By The Numbers: World Mental Health Day, mental health in Canada

Ottawa – October 10, 2013 – World Mental Health Day is celebrated every year on October 10th. The day was created by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to raise public awareness of mental health issues. This year’s theme is the elderly and mental health.

The world‘s population is ageing rapidly. Between 2000 and 2050 the proportion of the older adults is estimated to double from approximately 11% to about 22%.

Two billion people over the age of 60, is 2050 world’s projection.

Five of the 10 leading causes of disability are related to mental disorders. Mental illness is the number one leading cause of disability. (WHO)

Mental illness affects all races, ages, religious or socio-economic categories.

Over 20% of adults aged 60 and over suffer from a mental or neurological disorder. The most commons neuropsychiatric disorders are dementia and depression.

35.6 million people worldwide are estimated to live with dementia. By 2050 the number of people with dementia is projected to increase to 115.4 million, with majority of the population living in low and middle-income countries.

Worldwide, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression.

More women are affected by depression than men. Depression at its worst is the leading factor to suicide.

Worldwide 10-20% of children and adolescents experience mental disorders. Half of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14 and three-quarters by mid-20s.

By 2020 depression will become the number two cause worldwide of years lost due to disability, according to WHO.

Mental health of older adults can be improved through promoting active and healthy ageing; through adequate living conditions and environments that support wellbeing, social support and community development programmes.

In Canada

One in five Canadians, over the course of their lives, experience a mental health problem.

$51 billion a year is what mental illness costs the Canadian economy, and it’s estimated each day 500,000 people will miss work due to mental health problems.

Mental illness is the number one cause of disability in Canada, accounting for nearly 30% of disability claims and 70% of total costs.

More than 18% of young people (ages 15-24) may suffer from a mental health disorder.

Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16% amongst 25-44 year olds. For people aged 15-24 in Canada, suicide is the number two cause of death.

The mortality rate due to suicide among men is four times the rate amongst women.

The unemployment rate for people with serious mental illness is 70-90%.

The vast majority of people with mental illnesses are not violent and they are able to work at any level depending on their own abilities, experience and motivation.


Source: World Health Organization (WHO); Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)