John McMallum has served on many Boards and councils, notably the Task Force on Mental Health Implementation and as Vice Chair, for 13 years, of the Parole Board.  Seeing how badly people with mental health issues are treated has led him to Waypoint and to make an effort to see people offered a little support and to get the general population pay more attention.
1 in 5 suffer - this is twice the number of people with diabetes and one and a half times the number of all cancer victims.  But, where's the empathy?
It costs us all - lost productivity could total as much as 50 billion a year.  Over 70% of the unemployed are affected by issues.
Glen Close says we need more insight, more candour, more conversations and we need to move beyond the stigma and recognize that we are discriminating.  Only a third of those who suffer get the help they need and a large part of the cause is that fear of discrimination is a barrier to seeking help.  There are 4,000 suicides a year in Canada and suicide is the second largest killer of those 15 - 24 after car accidents.
A lot of people feel they are fine and a major myth of mental illness is that it won't affect 'me'.  But John cited two examples - one of his own and one his wife's - that shows it can hit anyone.  A major accident with violent deaths left John with vivid images and, though he was physically fine, he wasn't sleeping.  A year of treatment helped though he still gets woken up sometimes.  His son died three years ago and his wife suffered mini strokes and then some effects from medication after dental surgery and it took help from family and staff at Waypoint to help her regain her footing.  Ask for help if you think you need it.  Let Mental Health Week act as a Launchpad to awareness.  Help normalize mental illness and encourage others to recognize it and treat it like any other illness.
Anita Federici said talking about it has a positive effect and a sense of humour, community and family relationships are important for good mental health.  Anita has a history of cottaging in the area and has family here so when the possibility of working at Waypoint arose, she took it.  She takes an Evidence Based approach to treatment in a therapeutic environment.  Mental Health is a continuum, like Physical Health and we all suffer from stress or pressures on occasion so we need to raise awareness.  We all go to the dentist or the doctor so why is seeing a psychologist so different?
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can reduce the effects of PTSD in 12 or so treatments by relating thoughts, behaviours and emotions to each other.  Dialectical Behaviour Therapy changes behaviours and teaches us to accept ourselves.
Mindfullness practice is associated with lower pain, less anxiety by reducing the emotional centres in the brain and shrinking the fight or flight response.  Peel Regional Police have been undertaking 8 week courses in this and MRI studies support the benefits.  It takes your mind off your to do list, brings you back to the moment where you have emotional control and reduces activation levels in the frontal lobes.  It's difficult at first but has a big impact if practiced.