World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. (WHO)
It is so important to have appropriate mental health care, as the following Toronto Star article (an excerpt from Dr. Paul Garfinkel’s book) illustrates.
This is the story of a woman named Debbie, a patient of mine. A kind, sensitive soul, Debbie struggled to overcome anorexia nervosa and then depression. She worked hard to manage her illnesses, and for a few precious years she carved out a life for herself, with a job and nights out at the movies. She even found a sensitive boyfriend to escape the loneliness that had plagued her since childhood. But then the monster that is depression reclaimed her. Debbie ended her life by jumping off a balcony at age 36.
Debbie’s death shocked and deeply saddened me. It was one of the most emotionally devastating moments of my professional life, and I was just not prepared for it. I had worked hard to free her, first from the vice-like grip of anorexia and then from the pit of depression, and we had made real progress together, or so I thought.
Many more people die of suicide than in wars. For example, in 2000 over 800,000 people committed suicide, versus just over 300,000 who died as a direct result of armed conflict. In Canada, 4,000 people die of suicide each year, and 400 of these are youth. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Canadians between the ages of 10 and 24, and the fourth leading cause of death for Canadians between the ages of 15 and 44.
Visit http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2014/10/03/a_patients_suicide_a_doctors_devastation.html for the full article.