Ending the stigma of mental illness
Oct. 2 – 8 marks Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), the goal of which is to raise awareness and end the stigma attached to mental illness.
According to MIAW, “nearly one in five Canadians is affected by mental illness, yet a persistent stigma prevents millions from getting the help they need.”
There are many types of mental illness that fall under the umbrella term, including depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and even schizophrenia.
Aaron, a 21-year-old Mohawk student, whose real name he doesn’t want to be released, suffers from depression and anxiety attacks.
“It is just something I have to live with every day,” says Aaron. “I have to be constantly aware of my stress levels, and manage my day properly so I don’t have an anxiety attack in the middle of it. Some days are harder than others, but I work through them to get to the good days.”
This week has been recognized since 1992, when the Canadian Alliance of Mental Illness and Mental Health along with the Canadian Psychiatric Association established it.
MIAW is encouraging people everywhere to remember that recovery is possible, and to look for help when it is needed.