Prioritizing Mental Health Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic:
Mental Illness Awareness Week 2020
OTTAWA (October 5, 2020) – The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) is proud to highlight that there is no health without mental health this Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). MIAW (October 4-10) is an annual public campaign to spread awareness on the reality of mental illness. The campaign looks to inform Canadians about the importance of mental health, and how it should be treated as a health priority in Canada.
One in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness at some point in their life. By age 40, 5 per cent of Canadians will have or have had a mental illness. As Canadians continue to grapple with the effects of the ongoing pandemic, the country is understanding more and more, that mental health needs to be a priority.
“Mental Illness Awareness Week emphasizes that Canadians believe mental illness needs to be treated with parity,” said Dr Jenny Rowett, National President of CCPA. “Now, more than ever, as Canadians adjust their lifestyles to deal with COVID-19, we need to continue to advocate to prioritize mental health on the same level as physical health.”
MIAW was first established in 1992 and is now headed by the Canadian Alliance of Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) in cooperation with member organizations, including CCPA, and supporters across the country.
“While we support raising awareness and removing stigmas around mental health, we recognize that tangible actions needs to be taken to support mental health,” said Carrie Foster, Quebec Anglophone Director for CCPA. “Tools are being developed to help people cope with the impact of COVID-19, but many people were already experiencing long wait times and barriers to accessing mental health treatment before the pandemic. We need to ensure they can access mental health services when they need them.”
Previously existing mental health problems coupled with the effects of isolation, job security, and trying to keep our families safe, mean we need to act now to ensure people are getting the help they need, when they need it. Counsellors and psychotherapists across the country have transitioned to online platforms, and are ready to provide their services. The services of counsellors and psychotherapists are cost-effective and are complementary to the work of other service providers.
“With the commitment from the federal government of increasing access to mental health resources in the Speech from the Throne, we are encouraged that mental illness awareness and access will continue on a positive path as we navigate through this pandemic,” concluded Dr Rowett.
For more information about Mental Illness Awareness Week, visit www.camimh.ca.
If you are looking for therapeutic support, go to www.ccpa-accp.ca, where you can search for a Canadian Certified Counsellor in your region. Members of the public can also find authoritative information about the profession of counselling and psychotherapy by visiting CCPA’s public website, www.talkingcanhelp.ca
The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) is a national bilingual association providing professional counsellors and psychotherapists with access to exclusive educational programs, certification, professional development and direct contact with professional peers and specialty groups. CCPA promotes the profession and its contribution to the mental health and well-being of all Canadians. For more information on the counselling and psychotherapy profession, please visit www.ccpa-accp.ca.