We’re in it together: Mental health in Greater Victoria

Resource guide explores mental illness, local resources and how you can help

The Greater Victoria Mental Health Guide is published by Black Press Media’s Victoria News and Monday Magazine.

Few issues are as far-reaching as mental health.

Consider that one in four people will experience mental health challenges in their lifetimes. That in 2016, Victoria was one of three Canadian cities with the highest number of suicides. That 84,000 children and youth in BC have a diagnosed mental disorder.

In response to these sobering statistics, Black Press Media’s Victoria News and Monday Magazine are proud to share with the community the Greater Victoria Mental Health Resource Guide, a special report exploring mental health in the Capital Region.

“From social isolation to depression and anxiety over finances, family and physical health, the current pandemic has highlighted just how vital it is to pay attention to our mental health – and how everyone can be affected,” says Penny Sakamoto, Black Press Media Group Publisher, Greater Victoria. “At the same time, we’ve also learned that we can all be part of the solution by bringing mental health into the open. You, me … we are not alone.”

Mental health concerns can emerge without consideration of age, gender or socio-economic differences; we are all susceptible, as are our family members, our friends, our co-workers and neighbours. In fact, by age 40, half the population will have or have had a mental illness, including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition, people with a mental illness are twice as likely to have a substance use problem compared to the general population.

The implications of all this is significant, and it’s with that in mind that we share this guide.

In it we explore common mental health concerns, symptoms to watch for, and suggestions for improving and supporting our mental health, along with a wealth of local resources you can turn to for additional information and vital resources.

With information comes awareness and understanding, with the goal of reducing the stigma that prevents people from seeking the help they need.

There is good news, too.

A growing body of international evidence shows that promotion, prevention and early intervention initiatives show positive returns on investment.

And respondents to a 2015 survey said they believe attitudes about mental health issues have changed for the better compared to five years previously and 81 per cent were more aware of mental health issues compared.

None of this would be possible without our community partners – United Way Greater Victoria, the Bateman Foundation and Camosun College – and the many people working every day to make a difference, including Island Health, the non-profit sector and frontline workers.

To each, we say thank you. And to readers, we encourage you to learn more about mental health, for yourself, your loved ones and your community. Click here to read the guide online, to download your copy or to share it with a friend or a loved one.

Just Posted

Sooke School District No. 62 superintendent Scott Stinson explains that most block classes at Belmont Secondary will be halved. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Sooke School District opens conversation on catchment boundary changes

Feedback solicited at virtual town hall Oct. 28

Oak Bay Police. (Black Press File Photo)
Man steals $120 worth of Sharpies from Oak Bay Village

Police respond to daytime break-in and theft, among other calls last week

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait was elected president of the Union of B.C. Municipalitiesin September 2019. She helped guide the 190-member organization through the coronavirus pandemic. (UBCM photo)
Sooke mayor front-line commander of the coronavirus pandemic

Maja Tait played pivotal role during COVID-19 crisis

Struggling to afford rent, Sylvia Bailey is hoping to trade her love of cooking for some more affordable accommodation. (Photo courtesy of Sylvia Bailey)
Retired Victoria woman looking to cook, clean or garden in exchange for rent

Sylvia Bailey is hoping to use her love for cooking to help afford rent

Victoria police are searching for a suspect after a stabbing Monday night. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police searching for suspect in late-night stabbing

Victim taken to hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries

Carolyn and Steve Touhey came across a pod of humpback whales while on their boat Sunday, Oct. 25. Photo supplied
VIDEO: Boaters encounter pod of humpbacks in Georgia Strait

Pod spotted between Comox and Texada Island

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

The voting station mimicked a real voting station in Nicole Choi’s classroom at Chilliwack middle school on Oct. 22, 2020, where students had to show their ID (student cards), be checked off a list, and mark a secret ballot behind a screen. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. students choose NDP majority in mock election

More than 90,000 youth took part in school-based election process

Crew transport bus at the Trans Mountain pipeline project work site in Burnaby, March 2020. (Trans Mountain)
Check your workplace COVID-19 safety plans, Dr. Henry urges

Masks in public spaces, distance in lunchrooms for winter

B.C.’s Court of Appeal is in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Judgment reserved in Surrey Six slayings appeals

Six men were killed in suite 1505 of the Balmoral Tower in Whalley on Oct. 19, 2007

Kelowna City Hall has been vandalized overnight. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna City Hall hit by anti-pandemic vandalism

Graffiti condemning the virus appears overnight on City Hall

FILE – A woman smokes a marijuana joint at a “Wake and Bake” legalized marijuana event in Toronto on October 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Home nurse visits could play big role in reducing cannabis use, smoking in young mothers

The program, dubbed the BC Healthy Connections Project, involves public health nursing home visits

Most Read