By Brett Poirier
Feb. 7, 2014
A Canadian survey showed 90 per cent of students have felt overwhelmed in their school year. About 63 per cent felt alone and 50 per cent felt hopeless.
Health and Wellness Minister Currie wants to change those statistics.
“It’s such an important issue. People of all ages can be stressed by mental health.”
Mental health was the topic of discussion at a Holland College-organized event on Monday.
About 300 students were in attendance at the Centre for Community Engagement to listen to Currie and others about the importance of recognizing mental health.
“P.E.I. is working on improving mental health,” said the minister.
Currie recently said he wants to replace the old Hillsborough Hospital, P.E.I.’s mental health primary building. He is concerned by some parts of the building, which are over 100 years old, and he said 75 beds isn’t enough to meet the need of Islanders.
He said he hopes the government’s involvement will have a positive impact on mental health and help people realize it’s a serious issue.
“Mental health is no different than any other health issue. People of all ages can be affected by it.”
At some point, just about everyone is affected either directly or indirectly. About 20 per cent of Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
Reid Burke, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association/P.E.I. Division, echoed the minister’s comments.
“We should treat mental health just like we would physical health,” said Reid.
The number of Canadians affected by mental health issues sometimes outweighs the physical issues. Each day 500,000 Canadian miss work due to a mental issue.
The overlying message of the presentation wasn’t sadness, but hope.
“Some of the best people in our communities struggle with mental health,” said Burke.
“You can overcome these issues.”