Know The Facts

Know The Facts

  • One in five Canadians experiences a mental health or addiction problem.1
  • Approximately 20% of people with a mental health issue also battle a substance use problem.2
  • Only 50% of Canadians would tell someone that they have a family member with a mental health issue, compared to 72% who would discuss a diagnosis of cancer or 68% who would talk about diabetes.3
  • The economic burden of mental illness in Canada is estimated at $51 billion per year. This includes health care costs, lost productivity, and reductions in health-related quality of life.4
  • The disease burden of mental illness and addiction in Ontario is 1.5 times higher than all cancers put together. This includes years lived with less than full function and years lost to early death.5
  • In Ontario the annual cost of alcohol-related health care, law enforcement, corrections, lost productivity, and other problems is estimated to be $5.3 billion.6

In the Headlines

  • Canadians are drinking more than the global average, according to the World Health Organization (CTV News, May 13, 2014)
  • “Gambling addictions are nine times more likely among homeless, Toronto study finds” (National Post, May 21, 2014)
  • “Overdoses from opioids, which include powerful painkillers like OxyNEO and fentanyl, have become one of the leading causes of accidental death in Ontario.” (Metro News, May 30, 2014)
  • “Addiction untreated is progressive and can be fatal” (Financial Post, May 14, 2014)
  • “28 days is ‘bare minimum’ for rehab treatment” (National Post, May 2, 2014)
  • Canada now ranks as the world’s second largest per capita consumer of prescription opioids, behind the U.S. (CCSA March 27, 2013)
  • Overwhelming demand has the Canadian Mental Health Association behind on returning calls to crisis line (CTV News May 14, 2014)
  • Canada’s pill-popping problem is worse than ever (Global News March 24, 2013)
  • Drug-impaired driving is an increasing problem (Globe and Mail, May. 20 2014)
  1. Smetanin et al. (2011). The life and economic impact of major mental illnesses in Canada: 2011-2014.
  2. Rush et al (2008). Prevalence of Co-occurring Substance Use and Other Mental Disorders in the Canadian Population.
  3. Canadian Medical Association (2008). 8th Annual National Report Card on Health Care.
  4. Dewa et al (2008). A New Population-Based Measure of the Burden of Mental Illness in Canada.
  5. Ratnasingham et al (2012). Opening Eyes, Opening Minds: The Ontario Burden of Mental Illness and Addictions.
  6. Rehm et al. (2006). The Costs of Substance Abuse in Canada, 2002.

“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

Joshua J. Marine