The World Health Organization (W.H.O) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease for infirmity.”
While this is the definition of health, many only weigh physical health when determining the state of a person’s well-being. While the stigma against mental health is slowly falling down in 2020, it is not always considered when weighing how healthy a person is.
The first instinct of many when they hear that someone is in good health is that they are not facing any physical limitations on their well-being like heart disease, chronic illness, or any other physical conditions. The truth is that mental health matters just as much as physical health.
Mental Health Matters Just as Much as Physical Health
While physical health is extremely important to someone’s well-being and quality of life, so is mental and social health. Mental health matters as a strong influence over an individual’s quality of life. For example, someone battling depression or anxiety could have an extremely difficult time being content with the state of their life from day-to-day.
One in five individuals in Canada have struggled with a mental health issue at some point in their life. Less than a third of these people get help for these issues and approximately 4,000 of these individuals commit suicide per year. Mental health matters just as much as physical health because, left untreated, it can lead to tragedy and loss just as physical health can.
Getting Professional Help
If you think you might be struggling with poor mental health, it is important to seek treatment for those issues. If you had a medical condition, would you try to solve it by yourself? The answer is no, you would not. You would seek the attention of a medical professional who knows how to give you the help you need. If you are battling poor mental health, you need to get connected with a professional who knows how to help you in the way you need.
What Help is Best for Me?
Getting connected to a community agency is the best place to start. If you decide to get mental health services, a family doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist can give you an assessment. Community agencies can connect you to one of these professionals to start the process. If you are experiencing a crisis or at a suicide risk, please call emergency services or go to the nearest emergency department/nearby hospital.
Crisis Services in Canada
Treatment for mental health services is covered by public health insurance (such as OHIP in Ontario). If you are in an immediate crisis, the following links can help you if you are not feeling yourself, have thoughts of suicide, or know someone who needs help.
Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566 (24/7) or text 45645 between 4PM to 12AM ET. Kids Help Phone: ages 5 to 29 call 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868