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Let’s Talk About Addiction AND Mental Illness Together

The word addiction still paints a stereotype of what a person with substance abuse problems looks like. Several people still believe it’s a moral failing. Many biases stem from the way we were brought up, cultural taboos, negative experiences or a lack of understanding. Stigma is one of the biggest challenges people face when they talk about addiction and mental health.

During the Bell Let’s Talk day on January 27th, 2016, as part of the Edgewood Health Network, we will work with Healthy Minds Canada to shed a light on addiction and mental illnesses that many of our clients often have in conjunction with addiction. Canadians are certainly making a progress in terms of talking about mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bi-polar disorder. What many don’t know is that people with mental illness are twice as likely to have substance abuse problems. Some research reveals that 20% of Canadians with mental illness have substance abuse problems. The rate jumps to almost 50% for people with schizophrenia and substance use disorders.

Fear, stigma and lack of support are still factors that are affecting Canadians who need help with addiction and mental illness.  How can you help?

As we move into 2016, let’s make better choices with our words, our workplace policies, and in our schools about how we view, treat and support people who have an addiction, are in recovery or have mental illnesses. People with addiction and mental illnesses don’t choose to have these diseases and illnesses, but you can choose to be kind and understanding.

[Infographic about Addiction and Mental Illness in Canada]

Addiction & Mental Illness in Canada (2)

Sources:

https://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/about_camh/newsroom/for_reporters/Pages/addictionmentalhealthstatistics.aspx

https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/end-the-stigma/

https://www.edgewoodhealthnetwork.com/national-addictions-awareness-week-addiction-matters/