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Mental Illness Awareness Week highlights the need for timely access to mental health care

The first full week of October invites Canadians to share the realities of living with mental health issues through Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). CMHA-S/M will commemorate MIAW by hosting two FREE lunch-and-learn virtual presentations and by amplifying voices of those who have lived experience on our social media platforms. We are working to normalize and destigmatize conversations around mental illness.

MIAW is an annual national public education campaign coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH). The campaign aims to engage Canadians in a national conversation about mental illness and provide insight into the services and supports available.

CMHA-S/M offers a variety of services in Greater Sudbury and Manitoulin to those living with mental illness or working through mental health issues. Our nine different programs aim to improve the lives of community members by not only providing services and programs but also by reducing stigma, raising awareness, advocating for individuals and tackling the social determinants of health.

The pandemic has brought on new challenges and highlighted existing struggles that Canadians face. A survey by CMHA Ontario showed that nearly half (48 per cent) of Ontarians say their mental health has worsened over the past two years. Substance use among Ontarians has also increased, and one in four people (24 per cent) have sought help for their mental health challenges since the pandemic began.

Access to services and community support play a big part in the way people experience mental illnesses. As a member of CAMIMH, CMHA supports the vision of a Canada where everyone has timely access to mental health programs, services and supports without barriers. Visit the CAMIMH website for more information on the MIAW campaign.

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