Mental Illness Awareness Week Starts

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2024 DateMay 6, 2024
2025 DateMay 6, 2025

Mental Illness Awareness Week Starts

Mental Illness Awareness Week Starts in
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Mental Illness Awareness Week History

Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) aims at raising awareness and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health issues. The event encourages open conversation about mental health, educates the public about mental health disorders, and promotes support for those affected. Important aspects of the observance include mental health education initiatives, media campaigns, and advocacy for improved mental health services and policies.

In Canada, Mental Illness Awareness Week traces its roots back to 1992 and was established in cooperation with the Canadian Psychiatric Association and other mental health organizations. One particular focus is the high prevalence of mental health issues among Indigenous peoples, whose rates of suicide and self-harm are significantly higher than those of non-Indigenous Canadians. MIAW seeks to address issues concerning access to mental health services and supports, particularly in rural and remote areas where resources are limited.

Mental Illness Awareness Week is observed in Canada through various events and activities organized by community groups, non-profit organizations, and mental health advocates. These may include workshops, seminars, and information sessions as well as public awareness campaigns on social media and traditional media outlets. The annual observance of MIAW typically takes place during the first full week of October, aligning with international mental health initiatives such as World Mental Health Day on October 10th. Mental Illness Awareness Week starts on October 1st in 2023.

Top facts about Mental Illness Awareness Week Starts

  • Women are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, while men are more likely to be diagnosed with substance use disorders and antisocial personality disorder.
  • In 2023, Statistics Canada reported that over 5 million Canadians were diagnosed with anxiety disorder.
  • Around 20% of the world's children and adolescents have a mental health condition, with half of all mental illnesses beginning by the age of 14.
  • Mental illnesses cost the Canadian economy over $50 billion per year in healthcare costs, lost productivity, and reductions in health-related quality of life.
  • Among youth in Canada aged 15 to 24, approximately 25% reported having mental illness symptoms. It's the second leading cause of death among young people in Canada.
  • Despite the high prevalence of mental health disorders, only about one-third of those who need mental health services in Canada actually receive them.

Top things to do for Mental Illness Awareness Week

  • Donate to reputable charities that help those affected by mental illness. Some examples are Mental Health Research Canada and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation.
  • Watch a movie that focuses on mental health. Here are our suggestions:
    Inside Out (2015)
    Infinitely Polar Bear (2015)
    The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (2012)
  • Watch Three Voices, a Canadian documentary which presents three different perspectives on the mental health system: the patient, the caregiver, and the psychiatrist.

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