About one in three Canadians will have a mental health problem at some point in their life.
While people often know a lot about physical illness, most people have little knowledge about mental illness.
This lack of understanding promotes FEAR and STIGMA. It prevents people from seeking help early and seeking the most effective help.
It also keeps people from providing appropriate support to friends, colleagues, family members and people around them simply because they don’t know how.
Mental Health Definition
“The Public Health Agency of Canada” defines mental health as:
“…the capacity of each and all of us to feel, think, and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face. It is a positive sense of emotional and spiritual well-being that respects the importance of culture, equity, social justice, interconnections and personal dignity”
Mental health influences how we think and feel about ourselves and others and how we interpret events. It affects our capacity to learn, communicate, and form, sustain or end relationships. It also influences our ability to cope with change, transition and life events, such as having a baby, moving to a new home or experiencing bereavement.
A person will often have reactions that are considered normal or realistic for the situation. These can become a disorder when the length, intensity or effect they have on the person’s life are considerable and prolonged.
Why do we think Mental Health is important?
We deal closely with clients who are facing big life events like divorce, moving homes, new job, new baby, the death of a loved one. Sometimes they are suffering from mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), just to name some examples.
Clutter could be a consequence of mental health problems. Most times we need to understand the reasons of why clutter exists and then help our clients to find new ways and habits to overcome it. Patience, consistency, being supportive and understanding the symptoms of mental health problems can help us be way more effective.
Our goal is to provide help and resources to make our community stronger and more resilient. This is why we decided to get trained in Mental Health First Aid. We encourage everybody to take the course. It’s a great opportunity to learn more and be ready to help your loved ones when they need assistance but they feel too ashamed and afraid to ask for it.
Up to $51 Billion per year is lost in the Canadian economy to mental health issues. (Mental health commission of Canada).
Recovery from Mental Health Problems
People can, and do, recover from even the most severe mental health problems. A wide variety of factors can influence recovery, including:
- Supportive social networks.
- Access to education and employment opportunities.
- Early intervention and the quality and availability of treatments.
- The person’s ability and willingness to participate in treatment.
The Importance of Self-Care
I would like to mention the importance of living a balanced lifestyle nurturing your body, mind, family, social relationships, and giving back. Taking time for Self-care, enjoying time with friends and family, doing exercise, eating well… will help you feel great!
We shared a few ideas in our “Recipe for an Extraordinary Life”
One of the main resources in Waterloo-Wellington-Dufferin Area is HERE24SEVEN (1 844 437 3247). You can call them any time to access Addictions, Mental Health & Crisis Services. They will be able to handle the situation and point you in the right direction.
Being Aware of the Symptoms
If you notice changes in the behavior of a loved one, friend, family member or colleague they may be experiencing mental health issues. Some examples of symptoms to look for are:
- Sleep disturbances.
- Loss of appetite.
- Withdrawal from activities and social contacts.
- Deterioration in personal hygiene.
- Sudden excesses.
- Deterioration in studies and work.
- Physical symptoms (e.g., weakness, pains, bizarre body sensations).
- Reduced energy and motivation.
- Increased anxiety.
- Irrational, angry or fearful responses to friends and family.
- Mood swings.
- Difficulties with concentration.
- Increased energy and overactivity.
- Lack of insight.
“…(Recovery) is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life even with the limitations caused by illness. Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one’s life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness” Mental Health Commission of Canada
I hope this blog is helpful. If you have any comments or feel like sharing please leave a comment below.
If you want to learn more about mental health, we strongly recommend taking the Mental Health First Aid Course. We both took it and it ‘s so helpful!
Self-care is a great tool that will help you improve your mental health and live an extraordinary life on your own terms.
I would like to finish this post with a TED video about “Emotional First Aid”. Sometimes sharing a good video like this one could be a good way to help someone understand and reflect. Enjoy and thanks for reading!
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