Mental Health Week: Why mental health matters

Mental health is a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life.

By Dawn Dunlop-Pugh, Canadian Mental Health Association

You may see the title “Why mental health matters” and think that this doesn’t apply to you. The most important message is YES, it does!  May 6–12 is Mental Health Week in Canada. In partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association; the Columbia Basin Trust, Ministry of Children and Family Development, Interior Health Authority, School District #19, City of Revelstoke, Community Connections, Revelstoke Awareness and Outreach Program, Chamber of Commerce, Options for Sexual Health and several other community organizations and individuals have planned several events in the community.

We all have mental health. Mental health is a state of overall mental and physical health and well-being. Maintaining good mental health in today’s hectic and stress-filled society is a challenge.

Sometimes we only think of mental health when there is a problem and we need to seek out support. Mental health is not just about the absence of mental illness. Mental health is a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, and can work productively and fruitfully.

In some cases, good mental health practices assist in protecting against to the onset of mental health problems and illnesses. As stated, by the World Health Organization “there is no health without mental health.”

Positive mental health involves emotional and psychological wellness, a positive and confident self-perception, healthy relationships, and an ability to take control of actions and feelings on a daily basis. By being aware, we can take positive steps towards mental health when the balance is disrupted.

One in four people in British Columbia will have a mental health problem that requires treatment. Only about one-third of those who require specialized mental health services in Canada actually receive service. Individuals are concerned that if they talk about their mental health they will be viewed differently.

Having a mental health diagnosis is not a weakness of character, it is a health condition. Due to this misunderstanding people are apprehensive to speak out and seek help. On average, people will deal with 10 mental health episodes before reaching out and seeking help. This is due to stigma.

Mental health affects us all; it is not related to occupation, age, race, educational backgrounds, or socio-economic status. The events being hosted this week will be focused towards education and information, access to services and supports, and working towards de-stigmatizing mental health.

Language shapes how we see the world. The words we choose and the meanings we attach to them influence our feelings, attitudes and beliefs. We have a choice in the words we use to describe others and the world around us. These choices have a powerful effect on how we view mental health and people that live with mental health conditions. Have you ever used the word crazy, addict, disturbed, insane, schzio, nuts, etc…  Think about how you have used them in the past and be mindful that these words are referencing people that live with a serious and persistent health issue.

Balancing your life. Mental health means striking a balance in all aspects of your life: social, physical, spiritual, economic and mental. Reaching a balance is a learning process and a different journey for each person. At times, you may tip the balance too much in one direction and have to find your footing again.  Your personal balance will be unique, and your challenge will be to stay mentally healthy by keeping that balance.

Here are some suggestions to help you find and keep your balance: exercise, develop positive relationships, set personal goals,  figure out your priorities, learn ways to cope with negative thoughts, get involved in your community, get a good night sleep, do a hobby you love, and eat healthy.

Mental health week is a great opportunity to raise awareness of this issue, but we need to not only educate the community during a few weeks a year but engage in this conversation year round.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Slow melt at high elevations near Revelstoke this spring

At one location on Mt. Fidelity there is double the usual snowpack for early July

Security cameras catch break and enter suspects on July 1 in Revelstoke

RCMP are asking for help to identify the men and a vehicle

Canada’s deficit result of investing in Canadians: Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity

Minister Mona Fortier said the government is working on the next steps as the economy restarts

Cancelled shows and slow reopening for Revelstoke Art Gallery

The gallery has been closed since March due to COVID-19

Pure magic: live performances revived in Revelstoke

Revelstoke Arts Council hosting Guerrilla Gigs on Wednesdays all summer long

Horgan says B.C. restart making gains as more people come out of their homes

B.C. announced the easing of more restrictions on businesses, recreation and travel last month

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

Dog locks out Kelowna couple on 4th floor patio

Kelowna firefighters were called in to rescue the two people

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

Shuswap resident calls RCMP about vehicle with U.S. licence plates

Police summoned on July 4 regarding car parked with California plates

Homeowners arrive in North Shuswap to find thieves busy breaking in

Chase RCMP request assistance from public in tracking down suspects

Ryga Arts Festival to include virtual and in-person events

Arts festival in Summerland will run from Aug. 15 to 23

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Most Read