Mental Health & Well-Being
Mental well-being or positive mental health impacts how we think, what we feel and the way we act. It also affects how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices.
We need to take care of our mental health because it's an important part of our overall health.
Feeling anxious or stressed can be a normal part of life. Having these feelings doesn't necessarily mean there's anything wrong. However, some mental health concerns should be taken seriously, for example:
Self-harm, or self-injury, is injuring your body on purpose – for example, cutting, burning, scratching or hitting.
Suicide is when someone kills themselves on purpose. A person who thinks about suicide feels so much pain and hopelessness that they can see no other option, other than death. They may even view suicide as a solution.
Suicidal ideas or actions can be related to a mental health problem like depression. Many people who think about suicide do not want to die – they are in need of support and help.
Schools in B.C. are helping students build skills and knowledge to contribute to their well-being. It's even a part of the curriculum.
Social-emotional learning is a set of specific skills that help us:
- Set goals
- Manage our behaviour
- Build relationships
- Process or remember information
These skills impact a person's mental well-being and are connected to educational success and employment.
Mental health literacy is the knowledge and understanding of how to:
- Develop and maintain mental well-being
- Identify risk factors and signs of mental health challenges
- Access help when needed
- Reduce stigma around the topic of mental health
Many people experience trauma and interpret and respond to their experiences in different ways. Trauma-informed practice promotes:
- Providing inclusive and compassionate learning environments
- Understanding coping strategies
- Supporting independence
- Helping to minimize additional stress or trauma by addressing individual student needs
Mental health problems can often be managed if they're identified and treated.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health concerns
The best solution is to talk to someone about it.
- Find out how to get help
- Look up mental health support services for young people
- Foundry: Mental Health
If someone talks about suicide or shows signs of suicidal behaviour
Take it seriously. Find out what to do if you’re concerned about yourself or a friend.
If you are a parent or an educator
See how you can offer support or help raise awareness about mental health and wellness.
Communicate with your child. Help them identify their internal and external strengths. Listen and try to strengthen your relationship. Don't judge – your child needs to feel respected and they need to see that you're taking their problems seriously. Do what you can to monitor their internet use and text messages, etc.
Be your child's advocate. Support your child to do as much for themselves as possible – help them build connections and create their own network of support. When necessary, speak up on their behalf.
Ask for help. Don't try to deal with things on your own. Reach out to a crisis centre, counsellor or doctor for support. Get help for your child or show them where they can get help for themselves.
Know the warning signs of suicide. Pay attention to your suspicions and trust your judgement. Ask your child directly about suicide to determine the level of risk they're at – for example, you could ask: “have you thought about suicide?” If your child is at high-risk of suicide, don’t leave them alone, and safety-proof your home.
- Supporting Children Through Grief – Parent Guidelines (PDF)
- Pan-Canadian Joint Consortium for School Health: Positive Mental Health Toolkit
- Collaborative Toolbox
- Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention
- Anxiety BC
- Preventing Youth Suicide: A Guide for Practitioners (PDF)
- Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre