Everyone in Ontario is affected by mental illness. Twenty percent are directly affected by mental illness during their lifetime, while the remaining 80% are indirectly affected through family, friends and colleagues. 1
The number of Ontarians requiring mental health services is increasing. While the percentage of all health care users in Ontario rose by 4% between 1992 and 1998, the percentage of patients requiring mental health services rose by 13%. 2
Of those requiring mental health services, the majority are affected by mild forms of mental illness. Diagnoses include mild depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), as well as anxiety disorders and phobias.
The mental health system in Ontario is funded to serve the seriously mentally ill. Three dimensions of illness are used to identify the most seriously mentally ill: diagnosis, disability, and duration. 3
1. Health Canada. (October 2002). A Report on Mental Illness in Canada. Ottawa, Canada.
2. Lin, E. and Goering, P. (1999). The Utilization of Physician Services for Mental Health in Ontario. Toronto: Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.
3. Government of Ontario. (1999). Making It Happen: Implementation Plan for Mental Health Reform. Toronto.
4. Weir, E. and Wallington, T. (2001). Suicide: The Hidden Epidemic, CMAJ ; 165(5):634-6.
5. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Understanding depression statistics. http://www.camh.net/depression/understanding_depstats.html
6. Goodwin, F.K. and Jamison, K.R. (1990). Manic-Depressive Illness. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, p 227-44.
7. Harkavy-Friedman, J.M. and Nelson, E. (1997). Management of suicidal patients with schizophrenia, Psychiatry Clin North Am ; 20(3):625-40.
8. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Understanding depression statistics. http://www.camh.net/depression/understanding_depstats.html
9. Canadian Institute for Health Information (2002, December). Ontario Trauma Registry 2002 Report Injury Deaths in Ontario. [Online]. Available: http://secure.cihi.ca/cihiweb/dispPage.jsp?cw_page=media_04dec2002_e
10. Newmann, J.P. Abuse Histories, Serious Mental Illness, and the Treatment and Recovery Process . http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/aging/newmann.htm