Every year, October 10 marks World Mental Health Day supported by the World Health Organization (WHO). The theme for 2017 is Mental Health in the Workplace. According to the WHO there are over 300 million people suffering from depression and over 260 million living with anxiety worldwide.

 

We need to put more into prevention by focusing on the mental health of the next generation of workers – starting in childhood. We know that 70% of mental illnesses have their start in childhood or adolescence and we also know that identification and the appropriate treatment of these issues in childhood can have a dramatic effect on the level of care required into adulthood.

 

Amanda Todd Legacy

For Canadian Carol Todd, World Mental Health Day also marks the day that her daughter, Amanda, died by suicide in 2012. Carol now fights to raise awareness about youth mental health and has started up the #lightuppurple campaign on World Mental Health Day each year. The Amanda Todd Legacy Society asks landmarks around the world to light up purple (Amanda’s favorite color) to raise awareness for mental health, mental illness and mental wellness. In Toronto, look for the Bloor Viaduct to be lit in purple in Amanda’s honour.

Carol says, “Seeing the purple all over gives me a sense of peaceful fulfillment that we are doing something that Amanda would have been so proud of.  And that we are waking up the world about mental health awareness, and that is something she wished for.”

 

Kids Can’t Wait

Currently, children and youth in need of mental health services on Ontario can wait up to 18 months for the appropriate treatment, if they receive treatment at all. This is not right; our kids can’t wait.

 

Visit www.kidsmentalhealthcantwait.ca to send a message to Premier Wynne. Tell her we need to invest in our kids and their future today.