From May 7th to the 13th it is Mental Health Week, and leading the charge is the Canadian Mental Health Association. https://mentalhealthweek.ca/

So let’s #GETLOUD about what mental health really is.

Mental health is about more than mental illness

It is about finding balance in a world that can seem very unbalanced at times. Whether it is personal or professional lives we are talking about, mental wellbeing is important. I say this because I feel that we often forget about something that should be so obviously apparent, taking care of ourselves and helping others to do the same.

Communication and having an open mind, it is easy to say, but not always easy to accomplish. That is why the promotion of mental health and mental wellbeing is paramount in the fight against any type of mental health issue or illness that may arise. Because things like depression, anxiety, fatigue, substance abuse, etc… can remain unseen, and unwanted. Difficulties can manifest themselves into physical issues, but not always, and tend to remain in shadows. What keeps these things from being silent and invisible, and leading the way to open, responsible, and healthy dialogue,… is promotion.

Making someone, and everyone, aware that casual communication is accepted at home, in a group setting, in a social work office, in the workplace, or in any other comfortable and safe space, is (in this writers opinion) the best way to overcome the surrounding stigma.

We all need to keep good mental health. There is nothing wrong with seeking a little help and taking a step back. I’ve been in that place before, needing to take a cautious approach. And whether I get there again or not, I can guarantee I’ll make it worse on myself if I start thinking it is NOT okay and/or begin isolating myself.

It is okay, and I’m not alone.

We need to work together.

We need to understand together.

By Mark Koning

Mark is the Communications & Administration Specialist with the AIDS Committee of York Region. Mark is also an Author and Blogger of Challenging Barriers and The BIST Blog. (Brain Injury Society of Toronto)