The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is encouraging Canadians to #GetLoud about what mental health really is this week during the CMHA’s annual Mental Health Week.
Now in its 68th year, Mental Health Week is observed every May, this year from May 6 to 12, to reduce the stigma of mental illness and promote good mental health.
This year’s theme, “Get loud about what mental health really is,” is meant to educate the Canadian public about the difference between mental health and mental illness. According to the CMHA, using these words interchangeably adds to the stigma of mental illness and “divides people into those who experience mental illness and those who don’t.”
The goal is to educate Canadians that mental health is something we all have, it’s a state of well-being, and the importance of realizing the role good mental health has in our lives.
According to the CMHA, mental health is rooted in having a sense of purpose, strong relationships, feeling connected to our community, knowing who we are and understanding how to cope with stress. Understanding mental health and promoting positive mental health helps Canadians to get ahead of mental illness.
Understanding how vital mental health awareness is for the military community, Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, and Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence issued a joint statement on Mental Health Week, “This week, we mark the 68th annual Mental Health Week in Canada – a national campaign that offers practical ways to maintain and improve mental health. This year’s theme is #GetLoud, which presents an opportunity to encourage all Canadians to learn, reflect, and connect with others on issues relating to mental health. We applaud the Canadian Mental Health Association for its work in raising awareness and support for mental health initiatives.
“It is also important to recognize our Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans and the unique physical and mental challenges that come with the important work they do and have done. As Canadians, we are proud of our brave women and men in uniform and their exemplary service to our country.”
The Ministers also outlined resources available to the military and veteran community including the 24/7 member assistance line, the Employee Assistance Program, and programs at Military Family Resource Centres.
“Stress, demanding schedules, and difficult life events can put pressure on our mental health. But remember, it’s never too late or too early to start taking care of our mental health.
“It’s time to #GetLoud about mental health,” continued the statement.
If you are part of the military community and need support reach out for free, confidential counselling at 1-800-268-7708 or TDD 1-800-567-5803.
Get involved this Mental Health Week by visiting www.mentalhealthweek.ca for more information and tools and get the conversation going on social media with #GetLoud.