1 in 3 Canadians have had mental health or substance problems


Statistics Canada says one in three Canadians report they have had mental-health or substance-abuse problems.

The Canadian Community Health Survey released Wednesday found more than 9.1 million people over the age of 15 reported in 2012 having had a “major depressive episode, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and abuse of/or dependence on alcohol, cannabis or other drugs” in their lifetime.

But officials from the Canadian Mental Health Association fear that mental-health and substance-abuse issues are largely under-reported.

“The nature of the report is one in which people are self-reporting and stigma tells us that very often people don’t want to talk about substance or mental-health issues,” said Camille Quenneville, CEO of Ontario’s Canadian Mental Health Association.

Quenneville also took issue that the survey didn’t include certain groups known to have mental-health and drug problems, including aboriginals living on reserves, prisoners or full-time Canadian Forces members.

However, Quenneville said the most alarming statistic is that Canadian youth were found to have suffered from mood disorders or substance abuse more than any other age group.

“The fact that we’re not doing enough for the young people really sticks out to us. We certainly see it. We do serve families in the community and that’s critically important,” she said.

More than 30% of Canadians aged 15 to 24 said they had suffered from mental or substance disorders in their lifetime. Nearly 19% said they had in the previous 12 months. Read more…


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