As we head into the fall, your wellbeing and mental health matter now more than ever.
If the last few years have taught us anything it is that our environment plays an important role in our wellbeing.
It's important you have the knowledge and strategies to attend to your wellbeing and mental health.
Five Essential Areas of Wellbeing
Gallup's research on Wellbeing from 150 countries identified five essential areas of life areas; Purpose, Social Physical, Financial and Community that are both the foundation for greater wellbeing, but they are also essential for Mental Health.
Unfortunately, in Canada today, people are facing unique challenges in each area.
Purpose: Many Canadian employers are struggling to find skilled workers. There are more job vacancies than people to do the work. This puts added pressure on you, in your job, and your ability to find a healthy work/life balance.
Social: Mental health remains one of the top social problems in Canada. One in 5, or almost seven million Canadians have a mental illness diagnosis. If you don't personally have a mental health problem, someone close to you does, and it will impact you.
Physical: According to a recent Angus Reid Poll, half of Canadians either don't have a family doctor, or can't get a timely appointment. There are also extensive waits for important procedures. Are you taking care of yourself to stay physically healthy and mentally well?
Financial: Inflation in Canada is adding pressure on relationships and families. The Canadian government is now forecasting a recession in 2023. Money is the number one problem in relationships and the main cause of divorce. The first step toward seeking help is learning to talk about financial problems.
Community: Overcoming addiction, family violence, racial discrimination and reconciliation with first nations, debates over firearms and freedoms are major concerns for Canadians. Even worse may be the role that social media is playing by stoking fear and anger.
Each of these creates additional stress and pressure that impact our mental health.
The research on mental illness is very clear. No more than 20-30% of mental illness can be directly attributed to genetics. Most of our mental health problems are rooted in challenges and factors in our environment
How Therapy Helps
Without exception, every client I see is faced with a problem in at least one area of wellbeing. Perhaps they have problems at work/or finding work (purpose), problems with their partner, children or family (social), health problems (physical), money problems (financial), or feel isolated, disconnected or lack a sense of belonging (community).
Counselling Therapy can help provide you with insight, understanding, and strategies for managing powerful feelings like sadness, disappointment, anger, frustration, fear and shame that are always at the root of mental health problems. Once we address these powerful feelings, we can build new behaviours and habits that will improve our mental health and our quality of life.
But stigma remains one of the biggest barriers to people seeking help.
The best part of therapy is that people always walk away feeling a little more hopeful. They better understand where those powerful feelings come from, helping them see that THEIR FEELINGS MAKE COMPLETE SENSE.
More importantly they walk away with new strategies for recovery and healing.
If you are struggling, or you know someone who is, there's no shame in seeking help. It's the most compassionate gift we can give to ourselves.
Take good care of yourself,
Your wellbeing matters. Take five minutes to learn if you are suffering, surviving or thriving in five essential areas of life and what you can do to improve your wellbeing. Try it now.
About the Author:
Derrick McEachern is a Registered Counselling Therapist (RCT) in Nova Scotia, and a Canadian Certified Counsellor. He specializes in providing mindfulness-based and emotionally focused therapy. He offers workshops and webinars and consults with businesses on ways to improve employee wellbeing and mental health.