Canadian Mental Health Week: May 7-13

Do you think of stress as a mental health issue? What about periods of time when you feel really negative about the way life is going, or overwhelmed by the number of things on your To Do list?

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) says each one of us can take steps every day to look after our mental health by finding some balance in our lives. The theme for this year’s Mental Health Week is Mental Health for All — with particular focus on three topics:

  • Kids have stress too!
  • Resiliency: at home, at school, and at work
  • Mental health is everyone’s concern

Kids have stress too!

It can be easy to forget how much stress we felt as kids: social anxieties, homework, family issues, and more. Research shows that 90% of illness is caused by stress – in children, too. But often they don’t know how to cope.

CMHA suggests these four actions to help kids who feel stressed (learn more):

  • Spending time with your kids is the most important thing you can do. Listen to them when they talk to you. Try to understand how they feel.
  • Show your children you love them, with words, hugs and kisses.
  • Do things with them. It will help them to feel they belong in the family.
  • Do things as a family. Exercise is a great way to burn off stress. Make exercise part of your family life. Play ball or other games. Go for walks. Eat meals together. Talk. Share ideas, fun and how you feel about things.

Resiliency: at home, at school, and at work

Whether supporting kids in school or trying to manage in your own workplace, CMHA notes that the same skills will have an impact:

  • Relationships and reaching out
  • Emotional skills and emotional intelligence
  • Competence
  • Optimism

Learning how to use these traits with other coping skills helps build resiliency – the ability to solve problems, cope with challenges, and bounce back from disappointments (learn more).

Mental health is everyone’s concern

“Some 20% of the population will experience a mental disorder at some time in their lives,” the CMHA notes on their website. “This means that every single family in Canada will in some way be affected. Mental illness cannot be swept under the carpet.”
The CMHA has compiled a tip sheet of suggestions to put a bit more balance in our lives. These tips include:

  • Working exercise into your regular routine
  • Focusing on one task at a time, instead of multi-tasking
  • Making an effort to remember positive moments in your life
  • Sharing laughter with friends and family!

What do you do to keep some balance in your life? If you would like more information about Mental Health Week, visit