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The Importance of Mental Health Awareness
Last week was mental health awareness week. There’s no point denying that we (my kids, my husband and myself) struggle with many mental health challenges. And we are not the only ones. The COVID-19 pandemic had major effects on overall mental health, including an increase in suicidal thoughts.1https://cmha.ca/warning-signs-more-canadians-thinking-about-suicide-during-pandemic/
If untreated, mental illness often has a impact beyond someone’s emotional state; physical health issues are more likely to develop as well.
Facts about Mental Illness
- 1 in 3 Canadians (and 50% of Americans) will be affected by mental illness at some point in their lifetime.2https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/news/2022/04/government-of-canada-invests-in-mental-health-and-distress-centres0.html3https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/learn/index.htm#:~:text=Mental%20illnesses%20are%20among%20the,some%20point%20in%20their%20lifetime.&text=1%20in%205%20Americans%20will,illness%20in%20a%20given%20year.
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of deaths for people age 10 to 29 year old (In Canada and US)4 https://healthycanadians.gc.ca/publications/healthy-living-vie-saine/suicide-canada-infographic/alt/infographic-infographique-eng.pdf5https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/facts/index.html
It Could Happen to You
No one is invincible when it comes to mental health problems. Unfortunately, bad things happen to the best of us. It might even be affecting your right now, without being aware of it. For example:
- A loved one is having a stroke and their life will forever change
- A loved one or yourself has a terminal illness but you don’t know yet
- A loved one is getting cyberbullied or slut-shamed
- A loved one is struggling and depressed, but they are keeping it inside
My point here is not to scare you but rather to bring awareness about the subject. The awareness can be helpful for your loved one and yourself but can also save lives.
Why Mental Health Awareness Is Important
Mental health awareness can help us to see the warning signs, identify and understand symptoms. Moreover, it makes it easier to apply the proper coping skills, find professional treatment, and perhaps most importantly, break the mental health stigma that leaves so many people suffering.
Our Own Struggles and Real-life Experiences
The following health topics are the ones for which I can relate the most ; with the intention of bringing our real-life experiences and sharing what helped us the most. My plan is to provide supportive tools and resources that could be useful for anyone who aspire to overcome their own hardships.
- PTSD as an adult
- Childhood trauma
- The impact of a Traumatic Brain Injury on the person and their loved ones
- Covid-19 and mental health challenges
- Caring for loved ones facing mental health challenges
- Caring for loved ones facing cognitive challenges
- Caring for loved ones facing physical disabilities
- Relationship challenges following hardships
- Caring for someone who is sick or hospitalized
- School or childhood bullying
As a final note, I hope that my posts will never give the impression of “Look at me, I have all the skills and I will teach them to you!”. That would be nonsense as no one is perfect. Everyone is learning everyday. What I will do instead is be honest and vulnerable and share our full story and what is helping us heal in our long journey. You are welcome to share in comments (or in private) what worked for you and your perspective. Your feedback can also help others!
The first set of series of posts about mental health will be about PTSD and our real-life experience.
That’s it for now!
Do you have any thoughts about any of the examples above?
Please share them in the comments below.
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