Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 21:23 EDT

Canada Speaks 2012: New Report Reveals Canadians Empathetic Towards Those Suffering From Mental Illness & Addiction

May 1, 2012

Results from national opinion poll indicate public wants to see more
done for those affected

TORONTO, May 1, 2012 /CNW/ – For the second consecutive year, The Salvation Army is announcing May as
Dignity Month, and is releasing a report, “Canada Speaks 2012: Mental
Health, Addictions and the Roots of Poverty.” The report reveals
perceptions and attitudes among the Canadian public about individuals
dealing with addiction or suffering from mental illness.

The survey of more than 1,000 Canadians, conducted in February by Angus
Reid Public Opinion, revealed that many Canadians have been personally
touched by the issue, with 80 percent reporting that they have either a friend or family member who
has experienced mental illness and/or addiction.
Due to this surprising number, many Canadians empathize with those that
suffer from either mental illness and/or addiction and are looking to
the government and social service programs to provide additional
assistance to these individuals and their families.

Key findings from our report include:

        --  Most Canadians recognize the linkage between mental health and
            addiction with 71 percent agreeing that "a lot of people with
            addictions have mental health problems."
        --  80 percent of survey respondents reported their belief that
            mental illness causes many Canadians to experience poverty.
        --  87 percent of respondents believe that mental illness should be
            a higher priority for the government.
        --  84 percent of those surveyed think that there should be more
            services to help people with addictions.

“In previous reports that we have released, we have seen a Canadian
public that hasn’t always been sensitive to, or didn’t understand the
needs of vulnerable people in our society,” said Commissioner Brian
Peddle, Territorial Commander for The Salvation Army in Canada and
Bermuda. “Our latest report revealed an entirely different population,
one that is extremely empathetic to those struggling with mental
illness and addiction and hope for a better and brighter future for

The Salvation Army is highlighting the issue of mental illness and
addiction this month as part of its annual May Campaign and the ongoing
Dignity Project. Funds raised during the campaign will directly support
those living in poverty today through social services like emergency
shelter care, substance abuse counselling and employment training.

The Dignity Project is designed to inspire and educate the public about what it means to
live in poverty – and what they can do to help. Through social
networking and other communications outreach, The Salvation Army will
engage Canadians about the reality of poverty in the 21(st) century.

“The findings from this year’s report are promising and reveal a
population that recognizes the barriers and obstacles facing Canadians
that suffer from either mental illness or addiction and how it can lead
to a life of poverty,” said Commissioner Peddle. “Many people who seek
the assistance of The Salvation Army are affected by one of these
issues, so we are pleased that the public is eager to do more to help. 
The Salvation Army is working today and everyday to restore hope and
dignity to all who need our help, regardless of their circumstance.”

The Salvation Army provides direct, compassionate, hands-on service to
more than 1.7 million people in Canada each year, restoring hope and
dignity to the most vulnerable in society.  As an international
Christian organization that welcomes everyone, The Salvation Army’s
faith motivates its mission to serve and to treat everyone with dignity
and respect.

Learn more at www.SalvationArmy.ca.

About The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began
its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest
non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The
Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and
everyday in 400 communities across Canada and more than 120 countries
around the world. The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for
children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life,
providing shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who
have lost control of their lives to an addiction. When you give to The
Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and
overlooked people in your community.

News releases, articles and updated information can be found at www.SalvationArmy.ca


Source: PR Newswire