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 Home News & Events News NEWS ARCHIVE 2010 MENTAL HEALTH WEEK - May 2 - 9, 2010
NEWS ARCHIVE 2010
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MAIDSTONE HEALTH COMPLEX - EMERGENCY SERVICES
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LLOYDMINSTER REGION HEALTH FOUNDATION PRESS RELEASE
MENTAL HEALTH WEEK - May 2 - 9, 2010

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Corporate Office  

1092 107 Street  

North Battleford  S9A 1Z1  

Ph:   (306) 446-6606  

Fax: (306) 446-4114  

 

For Immediate Release                                                             April 22, 2010  

News Release  

 

Building Your Mental Health One Support at a Time   

Mental Health Week - May 3 to 9, 2010  

 

The Mental Health and Addictions Health Promotions Working Group for Prairie North Health Region is celebrating Mental Health Week, May 3rd to May 9th.  

 

As part of ongoing efforts to promote positive mental health, the Working Group is providing residents of PNHR with information on mental well-being and support systems for maintaining good mental health.  Members of the public are encouraged to take this opportunity to think about your mental well-being and developing a positive support system.  

 

A support system consists of people in our life that can be relied on to understand us and help us if we run into difficulties. They also provide us with regular social contact where no help is provided other than having someone to talk to about other aspects of our life.  

 

Supports systems for everyone may include:  

  Having regular positive contact with extended family  

  Taking part in family rituals and seasonal activities together  

  Developing friendships with other families and people who can add to your mental well-being  

  Working with other people to complete a task brings everyone together in a positive manner.  

  Volunteering for an organization or community event also provides positive experiences for the single person or family.  

 

Watch for displays in the hospitals and libraries in North Battleford, Lloydminster and Meadow Lake, as well as an article printed in your local paper and on the PNHR website at www.pnrha.ca. Also look for the Calendar of Events for Mental Health Week in North Battleford and complete the crossword puzzle on the website. You can fax your completed crossword puzzle to 446-6546 (Attention Terry) for a chance to win a gift basket from a local business.  

 

For more information about Mental Health Week, and mental health issues and concerns, contact Prairie North Health Region at (306) 446-6500.  

 

-30-  

MEDIA:  

For more information, contact: Jennifer Lyons, PNHR Communications Officer  (306) 446-6002  

 


Mental Well-Being and Developing Positive Support Systems  

 

In the past few years, much has been written about mental well-being, being more aware of our mental health and taking care of our mental health just as we take care of our physical health.  But what is really meant by mental well-being and how can support systems help us to maintain good mental health?  

 

What is Mental Well-Being?  

 

Mental well-being is also referred to as mental wellness or good mental health.   

 

The World Health Organization defines mental health as: not just the absence of mental disorder. It is defined 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.  

 

Generally, good mental health means having created a balance between our physical, emotional, spiritual and mental health. Certain factors, called the determinants of health (having proper housing, a good job, a good education) can help people attain mental well-being but many of these factors are beyond our control.  

 

Having a good support system is one of the elements to attaining mental well-being and also acts to protect us from having poor mental health. This is something that we can control.  A support system can be defined loosely as a person, place or activity that will help us deal with mental stressors in a healthy manner and in so doing will help us maintain mental well-being.   

 

How Can a Support System Help Us Maintain Positive Mental Well-Being?  

 

A support system usually consists of people in our life who can be relied on to understand us and help us if we run into difficulties. These people also provide us with regular social contact where no help is provided other than having someone to talk to about other aspects of our life. Social supports can go a long way to helping us change our perspective about our life problems. Just knowing that you have a friend or neighbour to talk to and who will listen can lighten our mood.  

 

Support systems dont always have to include people. The presence of an animal companion has helped many people. In fact there is evidence that taking care of and creating a positive bond with an animal companion is good for our overall mental and physical health. Many activities that you enjoy can also be part of your support system. Recreational and sports activities put us in positive environments. Doing activities that take us outdoors can also be helpful as being in nature can have a soothing effect on our minds. Creating and building things are also activities that will have a relaxing effect for some people.    

 

How Do We Develop Supports?  

 

If you want to develop a support system, you first have to agree that you need one and that you want to take an active role in creating it. You know best what you like and what might be helpful to you when you are feeling down or stressed. Taking an active role in developing a support system brings us back to the concept of mental well-being. Do you feel you have attained a balance in your life? When stressors (worries about money, your relationship, your health, etc.) get to you, do you have a way to deal with them that will reduce your stressful feelings? These are some of the questions that you will have to think about if you want to take an active part in improving your mental well-being and develop good support systems.  

 

What Are the Wrong Types of Supports?  

 

Some types of social supports arent beneficial. These might include people in our life who regularly criticize us and make us feel that we are inadequate. A stressed person does not need to feel inadequate. In fact, hearing negative comments about how we are not dealing well with our life can actually make a person feel worse.  

 

Another group of people to stay away from are the ones who encourage us to engage in risk-taking behaviours. When we are under stress and feeling down about our life, we often make poor decisions so we dont need to be around people who will encourage us to engage in substance abuse, unsafe driving practices, dangerous recreational activities, and anything else that might put us at risk.  

 

Who Needs Support Systems?  

 

Everyone needs support systems some of the time but certain groups may need them more than others.  

 

Canadian families, for example, are under considerable stress. Much of that stress has to do with trying to do too many activities with limited time. Other stressors that families are under include financial debt, risk of job loss, trying to create a balance between work and family life, and stressors from conflicts within the family. Families need to sit down and talk about what they value most when being together.  

 

If your family has too many outside commitments that eat at your free time, then maybe you need to seriously think if all those activities are necessary all of the time. Do those activities benefit the whole family, do they improve your relationships with each other, or do they just add to the stress you are under? Does one member of the family have to sacrifice his or her valuable free time for the benefit of others in the family? Some children do activities that their parents have suggested just to please their parents, when in fact the children would rather spend quality time with their parents. All of these concerns can create an imbalance in the familys well- being and in the mental health of its members.  

 

Singles  

 

Single people, whether they are 25 years old or 85 years old, also need support systems. In fact, many singles in the prime of their life are under mental stress from dealing with career issues, the pressure to complete higher education, failed or failing relationships, and struggles with finding their way in the world.  Seniors who are single can be in need of support systems especially if they are not close to their children, or if they have lost a spouse and many of their friends. Men over the age of 65 are at risk for suicide if they are alone and engaging in unhealthy behaviours.  

 

Support Systems Within Our Communities  

 

Healthy communities create opportunities for people from different age groups to meet and share in joint activities. Children and seniors benefit from being with each other more often. Planning and designing our communities so that they provide ample green space, recreational activities and social programs that include everyone can be part of a broad social support system.  Families can help by including a senior or single person in their activities. Invite a single person to your next barbecue or recreational activity, or visit that senior in your neighborhood who always seems to be alone.  

 

Support Systems for Everyone May Include:  

 

  Having regular positive contact with your extended family  

  Taking part in family rituals and seasonal activities together  

  Developing friendships with other families and people who can add to your mental well-being  

  Working with other people to complete a task and bring everyone together in a positive manner.  

  Volunteering for an organization or community event, providing positive experiences for the single person or family.  

 

Visit our website at www.pnrha.ca and complete the crossword puzzle. Fax it to 446-6546 (Attention Terry) for a chance to win a gift basket from a local business.  

 

For more information about Mental Well-Being and Developing Positive Support Systems, contact Prairie North Health Region at (306) 446-6500.


- Submitted by Prairie North Health Region

Mental Health and Addictions Health Promotions Working Group

Calendar of Events for Mental Health Week in North Battleford

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