Opinion

EDITORIAL: Learn about mental health

There are myriad problems that can present themselves daily.

They can be annoying or stressful to varying degrees, and cumulatively, a legitimate concern. There are countless ways for people to vent about common, everyday issues.

But millions of Canadians suffer daily with an often unseen and unarticulated affliction: depression.

This insidious mental health issue has been gaining attention for the past decade, and that positive focus must continue.

There still exists a stigma towards those who suffer mental health problems, and that’s unfair and unnecessary.

One in five Canadians will have to deal with some form of mental illness in their life. And according to Paul McCracken, who works at Mission’s Centennial Place as an employment specialist, many of the people who are diagnosed do hold down jobs and have a mortgage.

Commonly, those afflicted with depression will isolate themselves, or feel acute anxiety in social situations.

Depression is different than just feeling low. Someone experiencing it grapples with feelings of severe despair over an extended period of time. Almost every aspect of their life can be affected, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Many suffer in silence because they fear how they will be perceived by their friends and family.

This should not be.

Clinical depression is not a failing or weakness of character. It is a medical condition, which can often be mitigated through a combination of several factors such as therapy, lifestyle changes and/or medication.

Reaching out to people with all types of mental health challenges is something Centennial Place does daily, and the public is encouraged to come out and celebrate mental wellness from May 5-9.

Tagged as Mental Health Week (see story on page 11), there are numerous events happening in Mission, with the aim of celebrating people’s strengths.

Make the time to get educated.

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