By Sheldon Spackman
Today is “Bell – Lets Talk” day and Central Albertans are joining millions of Canadians across the country in keeping the conversation going about the importance of mental health and ending the stigmas sometimes associated with mental illness.
Officials with the Canadian Mental Health Association say mental illness is increasingly recognized as a serious and growing problem. It is estimated that 1 in 5 Canadians will develop a mental illness at some time in their lives. Many more individuals such as family, friends and colleagues are also affected.
They add that mental health means striking a balance in all aspects of one’s life: social, physical, spiritual, economic and mental. At times, the balance may be tipped too much in one direction and one’s footing has to found again. Mental health is as important as physical health. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
CMHA officials offer these facts on Mental Health:
- Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures.
- Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.
- Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age.
- A complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors causes mental illnesses.
- Almost one half (49%) of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about this problem.
- The economic cost of mental illnesses in Canada for the health care system was estimated to be at least $7.9 billion in 1998 – $4.7 billion in care, and $3.2 billion in disability and early death.
- An additional $6.3 billion was spent on uninsured mental health services and time off work for depression and distress that was not treated by the health care system.
- The total number of 12-19 year olds in Canada at risk for developing depression is a staggering 3.2 million.
- Suicide is among the leading causes of death in 15-24 year old Canadians, second only to accidents; 4,000 people die prematurely each year by suicide.
- Once depression is recognized, help can make a difference for 80% of people who are affected, allowing them to get back to their regular activities.
- In Canada, only 1 out of 5 children who need mental health services receives them.
British health researcher says authorities in Canada, US, and UK are doing nothing about thousands of excess deaths
About six months ago, the Province of Alberta’s annual cause of deaths statistics briefly made headlines around the world. For the first time “unknown causes of mortality” was the leading cause of death in the province. Just a few years earlier, “unknown causes” wasn’t even on the top ten list.
Province of Alberta Cause of Death Statistics 2021
An Alberta taxpayer might expect the province to call an inquiry into this shocking development to see if there’s not some way to protect the lives of thousands of Albertans. So far this has not happened.
Now similar shocking statistics are starting to emerge nationally and around the world. British health researcher John Campbell has looked at the data coming from Canada, Britain, the US and Australia among other nations. He’s noticed a very significant and distressing increase in “excess deaths”. The number of excess deaths is quickly adding up to the hundreds of thousands. Of course some of these deaths can be attributed to COVID-19, but the vast majority are not.
In this video, Dr. Campbell reveals the data he’s found and offers some pointed criticism to our political leaders. Canada is singled out as “quite pathetic” for not even sharing cause death statistics after August of 2022. Campbell says “I think we’re in somewhat of an international emergency not being responded to as I would like by our governments in any way, shape, or form. In fact they seem to be ignoring it. As indeed do most of the mainstream media.”
“This demands an explanation. And we’re not getting one.”
From Dr. John Campbell – British health researcher / instructor
Excess deaths in 30 countries
Dr. Campbell’s presentation notes including links to information sources
US, Weekly Cumulative All-Cause Excess Deaths
Excess deaths 2022 (Up to December 1st) 242,224
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Provisional Mortality Statistics
Reference period, Jan – Sep 2022
144,650 deaths that occurred by 30 September 19,986 (16.0%) more than the historical average.
Deaths attributed to covid, 8,160
October covid deaths, 232
Australia, September 2022 13,675 deaths (doctor certified) 1,814 were coroner referred.
2.61% in England (1 in 40 people)
3.94% in Wales (1 in 25 people)
4.22% in Northern Ireland (1 in 25 people)
3.26% in Scotland (1 in 30 people)
Deaths and excess deaths
(W/E week 13th January 2023)
A total of 19,916 deaths were registered in the UK
20.4% above the five-year average.
Covid UK deaths
1,059 deaths involving COVID-19 registered (up 842 on the week)
Deaths involving COVID-19 accounted for 5.3% of all deaths UK,
Office for Health Improvement https://www.gov.uk/government/statist…
Excess deaths in all age groups, (0 to 24 years) UK,
Institute and Faculty of Actuaries https://actuaries.org.uk/news-and-med…
Mortality rates in 2022 compare to 2019 at different ages 2022,
mortality, 7.8% higher for ages 20-44
In the UK, the second half of 2022
26,300 excess deaths, compared to 4,700 in the first half of 2022 Europe,
Bulletin week 2 2023 https://www.euromomo.eu
Pooled EuroMOMO, all-cause mortalit
Elevated level of excess mortality, overall and in all age groups.
Data from 25 European countries or subnational regions
Year ended September 2021,
total of 34,578 deaths Year ended September 2022, total of 38,052 deaths
Alberta budget set for Feb. 28, with focus on funding for health, school growth
By Dean Bennett in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews says the United Conservative Party government’s 2023 budget will be delivered on Feb. 28, the first day of the spring legislature sitting.
Toews said Friday it will focus on investing in health care and school enrolment growth.
It’s expected to be the final budget before voters go to the polls for a scheduled May 29 general election.
Alberta’s fortunes, powered mainly by energy revenues and further diversification of its economy, have been on the upswing since the global economy began rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last fall, Toews announced the current budget year, which finishes at the end of March, is expected to record a $12.3-billion surplus.
That surplus comes even with $2.8 billion being set aside over the next three years to cover inflation-fighting programs and payouts to shield Albertans — particularly families, seniors and the vulnerable — from higher costs.
Toews said while energy prices remain volatile, the outlook is for them to stay strong.
“This budget will reflect the fact that health care is a priority, that health care capacity is a priority, ” said Toews in an interview.
“Alberta is leading the nation on net-inflow migration,” he added.
“Our population is growing. Our enrolment in our K-12 education system is growing, and the budget will reflect that good news story with additional enrolment growth.”
One outstanding question after the budget will be whether Toews will run again in the May vote.
He is a first-term UCP member representing Grande Prairie-Wapiti.
Toews declined to say whether he has made a decision.
“I’ll have more to say on that one later,” he said, “I’m focused on preparing the budget.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2023.
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