1 in 5 children and youth in Ontario have a mental health challenge (CMHA Ontario, 2018). Every youth is different and may encounter mental health different; children and youth show their problems in different areas of their lives and in a variety of ways (CMHA Ontario, 2018).

Stress for children may formulate in different ways such as anxiety, substance abuse, aggression, depression and unstable household. For example, a youth that may strive academically but might encounter challenges such as high social anxiety levels and peer pressure. Secondly, adults are similarly affected by mental health in the duration of their lifetime. These adults experience mental health challenges in varied forms such as negative health conditions and positive health conditions. Factors that negatively and positively affect a person’s lifestyle include education history, early life experiences, employment and working conditions, housing, race or sexual orientation (CMHA Ontario, 2018).

The positive quality analyzes these factors with strong emotional and physical health, stable household and steady lifestyle versus a negative aspect where, it affects young adults with heavy stress, poor lifestyle, unemployment and discrimination because of race or disability (CMHA Ontario, 2018). Lastly, nearly 1.8 million people over 60 years of age were living with a mental health illness in Canada in 2016 (Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2018). These issues have developed earlier in their teen years and continued through their adult life. Some issues that have a continuous effect on the mental health for seniors include: changes such as loss of loved ones, retirement, and decreasing social support networks can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety in later life (CMHA Ontario, 2018).

If these issues are left untouched, it can increase higher stress levels amongst elder citizens that can eventually impact our healthcare system with greater financial costs. As elders’ age, they have many illnesses such as poor health; heart conditions or depression and most of these intersect with mental health issues. Mental health and criminality does not affect one demographic, it can hit those who are marginalized from society.

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