There are approximately 450 million people worldwide living with a mental illness, and in the last 45 years, suicide rates have increased by 60%? Well, that's why we're here- we want you to get the facts! Knowledge is power; the more you know, the more you talk, and the more you talk, the more you connect. If we can encourage people to start the conversation, to educate each other about these tough issues, we believe that people will feel more empowered to seek out the appropriate treatment, and get the help and support they deserve.

There are many forms of mental illness. Although we only discuss a handful of topics below, we encourage you to visit the help resources we have listed, or to spend some time online, at the library, or even talking to a friend or mental health professional in order to learn more.


  • Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational & income levels, and cultures. (1)
  • Common classifications of mental illnesses includes psychotic disorders (ex. Schizophrenia), mood disorders (ex. major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder), anxiety disorders, and substance-abuse disorders. (2)
  • Anxiety disorders and depression are the most common mental illnesses. (1)
  • Almost one half of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never sought treatment. (1) 
  • Anxiety disorders and depression are the most common mental illnesses. (1)
  • 60% of people with a mental health problem or illness won’t seek help for fear of being stigmatized. (3)


Depression is mood disorder that is characterized by long-lasting feelings of intense sadness and hopelessness. Loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities, fatigue, changes in weight, and insomnia are just a few of the other ways in which depression can affect someone's personal, social, and professional life. There is no single cause of depression; it can be a combination of factors including an imbalance in brain chemicals, family history, and tramatic or stressful life events.

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide; more than 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. (4)
  • Depression often starts between the ages of 15-30 years, but it can affect anyone at anytime. (5)
  • Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depressive symptoms at some point in their life. (5)
  • Age and sex can affect how an individual experiences depression; males most often experience anger or irritability. (5)


Self-harm (also referred to as self-injury) is an intentional, direct injuring of the body without the deliberate intention of suicide. Although the most common form of self-harm is skin cutting, it emcompasses a wide range of behaviours including, but not limited to, burning, scratching, banging or hitting body parts, interfering with wound healing, hair-pulling, and even the ingestion of toxic substances or objects. The motivations for self-harm vary and research has shown that it may be used to fulfill a number of different functions. These functions include self-harm being used as a coping mechanism which provides temporary relief of intense feelings such as anxiety, depression, stress, a sense of failure or self-loathing. and other mental traits including low self-esteem or perfectionism. In addition, self-harm is often associated with a history of trauma and abuse, including both emotional and sexual abuse.

  • Between 14-24% of youth and young adults have reported engaging in self-harm at least once in their life. (6)
  • A research study of 2,875 college students showed a lifetime prevalence of self-harm of 17%. (7)
  • 4% of adults occasionally self-harm. (6)
  • It is a common misconception that all people who self-harm have borderline personality disorder (BPD), a mental health illness involving a long-term pattern of difficulties dealing with emotions, impulsivity, and unstable relationships. Though it is a symptom, a diagnosis should not be made on self-harm alone. (6)


Suicide is the act of intentionally taking one's own life. There are many complex factors that can be attributed to suicide, which can be biological, social, environmental, or cultural, just to name a few. The suicidal state of mind has been described as constricted, filled with a sense of self-hatred, rejection, and hopelessness. Although it is a difficult topic to discuss, when someone brings up thoughts of suicide to you it is important to take action immediately. Seeking help for someone could save their life.

  • In 2012, suicide was the the 2nd leading cause of death amongst 15-29 year olds worldwide. (8)
  • The rate of suicide for adults aged 75 years and older is approximately 16 per 100,000. (9)
  • There is one suicide for every 25 attempted suicides. (9)
  • In 2011, a survey in the U.S. indicated that 15.8% of youth in grades 9-12 had considered attempting suicide. (9)


There are three main types of eating disoders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. Although they may look different, they all have one thing in common, this being that they involve extreme attitudes, behaviours, and emotions about food and weight issues. Eating disoders are complex illlnesses and can affect a person's sense of identity and self-esteem. They can also have serious medical complications such as digestive problems, heart and kidney problems, bone loss, and high/low blood pressure.

  • In the U.S., 20 million women and 10 million men will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life. (10)
  • For females between aged 15-24 years who suffer from anorexia nervosa, the mortality rate associated with the illness is twelve times higher than the death rate of all other causes of death. (10)
  • People with eating disorders are more likely to develop other forms of mental illness, including obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, and substance abuse. (10)
  • In a study by Mellin et al (1997), 81% of 10 year olds surveyed were afraid of being "fat". (11)

A very special thanks to these great organizations for providing us with our resources.