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A few facts about mental illness

Did you know . . .

•Mental illnesses indirectly affect all Canadians through illness in a family member, friend, or colleague.

•Twenty percent of Canadians personally will experience a mental illness during their lifetime.

•Mental illnesses affect people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures.

•The onset of most mental illnesses occurs during adolescence and young adulthood.

•A complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality, and environmental factors causes mental illnesses.

•Mental illnesses can be treated effectively.

•Mental illnesses are costly to the individual, the family, the health care system, and the community.

•The economic cost of mental illnesses in Canada was estimated to be at least $7.331 billion in 1993.

•Eight-six percent of hospitalizations for mental illness in Canada occur in general hospitals.

•In 1999, 3.8 percent of all admissions in general hospitals (1.5 million hospital days) were due to anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, major depression, personality disorders, eating disorders, and suicidal behaviour.

•The stigma attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier not only to diagnosis and treatment, but also to acceptance in the community.

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