The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Annual Mental Health Week took place between Monday May 4th and Sunday May 10th. This year's theme was social connection – something we all need and is incredibly important during a time of social distancing.
We may not be physically close to family and friends right now, but that does not mean we cannot feel close and socially connected. With each interaction – even if it is over the phone or other digital technology – we still have the opportunity to connect with one another in a meaningful way. We can provide emotional support, companionship, social engagement and social inclusion – all of which positively influence mental wellness. The best part is – it is easier than you think.
As Canadians, it is custom to ask one another how we are doing during most interactions. It is so common that many of us might even ask the question without thinking – as if it is out of habit. Unfortunately, it is almost equally as common to not provide - or expect - a truthful response. So many of us will use statements such as:
…this is true no matter how we are actually feeling. Good or bad – too often we withhold the full truth, keeping us at an arm’s length from a real social connection.
This year’s campaign called on us to #GetReal about how we really feel. To stop missing out on the chance to connect with others in a meaningful way.
We wanted to do our part to help others #GetReal by asking our followers how they really are. We were overwhelmed by the responses we received.
We all have mental health, and 1 in 5 of Canadians will struggle with theirs each year. It’s time we advocate for ourselves and others, by getting LOUD and getting REAL.
To learn more about Mental Health Week, please visit www.mentalhealthweek.ca .