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  • Writer's pictureWestwind

Mental Health Week 2019

This May 6-12, 2019 the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is celebrating their 68th Annual Mental Health Week and they’re doing so by encouraging everyone to #GetLoud. This week is about promoting the importance of mental health and emphasizing the prevalence in which mental health affects us all. This week also provides a platform for spreading more awareness about mental illness and works towards ending the stigma, discrimination and shame that is often associated with it.

As many as 1 in 5 (20%) Canadians will experience a mental health issue every year.

But every day WE ALL experience mental health!

Our mental health is a state of emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act and it helps determine the choices we make and how we relate to others. It also shapes our self-esteem and the relationship in which we have with ourselves. Much like our physical health, we can be in a state of good mental health or we can struggle and experience difficulty with our mental health. We can also waiver back and forth with it at any point in time. It is not necessary to have a mental illness to have poor mental health, and additionally, people who have a mental illness can experience good mental health. Ultimately, maintaining good mental health is a key factor to achieving better health overall.

Although, there are many factors that can determine the state of our mental health the CMHA lists 6 aspects for main consideration:

  1. Sense of Self (ie. I consider myself to be a good person)

  2. Purpose (ie. I feel I have a purpose and there is meaning in my life)

  3. Contribution (ie. I feel like the things I do matter and I make a difference)

  4. Hope (ie. I enjoy life and am optimistic about my future)

  5. Resilience (ie. Even when things get tough, I am able to deal fairly well by taking action where I can)

  6. Belonging (ie. I feel I have good relationships and that I am connected to and supported by others).

More often than not, people who struggle with their mental health engage in behaviours that are harmful to themselves and their overall health. And eating disorders are no exception. Many people with eating disorders struggle with one or more of the aspects listed above which does contribute to the suffering of their mental health. The preoccupation and harmful behaviours associated with food and weight may be a way for them to try and cope with the poor state their mental health is in. When we begin to examine some of these areas that are listed as influencing our mental health, we find the potential for insight to be gained and positive change to take place more possible.

Remember, we all have mental health. So whether or not you have an eating disorder or any other mental illness, it’s important for all of us to #GetLoud this Mental Health Week and share what mental health really is, why it’s so important and how we can all start taking the initiative to enhancing our mental health and maintaining it fully.

To find out more information about this year’s Mental Health Week check out their website

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