“Depression is a common illness that strikes all socioeconomic, educational, and cultural backgrounds. it can be triggered by traumatic events, a biochemical imbalance or by experiencing a negative life episode. A family history of the illness is also a factor for higher risk of depression,” says the Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC).
This year’s Grey-Bruce ‘Defeat Depression’ campaign helped to raise funds for partners Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Grey-Bruce and Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC). Both are non-profit organizations that offer free mental health services in the community. “The campaign has grown into a national social movement bringing much-needed funds to support mental health services nation-wide and helps raise awareness of mental health.”
Again this year, due to COVID-19, instead of physical walks, ‘Defeat Depression’ events were held virtually. Participants chose a physical activity to complete on their own allowing for physical distancing. Many chose to walk around their block, some ran on a treadmill, rode a bike or simply took a stroll on a trail – all while raising funds to support their local mental health services. According to Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), funds are desperately needed this year as Canadians are now facing even greater mental health issues associated with the stress and anxiety brought on by COVID-19. For more information, visit: www.defeatdepression.ca
People casually use the phrase, “I’m so depressed!” to say they are feeling down. According to Mood Disorders Society of Canada, “… this is often a temporary case of the blues – something we all experience – but it has nothing to do with real depression. True depression is not the blues, sadness or even grief. It is an overwhelming despair so bleak that people who have experienced it say that it is the worst pain they have ever endured.”
Depression is a treatable mental illness but, despite changes in people’s attitudes toward mental illness, there remains a stigma that results with many people, who have depression, never seeking treatment. Those who do however, have an excellent chance of recovery and “… researchers estimate that people who receive treatment for depression respond well.”
On May 29th, 2021, Defeat Depression Day, ‘Defeat Depression’ hosted a live-streaming broadcast. The one-hour event featured various organization profiles and their efforts, special guest presenters, lived experience testimonials, and special performers and music.
Mood Disorders Society points out that depression, while debilitating for the individual, also has overall impacts:
Depression costs the Canadian economy almost $32.3 billion a year
While 1 in 5 Canadians will suffer this year with their mental health, it reflects approximately 15% of Canada’s health care burden
Depression has a huge impact on our youth and seniors; nearly every Canadian family is affected
Depression is predicted to be the leading cause of disability by World Health Organization in 2020
At its most severe, depression can lead to suicide. There are approximately 4,000 suicides in Canada every year — 11 people each day
While the goal was set at $10,000 for the virtual Grey-Bruce campaign, almost $22,000 was raised ($21,897.20).