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More and more people are affected by mental illnesses

by admin October 7, 2009

More and more people are affected by mental illnesses

by Archives October 6, 2009

Depression and other mental illnesses are increasing worldwide, but only 25 per cent of these affected are getting treatment. In 10 years, depression will be the second leading cause of death, according to the World Health Organization.
According to Statistics Canada, nearly 30 per cent of young Quebecers are living with a lot of stress in their lives. This can become a serious problem, said Dr. Joseph Rochford, director of the academic affairs at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute.
“It’s a big issue,” he said. “What people call depression today is not what it used to be.”
People suffering from depression are often misunderstood, he said. There is often a stigma associated with people who suffer from mental disorders, and because of this many people refuse to get treated.
“By saying people [suffering from depression] are just moaning and groaning is doing them a real disservice,” Rochford said, adding that many patients don’t want to complain but can’t help themselves on account of their strong feelings of unworthiness.
Rochford said he believes that one negative influence on mental well-being is when a person has a low sense of connection to the community.
This affects students, Rochford said, because their social groups and routines are unhinged when they leave their families and move to new areas.
Melissa Castron, a student who moved to Montreal from Vancouver, admitted that building friendships was tough at the beginning. “But through classes, and working, there are so many people with similar interests around,” she said. “It’s a matter of being open.”
Building a supportive network of friends can benefit all students, and the right type of support can aid students suffering from depression, Rochford said.
“The issue is try to be supportive,” he said. “Not empower them by saying, yes, poor you.”
Not being judgmental is the most effective help a support network can offer.
One of the biggest myths about people suffering from mental disorders is that they can not live normal, productive lives. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth, Rochford said, emphasizing that suffering from a mental illness does not stop people from living, as long as they have a strong support system.

Depression and other mental illnesses are increasing worldwide, but only 25 per cent of these affected are getting treatment. In 10 years, depression will be the second leading cause of death, according to the World Health Organization.
According to Statistics Canada, nearly 30 per cent of young Quebecers are living with a lot of stress in their lives. This can become a serious problem, said Dr. Joseph Rochford, director of the academic affairs at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute.
“It’s a big issue,” he said. “What people call depression today is not what it used to be.”
People suffering from depression are often misunderstood, he said. There is often a stigma associated with people who suffer from mental disorders, and because of this many people refuse to get treated.
“By saying people [suffering from depression] are just moaning and groaning is doing them a real disservice,” Rochford said, adding that many patients don’t want to complain but can’t help themselves on account of their strong feelings of unworthiness.
Rochford said he believes that one negative influence on mental well-being is when a person has a low sense of connection to the community.
This affects students, Rochford said, because their social groups and routines are unhinged when they leave their families and move to new areas.
Melissa Castron, a student who moved to Montreal from Vancouver, admitted that building friendships was tough at the beginning. “But through classes, and working, there are so many people with similar interests around,” she said. “It’s a matter of being open.”
Building a supportive network of friends can benefit all students, and the right type of support can aid students suffering from depression, Rochford said.
“The issue is try to be supportive,” he said. “Not empower them by saying, yes, poor you.”
Not being judgmental is the most effective help a support network can offer.
One of the biggest myths about people suffering from mental disorders is that they can not live normal, productive lives. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth, Rochford said, emphasizing that suffering from a mental illness does not stop people from living, as long as they have a strong support system.

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