Ontario colleges face mental-health crisis

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In a speech to be delivered this morning, Mr Coleman will focus on mental health and addiction services, and launch a new programme to try to improve how patients are transferred, medications prescribed, and to ensure lessons are learnt from serious events and complaints.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health challenge, the health department suggests you reach out to a trusted friend, family member, teacher, counsellor or elder for help. "For example, around 60 percent of the people who die by suicide in New Zealand each year have not interacted with a mental health or addiction service in the previous 12 months".

"The reality is that many teenagers needing mental health help or new mothers with postnatal depression will not have a parent in prison or on a benefit so they will not get seen any faster or get the help they need". Some of the stigmas individuals with the diseases of mental health face include phrases such as, "Just try to be happy and you will be OK".

Remember: the worst thing about a mental illness is pretending you don't have one. Engaging people in conversations about mental illness is important at every stage of recovery. If you have a chronic heart condition, you would seek treatment and follow the recommendations of a doctor.

"Mental illness makes people violent".

A mental health problem can be just as disruptive and life altering as a physical illness and can take just as much time to treat and heal.

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"Mental illness is a sign of weakness".

I am often asked what signs and symptoms a loved one might be showing that may indicate mental health concerns. "You may lose interest in activities that you may have enjoyed before". Sometimes a person might respond after knowing you are consistently there for them.

Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, and Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, were at the University of Toronto today to highlight $6 million in additional funding for three years to support mental health services and supports at Ontario's colleges and universities.

Two free Youth Mental Health First Aid training classes are planned in the mid-valley.

Support is also available at your local health centre.

The next meeting for the Wellness and Prevention Coalition will be at 4 p.m. on May 9 at the Triton Conference Center at San Clemente High School, located at 700 Avenida Pico.