Way to go, Rick Mercer! I’ve been dogged by depression my whole life, but that hasn’t immobilized me and I think I get along quite well most of the time. It does make daily activities a challenge at times and it is a constant struggle. The top administrator at St. Joseph’s hospital in Comox told me a few days ago that anxiety and depression are the leading reasons for hospitalization. We often think of illness as a quality of the individual. We think of it as idiosyncratic. We acknowledge that environmental degradation can cause illness, but we seldom think that illness can have social roots. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that much illness is social in origin, ‘mental’ illness particularly so. We drive each other crazy all the time and the anxiety caused by uncertainty over mundane aspects of our lives combined with the certainty of death is a killer. I think that the incidence of mental illness, distress and anxiety is highly underreported. After all, no one wants to be labelled mentally ill. That label carries with it profound consequences as the video shows. Who wants to face the rejection and opprobrium that comes with a diagnosis of mental illness?