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Things more likely to kill you than ISIS
Election time is upon us here in Canada. It’s been a difficult few years with financial turmoil, senate scandals, and great environmental debates.
So of course we’re talking about ISIS, terrorism, and threats to Canadian security.
As a Canadian, how big of a threat is ISIS, and terrorism in general? Over the past ten year, two Canadians have died in terrorist attacks.
In 2011 alone, 3,728 Canadians died by Suicide.
3,728. In one year.
Suicide is the second highest cause of death for Canadian youth, and each year almost 300 young people lose their lives to suicide.
With 20% of Canadians experiencing mental health challenges at some point in their life, Mental health and suicide are huge issues for Canada. The chances your life will be touched in some way by mental illness and suicide is very high. Much higher than experiencing any kind of threat originating from terrorism.
So why are we talking about ISIS? A much larger threat lives right here on home soil. Our broken mental health system, and the stigma it helps to sustain is killing Canadians at an average of 11 people per day. It’s targeting some of our most vulnerable populations; young people, seniors, aboriginals, and newcomers.
ISIS is horrible, and they do horrible things. It’s a human rights travesty, and this is no argument against that. These politically charged conversations aren’t doing anything to help the situation in the Middle East though. Instead it’s fueling Islamophobia, dividing Canadians, and allowing politicians to side step the very real and difficult challenges Canada faces. Mental health is just one of many important conversations that isn’t happening this election.
Reflect on what issues are important to you. Ask difficult questions. Educate yourself. Look into actual platforms. Elections are a pivotal time for our nation, and you hold the power!
Keara (BA Psychology) is excited to join the mindyourmind team as the Community Engagement Assistant. She is passionate about creating open conversations around mental health and reducing stigma. Also on her list of likes are tea, good books, adventures, and the smell of rain.
Find blogs with relevant and up-to-date info about mental health, society and other youth topics; written by a variety of youth and professional contributors.