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Mental illness often goes undetected or untreated in men due to pressures of stigma

May 4th, 2015 | Posted by vimhsadmin in people first media

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pfr banner workingCanada’s national Mental Health Week (May 4-10, 2015) focuses this year on men’s mental health — and the correlation between physical and mental illnesses.

One in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem each year, one in 10 men will struggle with depression, and more than three times as many men as women will die by suicide. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is working to support Canada’s national Mental Health Week, May 4-10, 2015, which encourages people from all walks of life to learn, reflect and engage others on issues related to mental illness.

Men’s mental health: This year’s national mental health week theme

Men’s mental health is this year’s mental health week theme — including the correlation between physical and mental illnesses.

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Mental illness often goes undetected or untreated in men due to an additional pressure associated with stigma. Men may be reluctant to seek help because they feel it is ‘unmanly’ to admit that they are struggling, and neglect the resources available to help them. “The big message here is that men need to think about their mental health, too,” says Dr. David Goldbloom, psychiatrist and Senior Medical Advisor at CAMH. “Like other illness, the earlier you get help for psychiatric illness like depression or stress, the better.”

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There is also an important relationship between chronic physical and mental illnesses, with a significant percentage of people with medical condition also struggling with a mental disorder. “We know that those who struggle with something like heart disease, which is prevalent in North America, in combination with an untreated mental illness are less likely to make a full recovery,” says Dr. Paul Kurdyak, a CAMH psychiatrist. “Mental and medical illnesses are not the same, but there is certainly a complex interplay between the two that needs to be addressed in how we deliver care.”

We speak with Dr. David Goldbloom, immediate past chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada and psychiatrist with CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) in Toronto.

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