5 Ways to Get Involved in Mental Health

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”

– Mahatma Gandhi

 

Many of us want to learn more about mental health but do not necessarily know how to become more educated or more involved. What better way to start then during Mental Health Awareness Week from Oct 1-7 started by Canadian Psychiatric Association?!
Here are some ways YOU can get involved this week and for weeks to come!!

 

5 Ways to Get Involved in Mental Health

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1) Attend a Mental Health Event

There are several events happening around the country for Mental Health Awareness Week, as well as throughout the year. There is no better way to get acquainted with the mental health community than to attend in-person events surrounded by people passionate about bettering mental health.
A couple of local mental health events near Vancouver coming up…

 

1.1) The Body Remembers
October 4 at 6pm – Surrey, BC
This event focuses how stress can have lasting effects on children.
More Information / Register Here (FREE):
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-body-remembers-surrey-tickets-36323671078

 

1.2) Ignite Abbotsford
Oct. 11 at 6pm – Abbotsford, BC
Ignite Abbotsford is all about generating positive and meaningful conversations in the community about mental health and wellness. Prepare for an evening of big ideas and powerful storytelling.
More Information / Register Here ($20):
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ignite-abbotsford-tickets-36247154214

 

2) Practise Self Care

You don’t have to have a mental illness to practise self care. Our minds needs nourishment and attention just like the rest of our bodies. Many times we forget to take time for ourselves to repair and relax in our day to day busy lives.
Practicing self care could look like many things including going for hike, relaxing and watching a movie, meditating or even petting dogs.
Pet therapy has been shown to drastically lower stress levels.
Check out this doggie visits happening UBC campus coming this week (Oct. 5 from 11am-3pm).
https://www.facebook.com/events/115930685765316/?active_tab=discussion

 

3) Start a Conversation

The best way to learn more about mental health is to simply talk about it!
Find someone you know that is involved with mental health perhaps, or maybe just start with a conversation with someone you’re close to if you are not yet connected to anyone in the mental health community.
Even as simple as asking how someone’s day or week has been can strike a conversation about mental wellbeing or help someone talk about their stresses. The more we share the more we gain!

 

4) Learn and Educate Yourself

There are many resources to learn more about mental disorders, stress etc. – especially online.
Use these tools in order to better your understanding around this area that impacts every part of your life.
For example, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are a great way to gain knowledge without actually having to attend a class and are offered by many universities around the world. The best part? Anyone can take them.
Check out this course called Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health provided by the University of Sydney.
https://www.coursera.org/learn/positive-psychiatry
If you’d like to be notified when we next release our signature training programs on mental health (The EDGE Program) and mental health public speaking (LEAP Academy), click here!!

 

5) Donate

There are many organizations that dedicate their efforts to better mental health literacy, care and awareness. Lots of these run solely on donations or sponsorships. If you would like to help fulfill their missions, donations will always be graciously accepted. Find one that aligns with your goals for mental health!
Here are some of my favourite:
http://www.familysmart.ca/
https://kidshelpphone.ca/get-involved
http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

 

Whatever you choose to do, know that your voice matters, that there are people out there struggling deeply that you can support and inspire.
And if you’re struggling, know that there’s an incredibly welcoming, supportive and empowering community of people and organizations out there to tap into.
If you are feeling suicidal at all, please call the Crisis Line in your area or call 911.

 

Thanks for reading!! If you like this article, please give it a share to spread the word (and open the conversation)!!

Sonia

Sonia Stewart is a Community Manager at Mavrixx and a current UBC Student studying Applied Biology in Food and Environment but is also taking some Psychology. She is also an assistant director and scheduling coordinator for the UBC REC basketball league. Sonia is passionate about staying active on her local LAT, and advocating for better youth mental health care. Sonia also speaks at events about her mental health challenges including at Surrey's Balancing Our Minds Summit. In her free time, she enjoys playing volleyball and getting outdoors (hiking, kayaking and camping).

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