February declared psychology awareness month in Alberta

  • Feb. 17, 2009 9:00 a.m.

People often feel they have to be going through very difficult times in order to even contemplate booking an appointment with a psychologist but that myth has been getting debunked over the past number of years. Many different areas of specialization cater to the many different needs individuals have. Psychologists can help overcome difficult situations, conquer change, or achieve goals whether they are related to family or relationship matters, career paths, stress control, weight issues, personal loss and various situations that influence our lives in any and every way. In recognition of this important profession, February has officially been named psychology month in Alberta.

“We are proud that Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel and Calgary mayor Dave Bronconnier have signed civic proclamations establishing February 2009 as Psychology Awareness Month,” said Psychologists’ Association of Alberta President, Ms. Sandra Dame, in a press release. “Our theme is ‘Psychology for Everyone’, and our mission is to promote the well being and potential of all Albertans. Our website lists over 130 issues that an individual may want to discuss with a psychologist.”

In addition to providing valuable information that can be obtained by the click of a mouse, the Psychologists’’ Association of Alberta website, which can be accessed online by visiting www.psychologistsassociation.ab.ca, also operates a referral service. You can either search for a psychologist in your area using the online service or you can call the toll free Alberta number, 1-888-424-0297, to directly speak with someone qualified to help. You will receive the names of registered psychologists in and around your area who are members of the Psychologists’’ Association of Alberta and who have expertise in the area of your concerns. It’s important to remember that finding the right psychologist is just as important and choosing the right doctor or any other health care provider.

The following are psychology month facts courtesy of another helpful site, www.cpa.ca/psycologycanada/psychologmonth:

-One in five Canadians will experience a mental disorder in their lifetimes. 

-The kinds of mental health problems most likely to be experienced by Canadians are depression and anxiety.

-According to the World Health Organization, by 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability adjusted life years for all ages and both sexes (second to heart disease)

-According to the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (or CAMIMH of which CPA is a member), two out of three people with a diagnosable mental disorder in Canada do not receive seek or receive care. Many factors influence the low utilization of service but these include the stigma involved in seeking help for a mental health problem and the availability and accessibility of needed treatments.

-Also according to CAMIMH, it is estimated that Canada loses 30 billion dollars annually in direct and lost productivity associated with mental health problems and addiction.