Mental health is vital to our overall health and well-being. Having positive mental health contributes to emotional, psychological, and social well-being at all stages of life. When individuals face obstacles such as unemployment, poverty, isolation and substance use disorders, overall mental health ultimately suffers. Stigma prevents many from seeking treatment, which can have devastating impacts on overall health, employment and relationships. Social isolation, poverty, and a shortage of accessible services make it difficult for people to seek the mental health support they need. In youth, positive emotional development in childhood is crucial to laying a strong foundation for mental health and emotional stability as an adult.
We know that poverty and mental health are interconnected. Seniors, individuals with disabilities, and people in the shelter system are disproportionately affected, with less access to supports and basic necessities. According to Statistics Canada, Canadians experiencing poverty are three to four times more likely say that their mental health is low.