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Ham and eggs with a side of mental health info

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

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 everyone.

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.

Tips for positive mental health

Mental health is more than just an absence of mental illness, it's about the ability to enjoy life and cope with life's challenges.

Here are some tips to encourage positive mental health:

· Laugh. Don't take everything too seriously. If something is funny, laugh and share with friends. Humour is important to health.

· Build supportive relationships with family, friends, neighbours, co-workers and your community. Do things with others.

· Talk about it. Share your troubles to help feel supported. Don't be afraid to ask for support.

· Learn ways to manage stress. Learn relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and stretching.

· Keep a journal or talk to the wall. Expressing yourself after a stressful day can help you relax, release tension and even boost your body's resistance to illness.

· "Collect" positive emotional moments. Recall times when you have felt pleasure, comfort, confidence or other positive emotions. Embrace your good qualities.

· Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy foods, proper sleep habits and regular, moderate exercise helps ease tension, improves sleep and increases self-esteem.

· Do one thing at a time. When out for a walk or with friends, turn off your cellphone and stop making your mental to-do list.

· Treat yourself well. Cook a good meal. Have a bubble bath. See a movie. Call a friend. Whatever it is, do it for you. A hobby brings balance to life and relieves everyday pressure.

· Get involved, volunteer. Helping others makes us feel good, widens social networks and provides new experiences.

· Plan for success. Know what you do well and build on it. Everyone experiences failure but successful people learn from their mistakes.

· Be willing to seek help when needed. If you are experiencing a difficult time in your life and you need support, find people you can talk or contact your local mental health and addiction services office.

You can call the NL Health Line at 1-888-709-2929 or the Mental Health Crisis Line at 1-888-737-4668 if you need support.

Source: Western Health

chantelle.macisaac@gulfnews.ca

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 everyone.

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.

Tips for positive mental health

Mental health is more than just an absence of mental illness, it's about the ability to enjoy life and cope with life's challenges.

Here are some tips to encourage positive mental health:

· Laugh. Don't take everything too seriously. If something is funny, laugh and share with friends. Humour is important to health.

· Build supportive relationships with family, friends, neighbours, co-workers and your community. Do things with others.

· Talk about it. Share your troubles to help feel supported. Don't be afraid to ask for support.

· Learn ways to manage stress. Learn relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and stretching.

· Keep a journal or talk to the wall. Expressing yourself after a stressful day can help you relax, release tension and even boost your body's resistance to illness.

· "Collect" positive emotional moments. Recall times when you have felt pleasure, comfort, confidence or other positive emotions. Embrace your good qualities.

· Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy foods, proper sleep habits and regular, moderate exercise helps ease tension, improves sleep and increases self-esteem.

· Do one thing at a time. When out for a walk or with friends, turn off your cellphone and stop making your mental to-do list.

· Treat yourself well. Cook a good meal. Have a bubble bath. See a movie. Call a friend. Whatever it is, do it for you. A hobby brings balance to life and relieves everyday pressure.

· Get involved, volunteer. Helping others makes us feel good, widens social networks and provides new experiences.

· Plan for success. Know what you do well and build on it. Everyone experiences failure but successful people learn from their mistakes.

· Be willing to seek help when needed. If you are experiencing a difficult time in your life and you need support, find people you can talk or contact your local mental health and addiction services office.

You can call the NL Health Line at 1-888-709-2929 or the Mental Health Crisis Line at 1-888-737-4668 if you need support.

Source: Western Health

chantelle.macisaac@gulfnews.ca

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