Do you know that the theme for this year’s Mental Health Day, observed on October 10th, was “Depression: A Global Crisis.” Depression affects more than 350 million people of all ages, in all communities, and is a significant contributor to the global burden of disease. A report issued to coincide with Mental Health Day 2012 reported on the burden of mental illness and addictions in Ontario Canada. Sujitha Ratnasingham, lead author of the report by the Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences and Public Health Ontario, reported that the burden of mental illness and addictions is more than 1.5 times that of all cancers. In Ontario, mental illness and addiction contributed to more than 600,000 health-adjusted life-years, a measure that incorporates both premature death and reduced functioning or suboptimal states of health associated with disease or injury. The five conditions that had the highest burden were: Depression, Bipolar disorder, Alcohol use disorders, Social phobia, and Schizophrenia. Of these, depression had the highest overall burden and accounted for one third of those five conditions. Bottom line? Early detection is key.