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One in Five People Suffer from Mental Illness in BC

March 8, 2010 | British Columbia

Community services workers help remove the stigma from mental illness

Burnaby, BC - March 8, 2010 - Currently one in five British Columbians endure mental illness. This staggering statistic involves victims from all walks of life and can include those who suffer from depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, addictions, personality and mood disorders and Alzheimer's.

Some may be so ill that they are consumed by a form of "mental paralysis" and find it impossible to get out of bed in the morning. Others may feel so terrified due to disturbing voices racing around their heads.

Although common, there is still huge stigma surrounding mental health. This impedes people from seeking help and sufferers often feel very isolated.

In this light, the role of a mental health community services worker is extremely integral to providing support to persons with mental illness. Working in community living support and residential care environments, the mental health worker is part of an interdisciplinary team of professionals and paraprofessionals that have the mental, physical, emotional and social health of clients in mind.

The mental health worker will provide a listening ear to clients during counselling sessions, will teach daily life and social skills, will observe and monitor changes in clients' behaviour, will deliver recreational and therapeutic activities, and determine the needs of clients in order to develop the most effective treatment strategy.

More importantly, the mental health worker will provide an accepting and safe environment, will show clients that they are not alone and facilitate a growth in confidence and courage despite all of the difficult and heart-wrenching situations they may face.

  • If you'd like to learn more about the work of a community services worker, take a look at the social services programs CDI has to offer.

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