In recent years, the field of treatment for mental health concerns has undergone a significant overhaul. Mental health is defined by the World Health Organisation as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.
For every individual, 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 important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Mental health can affect all aspects of daily life including work, school, and relationships, and it has a significant impact on the individuals physical health. Mental health has an impact on a person's ability to enjoy life, their ability to achieve a balance between their life activities and their efforts to achieve a form of psychological resilience.
Experts estimate that we all have the potential to develop mental health or mental illness problems, no matter how old we are, whether we are male or female, rich or poor, or which ethnic group we belong to. According to Stats Canada, It is estimated that 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental illness throughout their lifetime.
Treatment is available in a wide variety of forms, and it is important to know that what works for one person may not work for another; this is especially the case with mental health. Some strategies or treatments are more successful when combined with others. A patient with a chronic mental disorder may choose different options at different stages in their life. The majority of experts say that a well-informed patient is probably the best judge of what treatment suits them best.
Treatments can include Psychotherapy or Talk Therapy, which is a psychological approach to treating mental illness. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), exposure therapy, Schema Therapy are examples. Either on their own or in combination with medication these can be extremely effective forms of treatment.
When it comes to Medication, many people have difficulty accepting the need for such treatment. Although it can not cure mental disorders, some medications can improve symptoms which can be a problem in of itself. Often people will no longer feel the need to take medication when they are doing well, feeling that they are ok now so they don't NEED to take it. Ironically it is often the case that when the medication is working exactly how it is meant to the individual will feel like the medication isn't doing anything because they report feeling "normal".
The other form of treatment available to those facing Mental Health concerns falls into the category of Self-help. This includes, but is not limited to, lifestyle changes such as reducing alcohol intake, maintaining a good sleep practice, exercising regularly, and eating a well-balanced diet. Self-Help also includes Peer Support Groups that are available throughout the field of Mental Health and Addiction Recovery.
Understanding your mental health, the stages of change, and the triggers that lead to a relapse behaviour will begin to provide the motivation for change in your life. However, change can be a very scary thing, so we advise you to spend some time researching the information to be found in the pages of our website, or any of the external resources offered to you, in preparation for the choices you are about to make.
Our hope from this is to build your knowledge about mental health, the different types of mental health conditions, and the many different treatment modalities available to you today. All of this will allow you to make an informed decision about your future actions and empower you to feel confident in the choices you make once again.