Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. It affects how we think, feel, act, and it determines how we handle stress. The state of a person’s mental health impacts their life choices and how they relate to others. The comprehensive components of mental health include emotional, psychological and social well-being. It is as critically important as physical health. Mental illness, especially depression, increases the risk for many types of physical, chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Interestingly enough, the presence of these health conditions can also increase risk for mental illness. Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood and behavior could also be affected.
There are several contributing sources that lead to mental illness like genes or brain chemistry, which are biological factors. Experiences such as loss, trauma, abuse, a brain injury or substance abuse can also be contributing factors. Family history of mental health problems and the pressures associated with social or cultural expectations can lead to mental health issues in some people.
Common Mental Disorders
- Impulse Control and Addiction
How to Talk About Mental Health
Talking about mental health can be a challenging conversation. While there is no right way to talk about it, here are tips to help guide the conversation.
- Ask questions and listen – Asking questions can give the person space to express how they are feeling and what they are going through. Try to ask questions that are open and not leading or judgmental like “how does that affect you” or “what does it feel like?”
- Think about the time and place – Consider that it can be easier to speak with someone side by side instead of face to face. Consider starting the conversation while walking or cooking.
- Don’t try and fix it – It can be challenging to see someone you care about having a difficult time but try and resist the urge to offer quick fixes. It can be a long journey to manage or recover from a mental health problem. Just talking can be helpful so unless they directly ask for advice, it may be best to listen.
- Treat them the same – When someone has a mental health problem, remember that they are the same person and they want to be treated the same. If you provide them with support, keep it simple.
- Be patient – Remember that no matter how hard you try, they may not be ready to talk about what they are going through and that is okay. Maybe it will be easier for them to open up the next time. Until that time comes, consider sending them a text message to check in and setting up time to do things together.
Mental Health: Fact Sheet
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Relationship Literacy Program
Relationship Literacy Program teaches the important role of human relationships to develop personal and social identity; prevention of abuse and violence in relationships, awareness of individual rights and corresponding responsibilities, along with valuable self-management skills, both emotional and behavioral, and concepts, principles, and
tools necessary to effect healthier relationships.
Psychological First Aid
“Developed jointly with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, PFA is an evidence-informed modular approach for assisting people in the immediate aftermath of disaster and terrorism: to reduce initial distress, and to foster short- and long-term adaptive functioning.”
PFA Mobile – PTSD: National Center for PTSD
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