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