New Investments in Campus Mental Health Move Ontario in the Right Direction

May is designated as Mental Health Awareness Month

"While more funding is being promised, it's unclear how much, and if any new money is going to be spent." says Kyle MacDonald People's Mental Health Report spokesperson.

Participants will learn about a five-step action plan to help adolescents in both crisis and noncrisis situations; gain insight and basic knowledge into common mental health and addiction challenges; learn about connections to appropriate mental health and addiction services and support; strengthen skills and abilities on how to identify and reach out to adolescents in distress and crisis.

And, for anonymous support, you can call the Kamatsiaqtut Help Line, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 867-979-3333 or toll free at 1-800-265-3333. Engaging people in conversations about mental illness is important at every stage of recovery.

The toolkit is meant to teach and inspire people to take an active role in their mental health and well-being, and to support others. If you have a chronic heart condition, you would seek treatment and follow the recommendations of a doctor.

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"Women and their families are now presenting with more complex needs and more than one in 10 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby", she said. In adolescents and adults, there are usually both emotional and behavioral changes, including excessive fear, worry or sadness, extreme mood changes, difficulty concentrating, lack of self-care, changes in sleeping habits, irritability or anger, avoiding activities they usually enjoy, changes in eating habits, difficulty in perceiving reality, inability to carry out daily activities, intense concern with appearance, physical ailments (headache, stomach ache), intense reactions to stressors and thoughts about suicide. Visit www.nami.org for a more comprehensive list and additional resources. "This has led to seemingly endless waiting lists and aribtrary restrictions placed on the use of campus mental health services such as no-cost professional counselling".

Support is also available at your local health centre.

"The stories submitted to our review made it clear that essential mental health services need an urgent increase in funding along with a review of where those funds are spent", says People's Mental Health Report author Marianne Elliott, "and we are pleased that the Government has responded by acknowledging the problem".

The next meeting for the Wellness and Prevention Coalition will be at 4 p.m. on May 9 at the Triton Conference Center at San Clemente High School, located at 700 Avenida Pico.

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