The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental health. Some groups, including health and other frontline workers, students, people living alone, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions, have been particularly affected. And services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders have been significantly disrupted.
As the pandemic continues to impact the health of many around the world, Alberta Health Services (AHS) wants to remind Albertans to take care of their physical health and their mental health as we celebrate World Mental Health Day, October 10.
By the age of 40, about 50 per cent of Canadians will have or has had a mental illness. Remember, if you are struggling you are not alone. There are supports in place to help you. Many things can help improve a person’s mental health. Building a healthy routine, limiting
social media use, and learning to manage worries as well as mindfulness and other coping skills all can have a positive impact.
Depression is a common mental health condition. For some people depression is mild and short-lived; for others, it is more severe and longer-term. Some people are affected only once; others more than once.
At worst, depression can lead to suicide. There is a lot that can be done, however, to prevent and treat depression and to help people who are thinking about suicide.
Create a healthy routine that can include physical activities such as a walk around the neighbourhood and a regular sleep schedule, as well as self-care strategies such as mindfulness or meditation. Connecting with others can have a positive impact on a person’s mental health.
Resources and supports, such as Text4Hope and Togetherall, are available to help you or someone you know. Go to www.albertahealthservices.ca/helpintoughtimes.
You may also wish to talk about your concerns with your partner, your family healthcare provider or someone else you trust. Or call the Mental Health Helpline toll-free at 1-887-303-2642, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.