Today’s offering will be the last installment of this column. It has been my privilege to discuss issues in mental health and wellness here for the last 15 years and a true pleasure to hear from readers who have found the information helpful in some way.

Over the past 15 years we have seen some advancements in the understanding of mental illness and its treatment. We have learned more about the way the brain works as well as the contribution of genetics and environment in mental health.

Importantly, we have also seen a gradual breaking down of stigma surrounding mental health. It seems now to be less of a taboo – people are generally more willing to talk openly about mental health struggles and seek help.

We still have a distance to travel in this regard and though I am encouraged to see awareness and acceptance growing, I hope to see it continue in the coming years.

I hope people will view mental health in the same way we do our physical health - as something to be fostered and attended to - not a shameful topic to be pushed into a dark corner.

One in five of us will experience a mental illness at some point in life and depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. This is a topic that affects us all in some way.

If you or a loved one struggle with mental health symptoms, seek help. You are not alone. Effective treatment options exist and can likely help you resume daily functioning and regain quality of life.

You do not need to suffer in silence. Speaking with your doctor is a good place to start. From there, you can ask for a referral to a mental health specialist with a goal of achieving complete remission of symptoms.

There are good sources of information online and I encourage you to become an advocate for your own mental health. Seek out information from a reputable source with scientific evidence to back it up.

If you’re interested in re-reading any of these columns, they can all be found on my website at www.okanaganclinicaltrials.com

Thank you for joining me here for all this time. I wish you well.





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