Mental Health Week

Mental Health Week has started today!!! It is from May 4-10, 2015 this year.

1 in 4 Canadians (25% of the population) today are likely to experience a diagnosable mental illness.  From my experience, I would estimate this number is a lot larger with 1 in 2 especially with depression and anxiety.  However, 1 in 4 is the number we have based on people reporting their mental health issue.  

Many Canadians do not recognize that they are experiencing a mental health issue while others do not seek help because of misconceptions about mental health and the stigma surrounding it. 2 out of 3 Canadians with a mental health issue will suffer in silence fearing judgement and rejection.  27% of Canadians reported they fear being around someone with a serious mental illness.  Two thirds of homeless people in urban shelters have some form of mental health issue. 

We must increase awareness and advocate for mental health as so many Canadians will have at some point in their lifetime experienced  or encountered someone with a mental health issue.  It could make the difference to someone you care about.   

(Canadian Mental Health Association, 2015)

What is Mental Health Week?

Mental Health Week is about bringing awareness and attention to mental health.  We all have our mental health, just like our physical health.  However, it is often neglected or forgotten about because we cannot visibly see it.  Mental health involves how we think, act, feel and interact with the world around us.

What does it mean to have healthy mental health?

Having good mental health doesn’t mean you avoid problems or trying to achieve a perfect life, it means to live well while feeling capable when problems do arise. Every mental health experience is different and unique.  We all will have our own goals, strengths, challenges, resources, and support.

I don’t have a mental illness, why does my mental health matter?

Mental well-being is bigger than the presence or absence of a mental illness. People who live with a mental illness can and do thrive, just as people without a mental illness may experience poor mental health. Maintaining your mental health is a lot like staying physically fit: it requires a little effort every day.  There is a great Ted Talk by Dr. Guy Winch who asks us to take our mental and emotional health as serious as our physical health.  To watch his Ted Talk of “Why we need to practice emotional first aidClick Here

Tips for Staying Mentally Fit

  1. Build Healthy Self-Esteem
  2. Build Positive Support Networks
  3. Get Involved in the Community
  4. Build Resiliency
  5. Recognize Your Emotions
  6. Self-Care
  7. Ask for Help

(Canadian Mental Health Association, 2015)

What’s going on for Mental Health Awareness Week?

Coquitlam Public Library: City Centre Branch
A free event, in partnership with the Coquitlam Public Library, City of Coquitlam and Douglas College to provide information and create awareness, improve understanding and promote community conversations on mental health.
Exhibit of Riverview Artefacts: May 4-8 10:00am to 8:00pm
Presentations and Speakers: May 4-8.  See below for the list of presentations.  All presentations are at the City Centre Branch in Coquitlam.

Changing with the Times – History of Psychiatric Care and Riverview, Anne Tremere
Psychiatric care in British Columbia began in the mid-1800’s in Victoria.  This presentation will follow it’s evolution to the establishment and growth of Essondale/Riverview Hospital.
May 5th at 5:00-6:30pm

Youth Mental Health and Addiction, the F.O.R.C.E. Society for Kids’ Mental Health
Examining youth mental health and substance use.
May 5th at 7:00-8:30pm

Heads Up – An Introduction to Brain Health, Alzheimer Society
Healthy aging is important for everyone, and it is essential not to forget the health of your brain as well! This workshop encourages participants to actively engage in protecting and maintaining their brain. Learn strategies and set goals for improving the health of your mind, body and spirit. Anyone interested in brain health is welcome to attend.
May 6th at 3:00-4:30pm

Into the Future: A Vision for Riverview, Dr. John Higenbottam
In 2012, Riverview Hospital closed after almost 100 years of service in British Columbia’s mental health service system. It was a major psychiatric hospital in the province and was internationally recognized for its treatment programs. Looking ahead into the future, learn more about Riverview’s new vision.
May 6th at 7:00-8:30pm

Recreational, Occupational, and Vocational Therapies in Mental Health: Past and Present, New View Society
Therapeutic Recreation is a process or intervention that uses recreation, leisure and play as tools to improve or maintain one’s quality of life.
May 7th at 5:00-6:30pm

Mental Health and the Justice System, Heidi Currie * I had Heidi Currie as an instructor at Douglas College.  She is extremely knowledgeable about the justice system and mental health.  I highly recommend this presentation if you are interested in criminology and psychology!
The intersection of mental health needs and criminal justice.
May 7th at 7:00-8:30pm

Movie: Silver Linings Playbook
This movie was nominated for 8 Academy Awards.  Bradley Cooper plays a man with bipolar disorder who tries to rebuild his life after eight months in a state institution. His complicated situation will make you laugh but is also a very emotional and heartbreaking story that provides insight into mental health issues.
May 8th at 7:00-9:00pm

For more information on these events at the Coquitlam Public Library click here

Metrotown Library
Resilient Minds in Tough Times Workshop
Tap into your strengths and increase your mental fitness in this
interactive session. Activities include laughter yoga and mindfulness meditation. CMHA VF will host an information table before the session.
May 5th at 7:00-8:30pm


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