Men­tal health for break­fast

Peace­ful Com­mu­ni­ties pro­vides break­fast over men­tal health dis­cus­sion

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - Front Page - BY CHANTELLE MACISAAC chantelle.macisaac@gulfnews.ca

Peace­ful Com­mu­ni­ties hosted a dis­cus­sion on men­tal health as part of Men­tal Health Aware­ness Week.

A cup of cof­fee, a glass of or­ange juice, and friendly conversation is a great way to start your day.

The im­por­tance of a healthy break­fast is a key fac­tor to your phys­i­cal health, but it al­ways plays an im­por­tant part to your men­tal health.

On Oct. 7, Peace­ful Com­mu­ni­ties in­vited mem­bers of the com­mu­nity to a free break­fast, held at the United Church Hall, while men­tal health nurse Renelle Bryan dis­cussed the rea­son for be­ing there.

Oct. 2-8 was Men­tal Ill­ness Aware­ness Week and much of what the four-dozen or so at­ten­dees heard was the dif­fer­ence be­tween men­tal health and men­tal ill­ness.

She de­scribed ev­ery­one has hav­ing a men­tal health, but not ev­ery­one hav­ing a men­tal ill­ness.

“But ev­ery­one has been im­pacted by the ill­ness,” said Bryan. “Ev­ery­one knows some­one that has had some form of the ill­ness.”

She said how you feel, how you think and how you act are all a part of your men­tal health and be­ing able to strike a bal­ance and cope with chal­lenges is unique and per­sonal to ev­ery- one.

Bryan de­scribed how men­tal ill­ness can take many forms such as anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion and bipo­lar.

She said one in five peo­ple will be af­fected by men­tal ill­ness at some time in their lives, and there is no sin­gle cause, but rather a com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors.

It does not have a bias for ed­u­ca­tion, sex or reli­gion, she said. Rather, peo­ple do not get to choose whether or not they have a men­tal ill­ness.

“The im­pact goes be­yond the ill­ness and in­ter­feres with daily func­tion­ing and have an im­pact on their qual­ity of life,” said Bryan.

The stigma sur­round­ing men­tal ill­ness is still on­go­ing, and can be more harm­ful to the per­son than the ill­ness it­self.

She said there is still a lot not un­der­stood and the stigma causes prej­u­dice and dis­crim­i­na­tion and can lead to a per­son feel­ing un­wanted and ashamed.

As with the event, the course of ac­tion for com­mu­nity lead­ers is to pro­vide ed­u­ca­tion and take away la­bels associated with men­tal health.

“More peo­ple are liv­ing with men­tal ill­ness than we know. It doesn’t mean they can’t func­tion – they are work­ing and func­tion­ing right in their com­mu­ni­ties,” she said.

Some tips pro­vid­ing on what you can do if you know some­one liv­ing with a men­tal ill­ness in­clude: As­sum­ing ev­ery­one is alike, not be­lit­tling, be­ing of­fen­sive or pa­tron­iz­ing. To lis­ten and to sup­port and to in­volve your­self by ask­ing direct ques­tions and em­pathiz­ing with them.

“Don’t let their ill­ness be an is­sue,” said Bryan.

BRYAN TAIT/TC ME­DIA

Men­tal health nurse Renelle Bryan talked about the dif­fer­ence be­tween men­tal health and men­tal ill­ness at a break­fast hosted by Peace­ful Com­mu­ni­ties.

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