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According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), one in five Canadians will develop a mental health disorder in their lives while four thousand commit suicide each year.
At the same time there is a stigma to not being able to manage one's mental health. According to the CMHA, only one in five children that need help for their mental health actually receive it while according to the Canadian Medical Association, two thirds of those having a mental health disorder do not seek help and forty percent of parents whose children had a mental health disorder would not want to admit it to others. I once read a study that about half of those asked if they would be friends with a person with a mental health disorder said no. The Mental Health Commission of Canada revealed that 46% of participants in a survey stated they believed mental health disorders to be "an excuse for poor behaviour."
It isn't fair. Mental health disorders can be caused by not only external conditions but also by genetics, personality and biological conditions. Mental health is therefore just as important as physical health. It deserves the same attention and same rights as physical health.
So today I want to tell those that are having mental health disorders, don't be afraid to seek help. Having a mental health disorder is not a sign that you failed. It isn't an excuse for any sign of weakness. To everyone, it's okay to have moments where you feel you can't manage everything. It's what makes us the human race.
We have two choices in this world. We can discriminate or we can understand. We can see mental health disorders as excuses or reasons. We can make jokes about obsessive-compulsive-disorder or depression or we can accept them. We can discourage those having mental health disorders from speaking up or we can promote an environment for them to do so. We can reconsider employees with mental health disorders or we can support them as they regain their health. Today, we carry the power to alter perspective and therefore change their consequences.
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