May 9, 2022
Hinduja Raj M , Communications Volunteer
Have you heard the famous quote “A sound mind is a sound body”? We have no doubts in agreeing to the Greek philosopher Thales, whose wise words insist that only a healthy mind capable of positive feelings and constructive thoughts can help in creating a healthy body. If only the mind and the body are in great condition, a person can lead a meaningful life. This is the only recipe to a healthy family and a happier society.
This could seem like a frequently talked about topic. The fact is, it still isn’t enough yet. The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) states that, “1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness, in any given year”. Does that seem like a lot? It is!
On the other hand, we are not alone in this. Many of us at some point of time would have felt or are feeling low, anxious or depressed. We may know someone who is constantly unhappy or distressed. The most difficult and the majority are the ones who mask their state of mental health. They may be the one laughing the loudest in your group, masking their mental stress and suffering in silence. There could be incidents, small or highly significant, could be a personal problem or social issues in general, plaguing our mind and causing a disturbance to our normal functioning.
Mental illness is not a taboo. It is often misunderstood and not spoken about due to fear of the stigma associated with it. It is very natural for us humans to feel mentally unwell. Mental illnesses can be well managed with the right therapy.
If you or someone you know is suffering please seek support from a professional. Social workers or counsellors have the amazing ability to listen to you with no preconceived notion. They are specialized in identifying the underlying mental condition. Addressing the issue with someone you can trust and feel comfortable with can lead to a healing pathway.
It is worthy to mention that Canadians have made a huge progress, in discussing their mental state with others. Bell Let’s Talk, an initiative launched on 29 January 2020, is aimed at encouraging positive conversations on mental health. Earlier today, Hon. Raymond Sung Joon Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility was present at the Scarborough Center for Health Communities (SCHC) to learn about programs designed for promoting mental wellness.
CMHA Ontario, in association with SCHC, offers a fun and engaging eight-week course to Scarborough residents needing support in managing life’s challenges. The Living Life to the Full (LLTTF) program focuses on topics relevant to coping with emotions and solving daunting problems, through fun and enjoyable activities.
A client of the program has said, “I now feel like I have more control over my life as I have learned new skills to help me deal with life challenges.”
Caregivers play a significant role in assisting people with mental illness. It is important for caregivers to understand and appropriately assist their wards suffering from this treatable condition. The CMHA Ontario along with SCHC provides dedicated programs, especially to caregivers 55+. Mood Walks is a safe hiking program designed for caregivers 55+, to create positive relationships and increase social inclusion. It helps to improve their physical and mental well-being.
Participating in such group activities can promote a sense of inclusivity and raise the happiness index. Those downhill phases of life can sometimes over power the ability to think and act. Suffering all alone through a mental illness is not the solution. There are plenty of help and support systems available to combat a mental illness together.
SCHC has prioritized increasing access to and strengthening the delivery of coordinated community based mental health programming. These programs and our partnerships with organizations like CMHA, Cota and Fred Victor represent our ongoing commitment to improving mental health wellness for people of Scarborough.
If you or someone you know is looking for professional support, please reach out to us at 416-642-9445.
From left to right: SCHC CEO, Jeanie Joaquin, Hon. Raymond Sung Joon Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility and SCHC’s Senior Director of Community Services, Michelle West-Martin