One in five Canadians will have mental health problems that get in the way of life. Without mental health, it’s hard to have a sense of well-being. Do you worry about your mood, excess anxiety, alcohol or substance use? Your mental health matters and early detection and treatment is important since most mental health problems are treatable. No matter what age you are, it is worth talking to your doctor or a nurse practitioner about your mental health in the same way you would try to look after your physical health.
- Talking about mental health. We all need support in life and seeking help to look after ourselves is a sign of strength, not weakness. Reach out to friends, and family or seek the support of a therapist to deal with problems that are really bothering you. Help break down the stigma around mental health.
- Research shows mental health and life satisfaction can improve as we age. Self-rated happiness increases with each decade, despite losses or health challenges. Did you know some mental processes (such as empathy, emotional stability and decision-making) can improve over a lifetime? A positive mental outlook is very protective for your long-term health.
- We now know that our brains are not prewired to fail. Depression, anxiety, and worsening memory problems are not usual at any age. Sadness and worry are not the same as depression and anxiety disorders. You also can help protect your memory for the long-term: did you know up to 35% of dementia is preventable with a healthy lifestyle that includes: regular physical activity, social connection, and brain challenge. To learn more about mental health and illness check out Canadian Mental Health Association.