“Mental Illness Awareness Week” was October 4 to 10, concluding with “World Mental Health Day”, on the last day. For many, October 10, was also a day of remembering the legacy left behind by Amanda Todd, who committed suicide on this date in 2012.
Carol Todd, Amanda Todd’s mother, started the “Amanda Todd Legacy Campaign,” after her daughter’s death. “Bullying and cyberbullying and suicide, there always comes a piece in the middle, and that’s mental health. It’s a topic and an issue that most people don’t want to talk about,” said Carol Todd, speaking about the campaign in a video on the Light Up Purple Day website. “Her [Amanda Todd] legacy is continuing to promote more awareness, and more conversation. It’s all about making sure that mental health is talked about.” The Amanda Todd Legacy Campaign started Light Up Purple day on the same date that Amanda Todd committed suicide. The BMO bank in Vancouver, The Calgary Tower, and the Toronto International Airport were lit up purple, even the cast and crew of Supernatural dressed in purple.
Both men and women, adolescence and middle aged are affected by suicide. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, suicide is the cause for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16% amidst 25-44 year olds. Anxiety is the most common mental illness in Canada, and according to The Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada, 25% of Canadians, will suffer from an anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, 49% of those who think they suffer from depression or anxiety don’t see a medical professional.
There are many hotlines, organizations, and websites that are helping those who suffer from a mental illness. Youth in BC is a local crisis prevention center where people affected by a mental illness can chat online with a volunteer, or call the hotline. Orginizations such as Heretohelp and anxietybc are both local websites that have trustworthy information about mental health. There are also websites that aid those with mental illnesses, such as Calm.com, a place to relax your mind after a stressful day, and 7cupsoftea, a place where people can chat about their problems.
This was the 23 annual World Mental Health Day, the first was in 1992, and was started by the World Federation of Mental Health. Their goal is to raise awareness for mental health, and spread positive attitudes about mental disorders.
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