If you are in crisis, please go to your local hospital or call 911 immediately.
One in five Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their lives.
Bell Let’s Talk Day is January 31, 2018 aka Today.
So let’s get this conversation started. My type of blogging may be focused on fashion and lifestyle, but sometimes we just have to go deeper. Let’s make it okay for every day to be a day that its okay to talk about mental health.
First off all, I am no expert regarding mental health, but suffering from anxiety myself has allowed me understand how important this is. I just want to open this up for conversation while providing you with helpful information.
In our online community, we have already been talking about mental health and why it is so important (ex. unfollowing people on Instagram that make you feel bad about yourself). However, by learning more about mental health, we can take steps to help ourselves and others improve mental health and reduce the risk and stigma of mental illness.
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health is not only the avoidance of serious mental illness. Your mental health is affected by numerous factors from your daily life, including the stress of balancing work with your health and relationships.
Good mental health is the willingness to think about and deal with everyday challenges. These could involve:
- Making choices and decisions
- Adapting to and coping with difficult situations
- Talking about one’s needs and desires
- Maintaining meaningful relationships
- Remember that everyone has good and bad days, with or without a mental illness
Just as our lives and circumstances continually change, so do our moods and thoughts, and our sense of well-being. We all feel sad, worried, scared or suspicious sometimes. But these kinds of feelings may become a problem if they get in the way of our daily lives over a long period. When there are changes in a person’s thinking, mood or behaviour, and these
changes cause a lot of distress and make it difficult to do daily tasks, that person may have a mental illness.
Ending The Stigma
Negative attitudes (prejudice) + negative responses (discrimination) = STIGMA
Stigma is thinking less of a person because of his or her condition.
Stigma can make people feel unwanted and ashamed for something that is not their choice or fault. This is often harder to deal with than the illness itself, and is one of the main reasons someone may not seek out help.
What Can You Do?
- Treat everyone with respect. Treating people with respect is about treating people in a way that they consider respectful.
- Be warm, caring and non-judgmental. If you approach every interaction you have with warmth and caring, you will help to create an environment where distress is less likely. If something does come up, people around you will feel supported and more likely to share their difficulties.
- Challenge stigma when you see it. Help to challenge popular myths surrounding mental illness by become mindful of erroneous thoughts and opinions that perpetuate the myths around mental illness – and then correct them.
- Watch your language. It’s important to remember to put the person first. Avoid using language that stigmatizes mental health or illness further.
- Learn the facts about mental health and mental illness. Do your research. Educate yourself and those around you.
- Help raise awareness about mental health. Take action – spread the word, raise awareness, make a difference.
If You Need Help Now!
- Visit your local emergency department or call 911.
- Call the Kids Help Phone at 1 800 668-6868.
- Call a distress line or crisis centre in your area.
- For a list of crisis centres across Canada, visit www.suicideprevention.ca.
- Contact your local Canadian Mental Health Association branch: www.cmha.ca/get-involved/find-your-cmha/
- Find a local crisis centre for suicide prevention: www.suicideprevention.ca/in-crisis-now/find-a-crisis-centre-now/
- Consult 211, Canada’s primary source of information on government and community-based health and social services. Call 211 or visit www.211.ca