Mental Health Week - Let’s Have the Conversation

Apr 27, 2017 | News

Health promotion encompasses healthy living, physical and mental wellbeing and is a key priority under the People strategy. Healthy staff result in better quality patient and resident experience.

Caring for your mental health and wellness is just as important as caring for your physical health but do you think about how your physical health impacts your mental health and vice versa? Mental health and physical health are fundamentally linked but the stigma, which continues to exist around talking about mental health, often contributes to ignoring the signs of mental illness and seeking help early or ignoring the impact a physical illness or condition can have on your mental health and talking with your health care provider about it. There is no better time to think about breaking down the barriers to having the conversation about mental health, than during Mental Health Week.

There are many factors that can affect mental health. One area I often hear people talk about is “stress” and the impact stress has on their over-all feeling of well-being. Stress is a normal part of life and all stress is not bad stress. Good stress can help with motivation and enhances productivity and satisfaction in a situation. Negative stress or distress occurs when stress is managed poorly or allowed to get out of control. When it occurs in the workplace, if not managed, it can negatively impact mental and physical health. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress, talking about it and finding ways to manage or reduce your stress may help to decrease the overall impact stress has on your health. You’ll find tools and resources on the Staff Mental Health & Mental Wellness website to help you recognize the signs of stress and provide you with suggestion for management or where to seek help.

While the link between stress and high blood pressure is still being studied, stress is known to contribute to risk factors for hypertension such as poor diet, lack of exercise and excessive alcohol consumption. Hypertension Canada is going to be onsite at SPH on Monday, May 1 from 11:00 a.m. - 1 p.m. in Dining Room 3 offering blood pressure readings and information on hypertension. Stop by have your blood pressure taken and pick up some information on hypertension. OH&S will be there with information & resources for staff mental and physical health and wellness. Stop by and let's have a conversation.

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