Commentaries, Mental Health
A call to the emergency room announced that the ambulance was on its way. Joey, a middle-aged oilfield worker, was experiencing a suspected toxic ingestion of the opioid, fentanyl.
Jason was in Grade 5 when he started having feelings for other boys. Because of those feelings he was called names, beaten up in school and even sexually assaulted. Since high school, Jason has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. He has also survived a suicide attempt.
Mental illness is the most common illness experienced by children and teens in Canada.
Who but those who have experienced it can appreciate the soul crushing anguish of mental illness? Afflictions of the mind can be paralyzing and fundamentally change the way we perceive ourselves (I am worthless), anticipate the future (my prospects are hopeless), and experience the world (life is unfair and unforgiving). The combination of self-loathing, hopelessness and despair can tragically lead to suicide.
The death of comedian Robin Williams last month sparked a worldwide discussion about suicide, its underlying causes and how it might be prevented.
One of the biggest threats to quality of life and health in aging is the loss of cognitive abilities and functional autonomy that are associated with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Our health system often divides mental health from physical health into distinct silos of care and treatment, yet no such mind-body duality exists in actual patients.
UNICEF recently released a report card ranking child well-being in the 29 richest countries on earth. Canada came 17th, placing us in the bottom half of the pack on factors such as child poverty, emotional well-being and life satisfaction.
In any developed country, politicians and clinicians are struggling to improve quality of care while reducing costs of healthcare systems.
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