Ebene News – CA – Mental Health Week – Name It, Don’t Numb It – Shared Health

“Our wellness and mental health journeys are just that – an ongoing process We all handle things differently and heal at a different rate There is no expiration date on the cure ”- Sherri Jennings

Over the past year, as our healthcare system has focused on combating the physical effects of COVID-19, the pandemic has created unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety that have brought on challenge the mental health of a large part of our population

From May 3-9, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Celebrates 70th Annual Mental Health Week, Focused on Understanding Emotions This year’s theme is #Get Real About How You Feel Name do not numb it

One in five Canadians suffers from a mental illness or mental health problem in any given year, and mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a member from family, friend or colleague More recently, up to 40% of Canadians say their mental health has deteriorated since the start of the pandemic

Mental Health Week aims to change beliefs and perceptions in society while promoting behaviors and attitudes that promote good mental health and create a culture of understanding and acceptance

It’s important to recognize that good mental health isn’t about being happy all the time In fact, a mentally healthy life includes a full range of human emotions – even uncomfortable ones like sadness, anger and fear Identifying, expressing and managing our emotions – even when they are uncomfortable – can help us feel better

Sherri Jennings remembers being in a happy place before the pandemic, content with life and facing personal and professional challenges as they presented themselves

In July 2019, a convergence of crises involving personal loss and constant change had a huge impact on his mental health

“I thought I was handling everything really well,” said Sherri “In retrospect, I was intentionally keeping myself very busy to numb my feelings and pain”

A trip in March 2020 with a friend to a warm destination allowed Sherri to slow down “The trip made me stop moving and start to feel and I found myself unable to stop crying I knew that something was really wrong I tried to rest as much as I could When we got home we came back at the start of a global pandemic “

As a professional working in the field of mental health and addictions, Sherri had the benefit of knowing what steps she needed to take and the resources she needed to get better

“COVID-19 made it harder to get the support I needed the way I needed it I was dealing with isolation and grief The uncertainty of the pandemic, in particular in the first few months added to the anxiety I was already feeling I often felt overwhelmed and very distracted My confidence took a hit Some days I found it hard to stay together at work “

Most of the resources Sherri used in the past – relying on family and friends in person, working out at the gym, creating art, giving advice – had all changed. p>

“I learned that even though bad things happen that are beyond our control, I have a choice of how I handle them I decided to keep looking for the support I needed , but I had to do it in a new way “

As a portrait painter, Sherri continued to create and connect with artists online She accessed the Employee Assistance Program for advice over the phone She enrolled in the AbilitiCBT program, a internet-based therapy, and has found it beneficial to change her thought patterns She started to do Zumba by Zoom and to walk

While we hear this all the time, it’s important to remember that everyone has challenges at different times in their lives that can affect their mental health and that we all deal with them in different ways.

“People kept telling me how strong and resilient I was, but somehow it added more pressure to show that I was doing well so that they didn’t worry, “said Sherri” Sometimes I felt like a duck sliding across a pond – calm on the surface, but my feet paddled a mile per minute below the surface “

“Unless someone is sharing with you you might really not know what they are going through It is important to always be kind and open to someone who wants to share what they are struggling with “Says Sherri” Have compassion, even when their problems might cause you inconvenience. Take care of each other “

Mental Health Week

Ebene News – CA – Mental Health Week – Name It, Don’t Numb It – Shared Health

Source: https://sharedhealthmb.ca/news/2021-05-03-mental-health-week-name-it-dont-numb-it/