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About Mental Health

About Mental Health

Get informed

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to mental health. Here are some resources to help you get started.

Anxiety Disorders

We all feel nervous or worried at times. This anxiety can be a helpful feeling when it motivates us or warns us of danger. An anxiety disorder, on the other hand, causes unexpected or unhelpful anxiety that seriously impacts our lives, including how we think, feel, and act. What are anxiety disorders? Anxiety disorders are mental illnesses. The different types of anxiety disorders include: Phobias A phobia is an intense fear around a specific thing

Care for the Caregiver

More and more Canadians take care of friends, family members, and loved ones of all ages living with a mental health problem, whether they live together at home or not. Caring for a loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be tiring, overwhelming, confusing, and stressful. Many caregivers feel obligated to put the needs of others before their own. Yet, when you make the time to take care of yourself, you can help

Children, Youth & Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal and expected response to a threat. It’s what helps you notice danger and keeps you safe until a threat passes. Threats are not just about physical safety. Threats can include conflict at home, deadlines or expectations at school, or fitting in with social groups. Some anxiety is necessary, even helpful. It’s what motivates people to take action or work hard to meet a goal. However, too much anxiety or anxiety that

Children, Youth & Depression

While we may think of low mood or other challenges as adult problems, they can affect people at any age. Children and teens can experience mental illnesses like depression. Sometimes it can be difficult for adults to understand how difficult children’s problems can be because we look at their problems through adult eyes. But the pressures of growing up can be very hard for some children. It’s important that we remind ourselves that while their

Concurrent Mental Illness and Substance Use Problems

WHAT DO WE MEAN? A concurrent mental illness and substance use problem means that someone experiences a mental illness and, at the same time, uses substances like alcohol or other drugs in ways that could cause harm. Substance use is a problem when it negatively affects a person’s life or the lives of others. Addiction or dependence (needing to use alcohol or other drugs to stop withdrawal) is one kind of substance use problem, but

Coping with Loneliness

Loneliness is an experience that means our current close relationships don’t meet our needs. Despite the name, you don’t always have to be alone to feel lonely. Loneliness can come up whenever we feel alone, unwanted, or isolated. Loneliness can come up when: We’re around a lot of people but feel like we don’t quite fit in We’re around a lot of people but don’t receive the support or connection we’re looking for We lose

Depression and Bipolar Disorder

We all experience changes in our mood. Sometimes we feel energetic, full of ideas, or irritable, and other times we feel sad or down. But these moods usually don’t last long, and we can go about our daily lives. Depression and bipolar disorder are two mental illnesses that change the way people feel and make it hard for them to go about their daily routine. What is depression? Depression is a mental illness that affects

Eating Disorders

Every day, we are surrounded by different messages from different sources that impact the way we feel about the way we look. For some, poor body image is a sign of a serious problem: an eating disorder. Eating disorders are not just about food. They are often a way to cope with difficult problems or regain a sense of control. They are complicated illnesses that affect a person’s sense of identity, worth, and self-esteem. What

Feeling Angry

We all feel angry sometimes. Most of the time, we can deal with feelings of anger or irritability quickly. We may resolve the situation or look at the problem from a different perspective. However, anger can cause problems in our lives and the lives of those around us. Learn more about recognizing problem anger and taking action. What is anger? Anger is an emotion that tells us when something may be wrong. For example, we

Getting Help

Some people worry about asking for help because there can be stigma around mental health problems. They may believe that asking for help means admitting that something is wrong. Some people worry about how others might see them. Asking for help means that you want to make changes or take steps towards your new health goals. We should celebrate the courage it takes to speak up and make changes. Getting help is part of recovery.

Grieving

Loss is one of life’s most stressful events. It takes time to heal, and everyone responds differently. We may need help to cope with the changes in our lives. Grief is part of being human, but that doesn’t mean we have to go through the journey alone. What is grief? Grief (also called bereavement) is the experience of loss. Many people associate grief with the death of an important person or pet. However, people experience grief

Medications for Mental Health

The decision to use medication—or any other treatment—is an ongoing conversation between you and your doctor. Since you are the most important part of your treatment plan, your choices and your questions are an important part of that discussion. When you have accurate information about medication and you can see how it might apply to your situation, you can make decisions that will give you the best chance of feeling better. MEDICATIONS ARE ONE TOOL

Mental Health for Life

Mental health is key to our well-being. We can’t be truly healthy without it. It involves how we feel, think, act, and interact with the world around us. Mental health is about realizing our potential, coping with the normal stresses of life, and making a contribution to our community. It may be more helpful to think of good mental health as thriving. Good mental health isn’t about avoiding problems or trying to achieve a ‘perfect’

Mental Illnesses

What do you think of when you hear that someone is experiencing a mental illness? Some people feel concern, fear, or confusion. Some even avoid those who experience mental illnesses. But mental illnesses are just like any other illness: everyone deserves care, help, and support. What are mental illnesses? Mental illnesses are health problems that affect the way we think about ourselves, relate to others, and interact with the world around us. They affect our

Mental Illnesses in the Workplace

Work is important to our well-being. In addition to the income it brings, it can be a big part of our identity, how we understand our skills, and a way to contribute to something bigger. However, a mental illness can have a big impact on the way we work. What are mental illnesses? Mental illnesses are health problems that affect the way we think about ourselves, relate to others, and interact with the world around

Mindfulness

Many of us lead busy lives. We are busy thinking about yesterday and busy planning for tomorrow. When we focus on the past and future, we aren’t paying a lot of attention to the present—where we are right now. Mindfulness is simply an invitation to step out of the clutter and really focus on what we are doing, thinking, and feeling in this moment. WHAT IS MINDFULNESS? Mindfulness is a way of being. It’s also a skill

Myths About Mental Illness

Mental illnesses affect everyone in some way. We all likely know someone who has experienced a mental illness at some point. Yet there are still many hurtful attitudes around mental illnesses that fuel stigma and discrimination and make it harder to reach out for help. It’s time to look at the facts. Ten Common Myths Here are ten common myths about mental illnesses. Myth #1: Mental illnesses aren’t real illnesses. Fact: The words we use to

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Many of us have small habits that make us feel better, but we can also live without them. For example, we might think of something as ‘lucky’ or have a routine that feels comforting. But for people who experience obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), these behaviours are much more intense and disruptive and are fuelled by unwanted thoughts that don’t go away. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is not always easy to understand, but it’s a real illness that causes

Overdoes Prevention

What is an overdose? Overdose occurs when someone takes one or more drugs in a quantity or combination that exceeds what their body can handle. Overdose can happen with many types of drugs, including those used recreationally, bought over-the-counter, or prescribed. This includes everything from alcohol, to Tylenol, to opioids. Some drugs, such as opioids, are central nervous system depressants, meaning that they slow normal functions like breathing and heart rate to the point that they stop

Phobias and Panic Disorders

Everyone feels scared at times. But sometimes, fear can come up in a situation that isn’t expected. This fear stops us from going about our usual routines or working towards our goals. Phobias and panic disorder are two examples of mental illnesses that can lead to these problems. What are phobias? A phobia is an intense fear of a specific thing like an object, animal, or situation. Two common phobias include heights and dogs. We

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Frightening situations happen to everyone at some point. People can react in many different ways: they might feel nervous, have a hard time sleeping well, or go over the details of the situation in their mind. These thoughts or experiences are a normal reaction. They usually decrease over time and the people involved can go back to their daily lives. Post-traumatic stress disorder, on the other hand, lasts much longer and can seriously disrupt a

Postpartum Depression

Bringing a new baby into the family can be challenging at the best of times, both physically and emotionally. It is natural for new parents to experience mood swings, feeling joyful one minute and depressed the next. These feelings are sometimes known as the “baby blues,” and often go away soon after birth. However, some parents may experience a deep and ongoing depression that lasts much longer. This is called postpartum depression. What is postpartum

Preventing Suicide

Suicide. It’s a difficult topic to bring up. However, when someone talks about suicide or brings up concern for a loved one, it’s important to take action and seek help quickly. What is suicide? Suicide means that someone ends their life on purpose. However, people who die by suicide or attempt suicide may not really want to end their life. Suicide may seem like the only way to deal with difficult feelings or situations. Who

Psychotherapy

Many people find that the simple act of talking with family and friends can help them see a new perspective, solve a problem, or simply feel supported. Sometimes talking with a friend isn’t enough, and you need more specialized help and support. Psychotherapy is another type of conversation that can help you feel better. WHAT IS PSYCHOTHERAPY? Psychotherapy* is a treatment with a professional using psychological methods. It involves collaboration and conversation between a professional like

Social Support

We all need to feel like we belong and that others care about our well-being. Social support is exactly that: the belonging and care we receive from other people. Those people—our social support network—can include many different groups of people, including partners, friends, family members, co-workers, neighbours or even professionals like doctors, counsellors, or peer support workers. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT People need other people. It’s common for people to underestimate how much they might

Stress

We all talk about stress, but we’re not always clear about what it is. Stress comes from both the good and the bad things that happen to us. If we didn’t feel any stress, we wouldn’t be alive! Stress may feel overwhelming at times, but there are many strategies to help you take control. What is stress? Stress is the body’s response to a real or perceived threat. That response is meant to get people

Supporting a Loved One

When someone you love has been diagnosed with a mental illness, you feel a mixture of emotions. Concern, compassion, disbelief, anger, relief, anxiety, grief, love, guilt…any and all of these emotions are understandable and normal. You are not to blame for a loved one’s mental illness. Mental illnesses are caused by many different factors that work together, such as genetics, biology, environment, and life experiences. Loved ones can play a big part in helping a

Talking to Teens About Mental Health

Teens need to know that they can take charge of their well-being, speak up if they start to notice problems, and support others respectfully. Many mental illnesses start during the teen years, yet many teens don’t receive the help they need right away. It doesn’t have to be that way. Working towards good mental health and seeking help early means that teens can get back on their feet more quickly when problems arise. We know

Toward Recovery

Recovery from a mental illness is expected. And it’s not necessarily an end point—it can be a process that you work on no matter where you are in (or out of) treatment. For some people, recovery may mean living without any symptoms of a mental illness at all. For others, recovery is about living well and working, volunteering, going to school, or maintaining social connections despite symptoms that are still there or recur. In both

Understanding Substance Use

Many people think of substance use problems only in terms of addiction, a dependence on alcohol or other drugs where someone needs to continually use the substance in order to feel normal. Substance use is bigger than that. Using substances like alcohol and other drugs can have an impact on mental health, and mental health can have an impact on substance use. When substance use problems are more serious, it may look like someone is

Youth and Self-Injury

People cope with difficult thoughts, feelings, or situations in different ways. Some people cope by injuring themselves on purpose—and it may be the only way for them to feel better. Self-injury may seem frightening, but it’s important to look beyond the injuries and see what’s really going on. What is self-injury? Self-injury means that someone hurts themselves on purpose but doesn’t intend to end their life. Common acts of self-injury include cutting skin, burning skin,
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