Women now have new resources to help understand anxiety and mood disorders and are encouraged to seek help if they think they may have symptoms of the disorders. Fact sheets, calendars, magnets and posters were launched today, Oct. 6, as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week. The calendar showcases artwork of women who are affected by mental health and includes facts and tips about mood disorders and how to improve and maintain mental health. “Studies show that 16 per cent of women are affected by an anxiety disorder,” said Health Minister Chris d’Entremont. “Through this campaign, we want to encourage people to know the signs and symptoms and seek help early.” A study conducted by Université de Montréal found that women are twice as likely to suffer from health problems related to stress. Mental Illness Awareness Week raises awareness and reduces stigma to show that those living with a mental illness can lead full, rewarding and productive lives. Phase one of the women and mood disorders campaign was launched in May, with the release of a booklet containing stories of five woman and their recovery. About nine per cent of Nova Scotians report being depressed, according to a Statistics Canada survey, and fewer than 40 per cent do something about it. “We want to encourage women to be aware of their mental health and to seek help as soon as possible,” said Linda Smith, executive director of mental health, children’s services and addiction treatment at the Department of Health. The Department of Health developed these materials with input from people who have experienced mental health problems, psychologists, nurses and social workers as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations to increase awareness. The materials are available at www.nsdepression.ca .