When you look in the mirror, what do you see? If you gained some weight, you might start eating more vegetables; if you lost weight, you might go to the gym; but if you see yourself as unhappy or sad or angry, what do you do?
Mental health is just as important to our quality of life as physical health – and you may be surprised to learn that men and women experience mental health problems much differently. While men have higher rates of addiction, women tend to have higher rates of mood and anxiety disorders.
Actually, women are 40% more likely than men to develop mental illness due to social factors such as additional caregiving responsibilities and increased likelihood of experiencing domestic violence and abuse. Despite these factors, women are usually more open to talking about their feelings and tend to have stronger social networks – both of which are important to preserving mental health.
If you have not personally experienced mental illness, chances are you know someone who has – it is an issue that affects everyone. Although 20% of Canada’s population lives with mental illness, the stigma attached to the disease is a serious barrier when it comes to diagnosis, treatment, and community acceptance which can lead to very dangerous consequences.
This is especially true for Canada’s Aboriginal communities, as self-inflicted injuries are the leading cause of death for Aboriginal youth and adults under the age of 45.
In an effort to make mental health a global priority, today - October 10th - is recognized as World Mental Health Day.
It is a day to look inward and take steps toward improving our personal mental health.
It is a day to recognize that mental illness affects people of all ages, educational backgrounds, income levels, and cultures - and it is nothing to be ashamed of.
It is a day to educate others about the importance of mental health, and truth about mental illness.
At Talk4Healing it has always been our mission to guide women and families who need our support, and this absolutely includes mental health support.
To bring awareness to the issue we have compiled a list of 10 things you can do today to improve your mental health and self-esteem.
Go outside — Sunlight is a natural mood booster!
Compliment yourself and someone you know — Spread the love.
Go to bed — It’s important to rest your mind and your body. Try to get 8 hours of sleep tonight.
Learn about good nutrition and put it to practice — What you eat, how much you eat, and the time of day you eat all affect your energy and your mood.
Learn something new — And allow yourself to feel accomplished.
Hang up your favourite pictures — Research has found that viewing pictures can boost your mood by 11%.
Get a move on — Exercising clears the mind, gives you energy, and makes you happy.
Sing your heart out — Singing increases happiness and strengthens the body’s ability to fight off sickness.
Remember the good stuff — Write down a couple of things that went well today, no matter how minor.
Give us a call — If you want to chat, Talk4Healing is here to listen. We can also put you in touch with counsellors and mental health service providers in your area.