Shaping the future of mental health care: World Mental Health Day 2023

Every year, on October 10th, the world comes together to observe World Mental Health Day, a day that reminds us of the profound impact mental health has on individuals, communities, and societies. It’s a day when we collectively raise our voices to spread awareness about mental health issues and advocate for better access to mental health services. This year, our team at Imagine Citizens Network (ICN) urges you to have a heart-to-heart about the significance of early intervention, the importance of sharing our experiences and promoting awareness, and how communities can work together to make a substantial difference in the delivery of mental health care.

Mental health affects every facet of our lives. It influences our emotions, thoughts, and behaviours, and in turn, our relationships, work, and overall well-being. When left unattended, it can lead to serious consequences, including depression, anxiety, self-harm, and even suicide. Suicide rates among young people, especially in places like Alberta, are a stark reminder of the urgency in addressing these issues.

ICN understands the gravity of the situation and envisions a future where individuals are resilient and empowered to achieve their full potential.

Early Intervention: The Key to a Brighter Future

Early intervention in mental health is like catching a small flame before it becomes an uncontrollable blaze. Mental health problems can manifest early in life, with research indicating that approximately 14% of children aged 4 to 17 experience some form of mental health challenge. Contrary to the misconception that children naturally outgrow these challenges, long-term studies reveal that this is not the case.

When we step in early, we can significantly improve outcomes and reduce the long-term impact of mental health issues. We can support individuals in fostering resilience and equip them with the tools to navigate life’s challenges.

The Power of Sharing Your Experience

World Mental Health Day encourages us to open up and share our mental health knowledge and experiences. When we share our struggles, we contribute to breaking the stigma surrounding mental health. This openness fosters an environment where individuals can seek the help they need without feeling ashamed or fearful.

The Imagine Citizens Network Child and Youth Mental Health Group (CYMH) provides a platform for youth, parents, families, and friends to share their stories. By sharing experiences, we don’t just provide support to one another; we create a community that advocates for transformative change.

The Child and Youth Mental Health Group (CYMH) takes a community-based approach to mental health. We believe in collectively calling for prevention, early intervention, and responsive mental health care for young people. We are dedicated to advancing knowledge about effective programs and services that lower the risk of mental health problems in children and youth.

The group aims to promote programs and services that address the gaps in child and youth mental health prevention and care. They recognize that mental health services can’t be one-size-fits-all; instead, we advocate for holistic approaches that consider the social determinants of mental health.

A Call to Action

This World Mental Health Day, we invite you to actively participate in shaping the future of mental health care. Regardless of whether you’ve personally engaged with mental health services, your voice holds weight. You can have a say in the services and care available to patients and families.

As we observe World Mental Health Day, we have an opportunity to create a society where mental health is a priority, where early intervention is the norm, and where no one suffers in silence.

If you’re passionate about influencing mental health care and delivery, reach out and connect with the Imagine Citizens Network Child and Youth Mental Health Group (CYMH). Together, we can transform mental health care and empower individuals to lead healthier, happier lives. World Mental Health Day is not just a day of awareness; it’s a call to action, and your involvement can make a difference.