Mental Health Information

Facts About Mental Illness

Statistics

  • Mental illness strikes more Albertans than breast cancer, diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease.
  • 1 in 4 people will be diagnosed with a mental illness at some point in their lives.
  • Mental health problems are the number one reason why people see their doctor.
  • Mental health problems are the leading cause of disability in Canadian workplaces; one in four employees are struggling with mental health problems.
  • At any given time, up to 70% of the people living on the street have some form of a mental illness.
  • There are more than  400  deaths due to suicide in Alberta every year.
  • The suicide rate in Alberta is higher than the Canadian average. In Alberta, more people die by suicide than in motor vehicle collisions.

About Mental Illness

  • Mental illness includes a wide range of illnesses ranging from mild to severe that affect a person’s thoughts, feelings, perceptions and functioning. Examples include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.
    Mental illnesses can be treated effectively.
  • Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels.
  • Mental illness is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors.
  • Stigma is the main barrier to diagnosis, treatment and acceptance of mental illness.
  • It is estimated that 40% of Albertans don’t know the signs and symptoms of mental illness. Close to 75% of those that do, will not seek help due to the stigma or discrimination associated with mental illnesses.
  • Depression and Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses, affecting one in twelve Canadians.
  • Depression has surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of disability in Canada.  By 2020, it is expected that it will be the leading cause of disability worldwide.
  • Schizophrenia affects 1% of the Canadian population.
    Bipolar Disorder affects 1% of the Canadian population.

Where to find help: click here