It is CMHA’s 70th Mental Health Week, and this year we took the pulse of Canada’s emotions and found that the pandemic has taken its toll. This according to the latest round of research from CMHA and UBC researchers, which found that 77% of adults report feeling ‘worried or anxious,’ ‘bored,’ ‘stressed,’ ‘lonely or isolated’ and ‘sad’.
These difficult feelings may, in fact, be a fitting emotional response to these difficult times.
Margaret Eaton, National CEO of CMHA, sees it this way: “While it’s discouraging to think that so many Canadians are feeling upset, difficult emotions may actually be an appropriate response to a major event like a global pandemic.”
Contrary to what might be popular belief, good mental health isn’t about being happy all the time. In fact, lead researcher on the study, Emily Jenkins, a UBC professor who studies mental health and substance use, tells us that good mental health is about having “appropriate emotional and behavioural responses to stressors and life events,” Dr. Jenkins says it is important to acknowledge and process emotions, not to hide them. “Sharing our very normal feelings of sadness, fear and worry is particularly important during this unusual time of stress, uncertainty and loss.”
So while emotions are running high, this Mental Health Week offers a chance to put our feelings front and centre in the interest of our mental health. That’s because claiming how we feel not only makes sadness, anger and worry less intense, it can also make us feel better. And it can make it easier to manage our emotions, and easier to connect emotionally with others.
However, it is important to recognize when difficult feelings are too much. If intense worry, anxiety or despair are disrupting your life or your relationships, or you are relying on substances to cope, it’s important to seek help.
This Mental Health Week, people across Canada will get #GetReal by naming—not numbing—how they feel.
To get involved in Mental Health Week, you can:
- Learn more about mental health and emotions at mentalhealthweek.ca
- Share your support on social media by downloading a toolkit and using hashtags #GetReal and #MentalHealthWeek
- Donate to support CMHA HKPR’s programs and services at cmhahkpr.ca/donate
- Connect. If you or someone you love is struggling, please contact our local branch at 705-748-6711. If you are in crisis, please call our Four County Crisis Line at 705-745-6484 or toll-free at 1-866-995-9933.
Local, Virtual Mental Health Week Events
As part of Mental Health Week, CMHA HKPR will be sharing various resources online as well as hosting virtual events, as scheduled below:
Monday, May 3: Watch for the latest round of research from CMHA and UBC on how the pandemic is impacting Canadians’ mental health.
Wednesday, May 5: Watch for our new blog post about the history of Mental Health Week.
Thursday, May 6: Join us for a virtual stress release meditation with Andrew Jobes at 2:30 p.m. on Facebook Live through @BalanceAtWorkCa.
Visit www.mentalhealthweek.ca for info and tools about Mental Health Week. Don’t forget to connect with us on social media (@cmhahkpr) using the hashtags #GetReal and #MentalHealthWeek.
Check out last year’s Mental Health Week video on expressing emotions: