The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has selected the first week in May to focus on raising awareness about mental health. The website reports 1 in 5 Canadians experiencing mental health or addiction issues each year. By the time we reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 of us have – or have had – a mental illness.
The CMHA has listed 6 elements of overall good mental health:
- freedom from anxiety or fear
- attaining personal potential
- enjoyment of life
- contribution to society
- sense of belongingness or community
- resilience or resourcefulness
The pandemic is significantly impacting our emotional well-being in all of these areas. In Canada, this past year, 77% of adults identify with words like “worried, anxious, bored, lonely, sad, isolated and stressed” under these conditions.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has also recognized the importance of sound mental health at work. Statistics show that a mentally healthy employee is a happy, productive employee, which cuts down on workplace absenteeism, helps to increase production at work and build teams and reduces safety risks and cuts down on productivity loss by billions of dollars per year. Employee and Family Assistance Programs are important resources that protect and maintain health and well-being.
The CCOHS has also listed ten general tips on their website for good mental health which include:
- Build confidence – by accepting weakness and building on strengths
- Eating right, keeping fit and getting enough sleep
- Making time for family and friends
- Giving, but also being able to accept, support
- Creating a meaningful budget – i.e. taking care of business, especially financial concerns
- Managing stress
- Finding strength in numbers – connecting with others who may be going through similar experiences as yourself
- Identifying and dealing with moods
- Learning to be at peace with yourself
Please check out the CMHA Mental Health week website: www.mentalhealthweek.ca
Perhaps you might choose to do one or more things this month that will support your well-being
- What would you say you are currently doing that protects and develops your emotional and mental well-being?
- What one thing might you consider spending more time and energy doing to build mental health resiliency and distress tolerance?