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Analysis of Mental Illness

Analysis of Mental Illness

Melissa Doroshenko

NorQuest College


Assignment 1: Scholarly Paper

Reg Nugent

December 21, 2017

Analysis of Mental Illness

Many individuals are inevitably effected by mental health issues not only in Canada but also all around the world. Although mental health does not affect everyone, “the World Health Organization reports that mental disorders affect more than 450 million people around the world” (Hales & Lauzon, 2018, p. 41). Mental illness can affect physical health and also can be categorized by different disorders. Mental illness can be defined as “changes in thinking, mood, or behavior (or a combination of these) associated with significant distress, dysfunction, and impaired functioning over an extended period of time” (Hales & Lauzon, 2018, p. 41). Although it may be difficult for an individual living with mental illness to even talk about mental health issues, everyone has a role with regard to coping with the issue.

Analyzing Mental Health Issues

“Mental illness is experienced by 1 in 3 Canadians during their lifetime. Many Canadians are affected by it either directly or indirectly through family, friends or colleagues” (Government of Canada, 2017). The statistical evidence relating to the indication of mental illness within Canada is a growing healthcare concern. The evidence may not also include individuals who are not willing to share their mental health information or who have not officially been diagnosed. There are individuals who are effected by the stigma surrounding mental illness. “Research has shown that there are sex and gender differences in the incidence of mental illness in Canada: there are gender biases in the treatment of psychological disorders. Doctors are more likely to diagnose depression in women than men, and if you are a female, you are more likely to be prescribed mood-altering psychotropic drugs than men” (Mood Disorders Society of Canada, 2009). Although doctors may be more likely diagnosing depression in women, the same concept is not true about all disorders. Men tend to have an equal rate of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia as women. People from different genders and even people of different age, such as senior citizens, are at risk or suffer with mental illness. “Over 20% of all adults aged 60 and over suffer from a mental or neurological disorder (excluding headache disorders) and 6.6% of all disability (disability) adjusted life years-DALYs) among people over 60 years is attributed to mental and neurological disorders” (Mental Health of Older Adults, 2017). With the increase in mental illness in seniors comes also a risk for physical health conditions, such as those individuals living with heart disease. “Mental health usually begins during adolescence and young adulthood. However, mental illness can be experienced by people of all ages, culture, education levels, and income levels” (Government of Canada, 2017). Mental health affects the economy and community in regard to the financial burden it conveys. Most of the costs that arise in regard to mental illness is due to unemployment but another expense may be due to the psychological resources that are needed. According to the World Health Organization, “mental disorders cost national economies several billion dollars, both in terms of expenditures incurred and loss of productivity” (2003).

Health-Related Problems Caused by Mental Illness

Many people live with one or more forms of mental illness and it may affect them intellectually, physically, socially, occupationally, emotionally or spiritually. The duration and severity of these problems may vary among the individual. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hunger negatively impacts children’s academic performance” (Allane, 2017). Mental illness does not only effect the mind but also effects the body physically. Asthmatic reactions, skin conditions and digestive disorders can be caused by anxiety. Another disorder that may cause physical health problems as a result related to mental illness is depression. “According to a review of large-scale studies on depression of more than 36 000 men and women, depressed individuals were 1.5-4 times more likely to develop heart problems” (Hales & Lauzon, 2018, p. 42). Some disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder may cause symptoms that can last up to six months or even longer. Some symptoms, to name a few, include tachycardia, excessive sweating, muscle aches, hypertension, intestinal pain and irritability leading to sleep loss. These symptoms can impede on an individual’s motivation to accomplish simply activities of daily living. The intellectual and physical health-related problems can interfere with the social, occupational and emotional aspect of mental illness. Because of the stigma that conveys discrimination toward mentally ill individuals, the individuals may feel afraid to socially interact or may have social anxiety. The social anxiety induced upon individuals can negatively affect the occupational aspect of life and cause withdrawal from work. As a matter of fact, “The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that more than 3 million adults aged 18-69 have a serious mental illness. Estimates of unemployment among this group are 70-90%, a rate higher than for any group of people with disabilities” (World Health Organization, 2000). A cycle may develop among the problems pertaining to occupational and emotional effects. For example, as a result of missing work an individual may have emotional consequences and vice versa, emotional consequences may result in missing work. The severity and duration of the collected problems described depends of the individual. Mental illness id fortunately manageable with the correct medication and therapy. If an individual chooses to take an initiative to get treatment, the severity and duration of the mental disorder is not only manageable but also may subside within time.

Programs and Services that Positively Affect Mental Illness

There are many programs and services available to Canadians from different organizations. These organizations provide the necessary services for individuals to initiate and rehabilitate their mental well-being. For example, Alberta Health Services (AHS) provides free counselling and support groups for individuals facing mental illness challenges from mental disorders to addiction. Addiction Services Edmonton is one example of an organization providing programs and services to support mental illness. Addiction Services Edmonton provides walk-in service that is personalized in assessing, treating and referring individuals, families and groups. Addiction Services Edmonton can be described as a helpful resourceful organization that assists in directing individuals of all cultures, gender, and religion in conveying the right path toward mental illness and addiction. Another example of an organization that helps to positively reinforce mental health is the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). The CMHA “promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness” (Canadian Mental Health Organization, 2017). The Canadian Mental Health Organization can be described as a Canadian based resource providing support and services to individuals experiencing the effects of mental illness. The website for CMHA is a useful tool in providing education regarding a variety of mental disorders and advocating different professional resources in which an individual can use. A final organization actively involved in alleviating mental illness is the CASA Foundation. CASA was formed in 1998 as an investment for future mental health of children, adolescents and their families within the community. CASA has over 20 programs and services that are designated to specific mental health issues of children. CASA may be described as an organization that promotes the early treatment of mental illness which helps to convey the overall management and duration of mental health.

Targeted Population of Mental Illness Programs/ Services

Because mental health effects both males and females, seniors, children and individuals of different cultures and race, Alberta Health Services, the Canadian Mental Health Association and CASA all promote the mental well-being of various individuals. Alberta Health Services provides resources for people of all gender, race, age and location in Alberta. Alberta Health Services is provincial based and provides programs and services throughout the rural and urban parts of the province. Outreach is available provincial wide through resources online and through phone. Alberta Health Services easily provides a health link number (811) that can be accessed by anyone throughout the province seeking support. The Canadian Mental Health Association also provides resources for people of all gender, race, age and location throughout Canada. The Canadian Mental Health Association is nationally based and throughout website navigation, finding mental health resources is easy. With the Canadian Mental Health Association being a national resource, it makes it easily accessible to those of both rural and urban individuals. the Canadian Mental Health Association has locations in 330 communities across Canada. Outreach is easily accessible via internet ( CASA is an organization that also provides resources for people of all gender, race, age and location throughout Canada. CASA is municipally based and provides resources for Edmontonians, identifying them as an urban resource. Outreach is conveniently available via website (

Strengths Relating to Mental Illness Programs/ Services

CASA foundation is a unique organization because it provides strength relating to the municipality of Edmonton. City based resources can be useful in targeting specific areas. Fortunately, the CASA foundations programs and services are free of charge which helps target people of all gender, race, age and location throughout Edmonton. Along with CASA, Alberta Health Services is unique in the way that it is a provincial service that provides programs for Albertans. Within Alberta, both rural and urban citizens can access outreach from Alberta Health Services. Alberta Health Services is funded by provincial healthcare and free of charge for people of all gender, race, age and location throughout Alberta which targets many people. This promotes education, prevention and treatment throughout the programs and services provided. The Canadian Mental Health Organization is unique in providing care for individuals nation-wide. Although it is national, the outreach website helps to conveniently locate mental health help within specific areas in Canada. Luckily, healthcare is free of charge in Canada, thus making the support available for people of all gender, race, age and location throughout Canada. Nationally, this program promotes targeting people all over the nation and helps promote education, prevention and treatment.

Weaknesses or Limitations Relating to Mental Illness Programs/ Services

If more people fight the stigma of mental health and seek appropriate care, CASA foundation, Alberta Health Services and the Canadian Mental Health Association could potentially and probably improve through patient/ client feedback. By respecting the mental health of each and every individual, CASA foundation, Alberta Health Services and the Canadian Mental Health Association can improve their services regarding to specialized treatments regarding mental illness. With the promotion of these programs and services, more and more people may be positively affected and promote spreading the word of them thus making them more available to people locally, provincially and nationally. It is a great benefit that healthcare throughout Canada, provincially and municipally, is inexpensive and free of charge for the great majority of Canadians.

Positive Effects Relating to Mental Illness Programs/ Services

The services and programs provided by CASA foundation, Alberta Health Services and the Canadian Mental Health Organization help prevent and ultimately treat mental illness. Prevention is related to treatment in the aspect that if an individual imitates seeking help for their mental illness, the various programs and services can help treat mental illness while managing to prevent it. If the municipal, provincial and national programs and services were not available, many individuals would have an even more difficult time reaching out to manage their mental illness.

The Future of the Health Issue

Because some mental disorders are hereditary, mental health has a great chance of remaining present throughout society in 5, 10, and even 50 years from now. Fortunately, programs and services offered by CASA, Alberta Health Services and the Canadian Mental Health Organization offer helpful resources in preventing and treating mental health. Mental illness prevention and treatment programs are expected to increase over time with the growing amount of awareness and support surrounding individuals nationally. Early recognition of mental illness and appropriate response can minimize the impact of the illness. According to the Government of Canada, “Factors such as: good parenting, social support, meaningful employment and social roles, adequate income, physical activity, and an internal locus of control all contribute to better mental health and can assist with recovery from mental illness” (2017). If unlimited resources such as money and people were available, recommended would be a program that offers services that cater to the stigma surrounding mental health. This category of program and services would promote each and every individual address specific solutions designated to personal mental illness and even cater to several disorders within a single person. More patient/ client feedback would help to improve and promote specific programs and services pertaining to mental illness. Individuals who receive prime healthcare treatment regarding their mental illness are more likely to spread the word of such services that conveyed their treatment. Of course, inexpensive resources are a major contribution toward the positive effects of mental illness. More mental illness programs and services would affect individuals intellectually, physical, socially, occupationally, emotionally, and spiritually thus helping diminish the severity of mental illness and limit the duration that it causes in society.


Allane, F. (2017). How does healthy eating affect physical, mental & social health? Retrieved from

Canadian Mental Health Organization. (2017). About CMHA. Retrieved from

Government of Canada. (2017). About mental illness. Retrieved from

Hales, D. R., & Lauzon, L. (2018). An invitation to health. Toronto, Ontario: Nelson Education Ltd.

Mood Disorders Society of Canada. (2009, November; 3rd ed.). Quick facts: Mental illness and addiction in Canada.

World Health Organization. (2003). Investing in mental health. Retrieved from

World Health Organization. (2000). Mental health and work: impact, issues and good practices. Retrieved from

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