Mental health and wellbeing continue to be an important focus for individuals, communities, governments, and businesses. Mental health is the collection of our thoughts, feelings, and experiences that make up our overall emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness. It can be impacted by a number of things and these things can be unique to each individual. Importantly, most of us will struggle with a mental health challenge or difficulty at some point in our lives.
Related to mental health is the concept of mental illness. According to the American Psychological Association, “mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking, or behaviour (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses can be associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work, or family activities”. Mental illness is not the opposite of mental health; they are separate, but related concepts. You can learn more about mental health and mental illness by visiting the resources below.
Promoting well-being is about building hope and resiliency, and promoting mental wellness, to handle stress, among other things. It is about the skills, tools, and knowledge we all need to handle the ups and downs of life, recognizing that we all encounter hard times.
The Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council has developed additional pages and blogs with further information regarding mental health and wellbeing:
Resources for Further Learning
What is Mental Illness?– American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association provides information about mental illness and mental health, as well as diagnostic and treatment information.
Mental Health 101– Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
CAMH has provided a series of free online tutorials as a starting point for learning about mental health. They also have a mental illness and addictions index which may be useful for understanding specific illnesses or conditions.
Mental Health: Strengthening our Response – World Health Organization
The World Health Organization lists key facts about mental health, as well as other relevant information.
How to Take Care of our Mental Health – Government of Canada
Good mental health is important for a healthy and happy life. Here are a number of ideas you can try to help you build a mentally healthy lifestyle.
Advice for Young People about Mental Health – Jack.Org
When things aren’t going well and you need advice from someone your age who “gets it” this website might help. Here you can find answers to many questions young people have about mental health.