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From Saturday's Globe and Mail

‘They can tell by looking at your face … if you are in danger' ...Read the full article

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  1. robert roels from Canada writes: This entry said "Canada's mental health crisis."

    Maybe the crisis is exasperated by a today's social state and expectations. Families are living miles apart, friends few and far between and no one has "time" for another as the pressures of work, television and internet leave precious little for people to allow quality time to really know and understand another.

    I believe healthy and honest communication and activities between people act as a pressure relief valve. Our culture focuses on perfection in body and spirit, and the values that they raise the bar to are unattainable for most people. We forget we are not perfect and are not designed to be.

    We are not islands to ourselves.
  2. Emma Hawthorne from Canada writes: Now that the Globe has canvassed psychiatry, I hope it turns its attention to the dynamic, egalitarian, modern fields of clinical psychology and psychotherapy (practised by psychologists - ie non-medical treatment).
    It's horrible to read of people describing themselves in chart-form, as psychiatric clinicians would describe them. There's so much more to being human. And why aren't non-hospitalized people treatment in non-hospital settings 100% of the time? Institutionalization is a psychiatric symptom in and of itself. Why spread it?
  3. Patrick King from Canada writes: We need to declare war on mental illnesses, in addition to the war on cancer and AIDS. You don't need a psychiatric assessment to know that the greyhound bus beheading killer is seriously mentally ill. I really don't know what to say. It makes the hair at the back of your neck stand up when you think of how the paths of the killer and the victim, two people seemingly from two different worlds, crossed in the mostly horrific way.
  4. Lance M from Canada writes: Mental illness frightens many because it can represent the losing of control of one's life in a very accute manner. A broken leg or lung cancer and people can function in a mental/emotional manner but 'losing your mind' is frightening and is too terrible to fathom. It is easier to blame the person afflicted with mental illness then seek to understand. Popular fiction has not helped the perception of mental illness either, the vast majority of people with mental illness are no threat and if they are receiving some kind of care in the form of community workers, clinics, or hospital are typically far less dangerous than most 'normal' people. Mental health is a matter of degrees, not a matter of having it or not having it like a light switch. Recognizing what mental illness is and what it is not can go a long way in understanding its causes, its prevention and its treatment. It will also encourage those who are having some problems in living to seek out assistance before those problems become too overwhelming.
  5. Aleksandra Vasic from Toronto, Canada writes: Thank you Erin Anderssen for high-lighting the tremendous value and benefits of self-help/mutual aid groups to individuals dealing with a variety of mental health issues. According to a statement prepared by the Ontario Medical Association, studies have shown that “these groups provide a cost-effective complement to professional health-care services. They have been shown to decrease the need for hospitalization, increase positive feelings about conditions and illnesses, and enhance skills that enable individuals to enjoy a greater quality of life in their community.” If any readers are interested in learning more about self-help/mutual aid, I would direct them to Toronto’s Self-Help Resource Centre, www.selfhelp.on.ca, where they will find listings for over 400 groups in Toronto, and links to affliates across the province and to every other self-help resource centre in Canada. We also help people start self-help groups and consult with existing ones to help them run more effectively. We celebrate the significant and often unseen work of self-helpers during Self-Help Awareness Week (Sept 22nd to the 27th) and this year’s theme is Mutual Aid and Mental Health. We invite readers to check out our website for information about events happening across the province. Thank you once again for your compelling story. Best regards, Aleksandra Vasic Resource Coordinator Self-Help Resource Centre

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