A recent poll suggests Canada still has not made enough strides on mental illness.
The new data collected by the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto shows 40% of Canadians have experienced depression or anxiety but have not sought medical help.
Women’s College Department of Medicine, Dr. Valerie Taylor believes the stigma surrounding the issue is still at the forefront.
“The whole stigma associated with the mental health diagnosis is part of it, people still see it as weakness, not illness, some people think if they were just more resilient or felt stronger they wouldn’t feel the way they currently do.”
While initiatives like “Bell Let’s Talk Day” have helped turn things around, more work still needs to be done according to Taylor.
“I think it’s really swung the meter. We are much further ahead than five years ago than if we had done this poll sooner. However, we can’t assume just because great initiatives are out there solving this is a done deal.”
Taylor believes having people in high-profile jobs such as firefighters, teachers, lawyers who identify having a mental illness could help end the stigma.
42% of respondents also said they would be embarrassed to admit if they suffered a mental issue.
(Files from Colin Dacre with MY PRINCE GEORGE NOW)