Mental illness affects one in five Albertans during their lifetime. Mental illness and addiction take a significant toll on the health of Albertans, and on the cost of providing healthcare.
In economic terms, supporting mental health problems is one of the costliest in Canada, estimated at $14 billion dollars. Treating a mental health illness in hospitals is expensive; hospital stays cost an estimated $1,500 per day. Meanwhile, experts say it costs Canada $51 billion in lost productivity and care.
Socially, while we have been effective at reducing stigma associated with mental health issues, we still have a long way to go. That includes working to build increased community and philanthropic support for mental health.
Every fifth person you see today is, or at some point will be, affected by a mental health issue. This is a common problem experienced by not only those affected, but their friends, family and loved ones as well, serving to fragment our communities. Without a doubt, mental illness affects us all.
Severe and persistent mental illness is a chronic disease and should be treated like one. Even minor or occasional mental health problems can easily deteriorate into lifelong chronic illness, without proper and timely treatment. But it is treatable.
With your support, we will build better mental health in Edmonton.