INTRODUCTION

CMHA Mental Health Week started in 1951 to raise awareness for mental health in Canada. Held during the first full week in May, CMHA Mental Health Week is now a popular awareness week. Our provincial offices and branches hold CMHA Mental Health Week events and activities in hundreds of community locations across Canada. CMHA Mental Health Week offers millions of Canadians practical ways to maintain and improve their mental health.

At CMHA, we’re proud to be the organization that started this tradition, and we’re proud that Canadians have embraced it.

2019 marks the 68th annual CMHA Mental Health Week!

Mental health is a state of well-being, and we all have it. We might have a mental illness, and we might not. Either way, we can all feel well. One in five Canadians lives with mental health problems, mental illnesses or addiction. But the reality is, five in five of us have mental health, just like we all have physical health. We can all benefit from celebrating, promoting and acknowledging the role that good mental health plays in living a full and meaningful life.

Let’s #GetLoud about what mental health really is

It’s about having a sense of purpose, strong relationships, feeling connected to our communities, knowing who we are, coping with stress and enjoying life. It’s never too early or too late to start promoting mental health. Mental health promotion helps us get our in from of mental illness. But it’s not just about what you do for yourself, by yourself – everyone needs healthy and supportive places to work, live and learn.

HOW MENTAL HEALTH IS LIKE PHYSICAL HEALTH

We are all human beings, and each of us has a physical body. We also all have a mind, and we all have emotions. In the same way that we all have a state of physical health, we all have a state of mental health. Mental health is more than the absence of mental illness.

Here’s something to think about: You might have an illness or a disease, say diabetes. Maybe you deal with the symptoms– through diet, physical activity, medication or in other ways. When it comes to your physical health, you might feel absolutely great.

On the other hand, you might not have any illness or disease, but for any number of reasons, you might not feel physically well at all. Say you don’t sleep well, or you are rundown.

All this to say that you might have an illness or disease on one hand, but feel well on the whole. On the other hand, you may not have a disease but are not feeling “well” at all.

The same is true about your mental health. You might have a mental illness, but that doesn’t mean you’re mentally unhealthy. Or that you can’t feel well.

And even if you don’t have a mental illness, you may at times feel mentally unwell. Stress, an overwhelming schedule, and difficult life events or circumstances can put pressure on your mental health.

For Mental Health Week, let’s #GetLoud ABOUT WHAT MENTAL HEALTH REALLY IS. We all have a state of mental well being, whether or not we have a mental illness. Every single one of us.

This post is also available in: frFrançais (French)