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“Depression: Let’s Talk” for World Health Day

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared April 7 “World Health Day.” Celebrated every year, this year’s World Health Day recognizes what has become a worldwide epidemic: depression.

WHO’s “Depression: Let’s Talk” campaign promotes talking about depression as a vital component of recovery. Depression affects hundreds of thousands of Canadians, and more than 300 million people globally. It is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. It is also highly treatable. However, a lack of treatment options and fear of stigma prevent many people from seeking the care they need. This is true, even in Canada.

Dr. Patrick Smith, CMHA National CEO, and Mark Henick, CMHA National Director of Strategic Initiatives appeared on CTV’s Your Morning with Ben Mulroney, bringing focus to the impact of depression on Canadians.

Depression doesn’t discriminate: it affects people of all ages, walks of life, and in all countries worldwide. WHO’s “Depression: Let’s Talk” campaign focuses on particularly vulnerable groups, including women (particularly following childbirth), older adults, and adolescents. Depression is a major risk factor for suicide, and suicide is the leading cause of non-accidental death among youth aged 15-29.

Preparing to “GET LOUD for Mental Health” during CMHA Mental Health Week, May 1-7, 2017, CMHA is declaring this year that Canadians are “sick of waiting.” Canadians are sick of waiting for mental health care, for mental health funding, and for workplaces to be psychologically safe. We are sick of waiting for mental health education in schools, for adequate housing, and for the respect they need and deserve. For more information, go to

The WHO campaign echoes Bell Let’s Talk, a highly successful Canadian campaign that also promotes talking about mental health as a path to recovery. WHO recommends talking to sympathetic family members, friends or to a medical professional, in every setting in society, including schools and workplaces.

Celebrated every year, World Health Day coincides with the founding of the World Health Organization, on April 7, 1948.