Understanding & Accommodating Mental Illness

Understanding & Accommodating Mental Illness

January 31st has been designated ‘Bell Lets Talk Day’ in an attempt to recognize that we as a society need work on acknowledging mental illness. Mental illness is as real as physical illness. Just like physical illness, mental illness comes in all shapes and sizes and does not discriminate against who it attacks. Statistically, in any given year 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness. The Canadian Mental Health Association website shares other startling statistics with respect to how common mental illness is amongst us. Initiatives like ‘Bells Lets Talk Day’ help reduce the stigma and resulting discrimination attached to mental illness. However, the reality is understanding and acceptance of mental illness in our society is not what it should be…. yet.

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Yup, you can get jail time for texting and driving.

Yup, you can get jail time for texting and driving.

A simple ‘texting and driving’ google search generates statistics that goes on for pages. It’s simple logic – if you’re looking at something other than the road when you’re driving, you are more likely to have an accident. One stat pops up repeatedly, and paints a pretty scary picture. A driver’s eyes are diverted from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds when reading or sending a text. In 4.6 seconds, with its driver not looking at the road, a car travelling 100km/hour travels the length of a football field. It doesn’t take a lot of creativity to imagine the deadly situations that might crop up on the road in that span. Not surprisingly, the US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that you are 23 times more likely to crash if texting while driving.

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