By Jaxon McGinn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Sunny South News
Mental Health Awareness Month is an annual event organized by Mental Health, known historically as the Association for Mental Health.
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices—mental health is necessary at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
“If we don’t take care of our emotional self or our intellectual self, they tend to impact us physically, meaning that physically our bodies get caught in the middle of a battle between what we feel and what we think and if we don’t take care of those issues it can result in insomnia, weight loss, (and) weight gain,” said Michael Fedunec, counselling services supervisor for Family and Community Support Services (FCSS).
FCSS has services available in Barnwell, Barons, Coaldale, Coalhurst’s, Lethbridge County, County of Warner, Coutts, Milk River, M.D. of Taber, Nobleford, Picture Butte, Raymond, Stirling, Taber, Vauxhall, and Warner.
The objective of offering these essential services is to strengthen and support individuals, families, and communities by providing professional counselling services to residents experiencing stress or difficulties in their life.
“Living in isolation has a significant effect on a person’s emotional, mental well-being, so why I say all this is that often when people are struggling emotionally and mentally a lot of it is because they are not drinking enough water, not enough sleep, and not eating properly,” added Fedunec.
People can also experience different types of mental illnesses or disorders, and they can often occur simultaneously. Mental illnesses can occur over a short period of time or be episodic.
According to Dietitians of Canada, mental health conditions can be a lasting disability and can lead to significant mortality through suicide, medical illness, and accidental death. It is estimated that mental health conditions cost the Canadian economy $51 billion annually. By 2030, mental health issues are expected to be the leading cause of disability in Canada.
The Canadian community health survey on mental health (CCHS-MH) published in 2012, found that mental illness is experienced by one in three Canadians during their lifetime. Canadians are often affected by it either directly or indirectly through family, friends, or colleagues. For further information about mental illness, you can visit the Government of Canada website at Canada.ca.