Celebrating mental wellness

Getting loud for mental health week

Every year, Canadians are encouraged to spend one week in May sharing their personal experiences with mental illness, either in person, at events, or online. Mental Health Week raises awareness for mental health care, with a special focus on ending the stigma surrounding mental illness and addiction.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), which began promoting Mental Health Week in 1951. For this year’s Mental Health Week (May 7-13, 2018), Canadians are delving deeper into the meaning of “mental health” by sharing positive messages about mental wellness, because mental health is about more than mental illness.

According to the World Health Organization, depression is common. In fact, more than 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. These numbers don’t lie: mental health is one of the most pressing global health issues, affecting millions of people – it is time to bring mental health out of the shadows and shine a light on hope and healing.

Did you know?

  • One in five Canadians live with mental health issues, illnesses, or addiction. But the reality is, all of us have “mental health,” just like we all have physical health.

St. Boniface Hospital’s Mental Health Program provides vital care to adults suffering from mental illness through multidisciplinary psychiatric and psychological services. More than 400 patients are admitted annually for acute inpatient treatment, and outpatient services sees more than 14,000 visits each year.

The Hospital’s Mental Health Program treats adults of all ages and walks of life – patients range in age from 18 to 99 years old. A critical program at the Hospital, Foundation donors have helped fund equipment for treating different mental illnesses, including rTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation).

Cutting-edge technology, rTMS uses targeted, painless, magnetic pulses to tackle depression. The first unit was installed in 2012, and an additional unit was added in 2016, which includes a “theta burst stimulation” option, which shrinks treatment times from 30 minutes to only six minutes. The impact on wait times for treatment has been phenomenal.

“rTMS has been a standard treatment for depression since 2002,” says Dr. Mandana Modirrousta, Director of Neurostimulation and Neuropsychiatry at St. Boniface Hospital. “For many patients who do not respond well to traditional medications, rTMS is a remarkable solution.”

“Depression is recognized as a risk factor for heart disease and by 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability worldwide,” she says. “rTMS can make a difference. It saves lives.”

St. Boniface Hospital Foundation donors generously support all psychiatric and psychological services provided through the Hospital’s Mental Health Program.  

Give a Gift of Hope today and support mental health initiatives at St. Boniface Hospital.