Dealing with mental health illness and substance abuse takes a lot of effort and a lot of understanding not just from those suffering with these afflictions, but their friends and family as well.
Over the weekend the hope for today foundation hosted a special seminar discussing mental illness and substance abuse issues with featured speakers Dr. Ali Ajaz and Dr. Mark Lockhart.
Both doctors agree breaking the stigma of these illnesses goes a long way in helping patients.
“Lots of emotions get in the way about people experiencing things and creating a safer environment in terms of the people being able to discuss these issues because there are a lot of people suffering in silence,” Dr. Ajaz said.
“These are brain illnesses, these are illnesses that start early on and set patterns on how we respond and they make it very difficult for that person to stop doing that behaviour,” explained Dr. Lockhart, CI Mental Health Commission chair.
Hope for Today Foundation’s Operations Manager Brent Hydes said he hopes the seminar helps the community get a better understanding of the issues affecting mental health and substance abuse.