Mental illness affects all Canadians in some way throughout their lives. Whether you know a friend, family member, or peer that has suffered or you have suffered from it yourself, it is likely to have a presence in your life. In fact, this year alone, 1 in 5 people will suffer from a varying degree of mental illness.

Mental illness does not discriminate. You are at risk despite your age, gender, religion or socio-economic status.

The prevalence of mental illness is becoming more discussed, however, there is still a stigma attached to it. To normalize it, it’s important to gain awareness and become knowledgable about the different struggles that mental health poses.

Here are 14 fast facts about mental illness, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association:

  1. 8% of adults will have experienced a major depression. Less than half of people who have struggled with depression have not discussed this with a physician.
  2. Suicide accounts for 24% of deaths in those between 15-24 years old and is one of the leading causes of death in adolescence to middle-aged people.
  3. 1% of the population has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia.
  4. The cost of mental illness in Canada was approximately $7.9 billion in 1998.
  5. 3.2 million 12-19-year-olds are at risk of developing depression in Canada.
  6. Those who have been diagnosed with depression, and have received medical help, have 80% of chance to recover with the help of treatment.
  7. Canada has the third highest youth suicide rate in the industrialized world.
  8. 4,000 people die prematurely each year to suicide.
  9. Between ages 16 to 30 years old, there is a 1 in 100 chance of having Schizophrenia.
  10. Only 1 in 5 children with mental illness receives adequate help.
  11. Mental disorders in youth are ranked as the second highest hospital care cost.
  12. The only cause of death more prevalent in 15-24-year-olds in Canada than suicide are accidents.
  13. The mortality rate of suicide is 4 times higher in men than in women.
  14. Approximately 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder.

Whether you have suffered from a mental illness or not, make it a priority to familiarize yourself with the prevalence of it. At some point in your life, you will know somebody that will suffer from the pain of mental illness. It’s our responsibility to continue to abolish the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Written by Celina Dawdy