The problem of depression is far bigger than most people can even imagine. It is insidious and impacts every aspect of one’s life no matter what gender, culture, or status one may be. Three million Canadians will experience depression at some point in their life. The stigma around the most treatable mental health issue is preventing forward movement. Together we can defy depression head on.
We are launching the Defy Depression initiative based on a four pillar approach focusing on: Activation, Access, Training & Education, and Research.
Depression is highly treatable. 80% of people can and do recover. The earlier it’s identified and treated; the more effective the outcome. Defy Depression is a comprehensive initiative with four distinct pillars:
-Screening and engagement campaign: including Depression Screening Day
-Expand partnerships with schools, post-secondary institutions, businesses, media and other service providers
-Bring issues and solutions to the mainstream media
-Ensure fee assistance subsidies are available for our most vulnerable citizens
-Expand program delivery and crisis slots to meet rising demand
-Actively market successful programs that impact depression
-Develop cultural specific programs
3. Training & Education:
-Developing a community of practice
-Training more counsellors, students, and service providers on leading international best practices
-Develop curriculum and materials for educators, administrators, corporate and HR leaders, and medical staff
-Ongoing evaluation of initiative and programs
-Literature review and gap identification for new program development
-Increase presentations and publications in academic and non-academic circles
-Share best practices with policy makers and other service providers
Who Will it Benefit?
Depression knows no bounds. It can strike anyone at any time. This initiative will impact and benefit the entire community. An individual who is depressed and untreated impacts at least three people in their network. It is important to bring the issue of depression into the focus of the community at large as it is an issue that does not discriminate based on age, gender, personality, economic, ethnic, or geographic position. Although depression is different for everyone, it still impacts children, youth, individuals, and families of all types.
Depression is not only impacting individuals, families, and communities but also our economy’s vibrancy and productivity. One in five people are depressed and approximately one in twelve employees believe they are depressed although they have not been assessed. Annually the economic cost of depression is $7.9 billion. This initiative will build a stronger community, and a stronger economy.