The Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) annual Mental Health Week (MHW) is May 4-10, 2020. Every May, people in Canadian communities, schools, workplaces and legislatures rally around MHW to help promote behaviours and attitudes that foster well-being, support good mental health and create a culture of understanding and acceptance.
The theme of this year’s Mental Health Week is social connection. Studies show that having social connections, social support and being civically engaged are associated with positive mental and physical health and well-being. In these days of social distancing (more accurately called physical distancing), we are learning that we don’t have to be close to feel close. We are together, even when we’re apart.
Feeling socially connected means you feel close and connected to others, and you don’t have to be in physical proximity to nurture a sense of closeness and connection. As we face the COVID-19 global pandemic, we need each other now more than ever.
During, and in recovery from the pandemic, is precisely the time to lean on each other. Even if we can’t be close physically with one another, phone calls, video calls, and other digital technologies offer excellent opportunities for connecting face-to-face. Now is a good time to join the Crystal Beach – Crystal Bay – Lakeview page on Facebook.
And when you see your neighbours out and about enjoying the spring weather, take a moment to check in with them. And be open and authentic about how you’re doing as well.
It’s common in our society to ask people how they are. Unfortunately, it’s also common not to provide—or expect—a truthful answer. We say we’re fine, even when we don’t really mean it. Every time we just go through the motions, we miss a chance to connect with others in a meaningful way.
This Mental Health Week, let’s say more than just “I’m fine.” It’s time to #GetReal about how we feel and lean on others for support. Let’s have real conversations with our friends and neighbours about how we’re all really doing. We’re in this together.
Visit mentalhealthweek.ca for info and tools about CMHA Mental Health Week. Connect on social media using the hashtags #GetReal and #MentalHealthWeek.