Mental health is more than just the absence of a mental illness. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Throughout their lives, most people will experience times of good mental health. Most people will also have experiences with poorer mental health due to loss, trauma, or stress. People can also start to develop symptoms of a mental illness. Mental illnesses can include things like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and post-partum depression among others. At times, people may use substances such as drugs, alcohol, and tobacco to help them cope. Whether experiencing poor mental health or symptoms of a mental illness, some individuals may also have thoughts of suicide.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or experiencing a psychiatric crisis, call 9-1-1 or visit your nearest emergency department.
For more information on mental illnesses generally, visit the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Whether you or someone you know feels less mentally healthy or has signs of a mental illness, there are resources in our community where you can get help. Here are some links you should know: