Mental Health Awareness week Oct. 1 – 7 / World Mental Health Day Oct. 10

 

The beginning of this month marks a global focus on mental health education, awareness and advocacy for those who suffer from the condition and stigma of mental illness.

Our mental health, good or bad, affects our daily life, relationships and even physical health at any age – childhood, adolescence or adulthood. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices.

It’s more than just being happy all the time. When things are out of balance, we all need a support system.

When we don’t have that support, we can become susceptible to a range of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety and addictive behaviours – more commonly referred to as mental illness. This is especially true for those most vulnerable in our communities, particularly low-income Calgarians who are dealing with the effects of poverty and adverse life experiences (ACEs).

Integrated, evidence-based programs from social, health and education sources, such as CUPS, are crucial to helping those in need. As is reducing the stigma by asking for help and the training of health care providers to more correctly diagnose these conditions.

At the CUPS Shared Health Clinic, the mental health team provides patients with specialized counselling, psychiatric assessment and follow-up, medication support, and referrals for addictions counselling and other mental health support agencies and programs.

Currently, the program supports 546 patients; 97% of whom have been diagnosed with some form of mental illness out of which 76% have significant mental health conditions.

As part of its implementation of the Valuing Mental Health recommendations, the Government of Alberta recently announced a $1.4 million, three-year funding grant to CUPS to remove the current waitlist for mental health and

addictions patients. This translates into an increase in support, staff and most importantly, the number of patients who can receive treatment each year to 800.

This funding is very welcome news. However, there are still many individuals and families that need help.

Help us #ShineALIght for those who continue to face barriers to access adequate health care and the diagnosis, treatment and support for mental health issues.

For every $1 donated to CUPS, we create a $10 positive impact on society. 74% of your donations and other funding goes directly to CUPS Service Delivery, including support for mental health issues.


Since its inception nearly 30 years ago, CUPS has been helping low-income Calgarians overcome the challenges of poverty and attain brighter futures. In 2017, more than 11,000 clients accessed CUPS programs, a 23% increase from the previous year. In the same period, the CUPS Health Clinic team handled more than 40,000 patient visits.



#ShineALight on the Numbers

● 1 in 10 Calgarians live in poverty

● 1 in 4 Canadians lives with diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes

● 1 in 5 Canadians experience mental illness or addiction problems each year

● 4 million people in Canada experience food insecurity

● 1 in 8 Canadian households struggle to put food on the table.

● An estimated 45% of the overall homeless population are individuals living with mental illness

● 28 – 34% of shelter users are Indigenous peoples

● 40% of Indigenous children in Canada live in poverty






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