According to a new report Mental illness and addictions take more of a toll on the health of Ontarians than cancer or infectious diseases. Researches say that this burden can be reduced by the treatment. “The majority of people with mental illness or addiction aren’t receiving treatment, even though effective interventions are available, only small fraction of people are accessing health services.”

The report from Ontario says that burden of addiction is 1.5 times higher than cancers and infectious diseases. The potential reason for this burden is that mental illnesses develop at young age and go unnoticed. In Canada the burden of depression alone was more than lung, breast and prostrate cancer. The problem is world-wide, with the World Health Organization drawing attention to untreated depression a “global crisis”.

“People don’t seek care because of stigma around these disorders, particularly for problematic alcohol use.This report also reinforces the need for changes, such as strengthening the role of family physicians in treatment, exploring effective approaches from other jurisdictions, and reducing stigma so that people begin to ask for help”  says Dr. Jürgen Rehm,

This attitudeis reducing the life expectancy of these people but there is hope and it’s important to remember that these conditions are treatable. If we increase the likelihood that people seek and get timely access to treatments