We all have Mental Health

Elizabeth (Jillian) / May 28, 2019 / Psychiatric Nursing Students Blogs / 0 comments

Remember our Psychiatric Nursing blogger, Elizabeth? She’s written some amazing pieces for us, such as, Learning how to fail: The key to surviving my first semester, My first clinical experience in Psychiatric Nursing, and 8 essential elements for a productive workspace.

We’re not the only people who love Elizabeth’s writing. Check out the piece below that she wrote for her employer. Thanks for the tips, Elizabeth!

In the past few years you may have noticed an increased emphasis on trauma-informed practice, mental health awareness, and social media campaigns about mental illness. Recent Canadian statistics show that 1 in 3 people will experience mental illness in their lifetime, which means it’s likely someone in your immediate family or social circle is struggling with a mental illness right now. The Canadian Mental Health Association has identified May 6 to May 12 as Mental Health Week in 2019. In the spirit of mental health and inclusiveness, here are some items to promote mental wellness in your home, community, and workplace.

Be Inclusive

Even though it may be hard to understand the experience of mental illness, you can demonstrate inclusivity to those around you by continuing to offer invitations to spend time together. Social support and meaningful interactions can be important protective factors in reducing symptoms, improving coping and promoting the recovery process. Even if they don’t accept your invitation, you are still demonstrating that you are present and supportive.

Use Language with Care

Misusing words related to mental illness can perpetuate barriers to treatment, support, and wellness. Be aware that label words like “crazy”, “psycho” and “insane” contribute to Othering. Misusing diagnosis words like “bipolar” and “OCD” in relation to common occurrences minimizes the reality of living with mental illness. Try replacing “bipolar” with “emotional” or “labile”, and “OCD” with “regimented” or “tidy”. Consider using words like “curious” or “unpredictable” when you notice someone acting out of the ordinary, since “crazy” and “insane” are stigmatizing words.

Mental Health is for Everyone.

The Human Rights Council has identified the universal human right to health, which includes mental health. Even though we may not experience mental illness ourselves, we all experience mental health. There are eight commonly identified dimensions of wellness: occupational, physical, emotional, environmental, financial, mental, interpersonal, and spiritual/existential.

Please visit www.CMHA.ca, or your local health authority for more information on the journey to mental wellness.