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.

2018 marks the 67th annual CMHA Mental Health Week!

Mental Health Week is led by the Canadian Mental Health Association, which is also celebrating it 100th anniversary this year!

Every year, CMHA asks Canadians to #GetLoud about mental health. This May 7-13, for our 67th Mental Health Week, we’re asking you again. But this time, we’re talking about mental health a little differently.

For the past 66 years, Mental Health Week has taken the form of a mental illness awareness week. We got loud about breaking the stigma, and we got loud about our experiences with mental illnesses. But we didn’t #GetLoud about the fact that all Canadians have mental health.

This year, Mental Health Week is not only about the 1 in 5 Canadians who experience mental health issues. It’s about the 5 in 5.

5 in 5 of us have mental health. We all have a state of mental health. We all have it, so why don’t we all talk about it?

It’s about feeling good about yourself and reaching your potential. It’s about really thriving in life. It’s about the ups and the downs. It’s also about those overwhelming days when you need to take a few moments to breathe. And it’s about the mental illnesses that can affect any one of us.

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.

Mental Health Week is approaching, and we’re getting ready to #GETLOUD about what mental health really means. We can all have a state of mental well being, whether or not we have a mental illness. Every single one of us.

 

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