Tying it all together, Messina reminded listeners that diet has a significant impact on mental health and well-being, as stated in the association’s final point in the release. The association called on the government to take steps to increase dietary services to improve Canadians’ mental health. Messina explained that diet has been proven to reduce the risk of mental health issues, and decrease the severity of symptoms. While she emphasized the benefits of healthy eating on mental well-being, she also stated that some people in the community cannot afford to see a registered dietitian, or are unaware of or unable to access publicly funded dietary resources, such as HealthLink BC. To conquer this lack of access at home, Messina suggests promoting the dietary services available to community members.
“Dieticians of Canada and College of Dieticians of BC are trying to promote some of these things, as is HealthLink BC. But I think the highest risk are the clients we aren’t able to reach. I think addressing access to dieticians in the community would definitely be an issue that would help more Canadians meet their food requirements.” – Jennifer Messina, Registered Dietitian