Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. While the COVID-19 pandemic presented many unprecedented challenges, often people identified positive aspects, or “silver linings,” such as finding a sense of community, gratitude, and the belief the pandemic may propel positive social change. The pandemic reinforced the importance of empathy.
During Mental Health Week, the Canadian Mental Health Association challenges us to #GetReal about how to help.
Mental health and mental illness: What’s the difference?
Mental health and mental illness are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Everyone has mental health just as everyone has health. Mental health includes our emotions, feelings of connection to others, our thoughts, and feelings, and being able to manage life’s highs and lows. Good mental health isn’t about being happy all the time. In fact, a mentally healthy life includes the full range of human emotions – including the uncomfortable ones like sadness, fear, and anger. The presence or absence of a mental illness is not a predictor of mental health; someone without a mental illness could have poor mental health, just as a person with a mental illness could have excellent mental health.
Who is affected?
Per an article from the Canadian Mental Health Association:
- Everyone has mental health and will experience challenges regarding their mental well-being, but not everyone will experience a mental illness.
- Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time either through their own experience, or that of a family member, friend, or colleague.
- On average, 1 in 5 Canadians will personally experience a mental health problem or illness.
- By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness.
- Mental illness affects people of all ages, education, income levels, and cultures; however, systemic inequalities such as racism, poverty, homelessness, and discrimination, among others, can worsen mental health and symptoms of mental illness, especially if mental health supports are difficult to access.
2022 marks the 71st annual CMHA Mental Health Week!
The objective of Mental Health Week is to shift societal beliefs and perceptions about mental health and promote behaviors and attitudes that foster well-being, support good mental health, and create a culture of understanding and acceptance.
Resources We Recommend
A great resource providing guidance to live a healthy life. Wellbeing provides tips for healthy living, eating well, staying active, sleep habits and mindfulness. It provides resources for mental health support including support lines and information regarding anxiety, depression, and suicide.
- Anxiety Canada
Anxiety Canada is a registered charity and non-profit organization, created to raise awareness about anxiety, and to support access to proven resources and treatment. They provide free online, self-help, and evidence-based tools to help manage anxiety.
- Workplace Strategies for Mental Health
Provides tools and resources for workplace mental health and psychological safety. Supports initiatives that:
- Increase knowledge and awareness of workplace psychological health and safety
- Offer practical strategies and tools to help employers turn knowledge into action
- Help anyone in any organization respond to mental health issues at work
- Wellness Together Canada
Wellness Together Canada was created in response to an unprecedented rise in mental health and substance use concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with funding from the Government of Canada. As a country, we are facing challenges at a scale we’ve never seen before, from social isolation and financial insecurity to substance use concerns and racial inequality.
We may be physically apart, but at the end of the day, we’re all in this together. We believe that wellness is a journey, not a destination—and every day, we can each take a step toward our own well-being. Wellness Together Canada is here to support you on that journey.
If you would like to discuss this topic in greater detail or have any questions, please reach out to a member of your Arbutus Financial Team.