Let’s talk about what good mental health is

Good mental health is everyone’s business, and is an important key to one’s overall well-being as a whole person, the same as a healthy diet and exercise helps one’s physical health.
Mental Health Week will be observed in Weyburn with events organized by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) from May 6-12, all designed to promote good mental health, and to get people thinking and talking about what that means for their lives.
These events include a presentation of a play written and performed by the participants of the CMHA’s Youth Theatre program, which will explore how social media can affect the lives of high school students, and a special speaker for the Mayor’s Luncheon.
Other events during this special week include the availability of semicolon tattoos and the used book sale, both of which will be fundraisers to benefit the CMHA and increase awareness of their work.
So what is good mental health? Understanding this is as important as knowing what is or is not healthy for you to eat or do with your body.
Signs of good mental health include your ability to enjoy life, being resilient in handling tough situations in your life, having balance in your life (such as between work and home), and self-actualization, where you are able to realize dreams and hidden talents.
These are just a few examples of what good mental health can look like, and there are many other ways this can be exhibited in your life.
On the opposite end, there also needs to be an open and honest awareness of what mental illness is, just like people are knowledgeable about physical illnesses and diseases that affect their health.
Mental illness is misunderstood by many people, and it’s feared because of the underlying stigma associated with it. Campaigns such as the “Let’s Talk” promotion are trying to remove that stigma, which really should not be a factor, as people are encouraged to talk about these illnesses and not hide in shame when they are mentioned.
The fear of these illnesses will disappear once people understand what they are and learn more about them. For example, there are anxiety disorders, eating disorders, depression and bipolar disorders, and a condition that we are learning more about today, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
These are just a few examples of illnesses that people are dealing with in their lives, and like with many physical disorders, they are treatable by professionals with counselling, support, encouragement and if needed, with medication prescribed by a professional, usually in combination with other forms of treatment. Much like good physical health, one needs to be aware of what’s good and what’s bad for them, and to strive to maintain good health in all aspects of life.

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