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HomeNewsDealing with mental health in Northern BC

Dealing with mental health in Northern BC

A survey was recently released by Sunlife Financial saying roughly half (49%) of Canadians will be or already have been impacted by some form of mental health issue.

Clara Donnelly from the British Columbia Schizophrenia Society in Smithers had a chance to read over the report, and she gives us her take on the survey from the Bulkley Valley side of things.

“I’m glad this report was made available to the public,” says Donnelly, “it brings light to an issue we need to deal with. I want people in the Valley to know that whether it’s something like workplace stress or schizophrenia, you don’t have to deal with it alone, support is available.”

A little background on the survey:

  • The Sun Life Financial Barometer is based on findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 13 and October 19, 2017.
  • A sample of 2,900 Canadians was drawn from the Ipsos I-Say online panel: 2,900 Canadians from 20 to 80 years of age. The data for Canadians surveyed were weighted to ensure the sample’s regional, age, and gender composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population.
  • The precision of Ipsos online poll is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 2.1% at 95% confidence level had all Canadian adults been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to methodological change, coverage error, and measurement error.

Key highlights of the 2,900 surveyed include:

  • 37% reported suffering from anxiety,
  • 30% have dealt with depression,
  • Millennials, ages 20 to 34, are most likely to report mental health concerns at 63%, followed by Generation X 50%, and Late Boomers 41%.

“The numbers speak for themselves – many Canadians say they have experienced a mental health issue in their life. To get at the heart of the issue, we need to open the lines of safe communication and work together to remove barriers,” said Jacques Goulet, President, Sun Life Financial Canada. “Connect with your personal support network, speak with your family physician, or tap into your workplace mental health benefits – these are some of the ways to find the help that’s right for you.”

Despite how common mental illnesses are, people continue to suffer in silence. 27% did not speak to a health professional about what they were going through. Donnelly says no matter what level of mental health issue, you should speak with someone if you’re struggling.

“People are scared to address their issues and they shouldn’t be,” says Donnelly, “mental health is something we need to talk about to make better. My job is to bring advocacy, education, and support to all members of the community struggling with mental health issues, to let them know, this is what we can do to make things better.”

More on the BC Schizophrenia Society can be found here.

Mental health information from Northern Health can be found here.

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