This year’s awareness day was proof that our society’s awareness of issues surrounding mental health is growing, with the initiative reaching a new fundraising record of approximately $6.3 million and having over 125 million calls, texts, tweets and shares.
Last year, the awareness day had a record 122 million messages and donated about $6 million to mental health initiatives.
Awareness campaigns such as these have created an environment where it is now more socially acceptable to talk about what you are going through. Celebrities such as TSN’s Michael Landsberg, Canadian Speedskater Clara Hughes, as well as Comedian Jim Carrey are among the many who have been able to tell their stories about their battles with mental health. This proves that despite it being a continuing issue across the world, the stigma behind mental health is starting to be reduced as people become more comfortable with talking about what they are facing.
Closer to home, there are many mental health initiatives across North Durham and the Kawarthas such as Community Care’s COPE Mental Health program and numerous organizations providing information to help those who are struggling, to cope such as the Canadian Mental Health Association of Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Fighting the Truth and Lakeridge Health. Information is now readily available to educate those who are misinformed, or in the past believed that it was a show of personal weakness rather than a disease.
Mental Health will always be a big issue in this country, but at least our awareness of what depression and mental health is, is increasing, as more information becomes available to everyone and the culture of acceptance is slowly changing.