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Mental Health - what is it really?

May is Mental Health month. I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss mental health and appropriate supports.

Before we begin, let’s clarify what really is mental health?

Mental health is how you feel emotionally or psychologically and how that impacts your functioning.

Mental health exists on a spectrum. It includes feelings and behaviours that help you thrive, as well as those that disrupt your daily functioning.

Depending on a variety of factors, it is possible to move along the spectrum.

For example, losing your job, ending a romantic relationship or economic challenges can negatively impact your mental health.

Similarly, economic stability, securing housing, a good support system and access to appropriate health resources can help those struggling with their mental health.

Mental Health supports exists in 3 categories:

When things are going well

Good nutrition, regular exercise, restful sleep, a good support system are all important to help you stay well

When things start to get difficult (e.g. after the loss of a loved one)

Therapy (individual, group or peer support) can be quite effective to help you address issues as they arise

When you are struggling (e.g. persistent low mood and or thoughts of suicide)

Therapy, medication and or support groups can help you manage this distress, keep you safe and improve your quality of life

Every one of us has and will experience challenges in our lives. Therefore, every one of us can benefit from mental health support.

Increasing access to appropriate mental health care should be a priority for every employer, insurance provider and for the government.

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