One step at a time

What Is Mental Health?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behaviour could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:
  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems
Mental health problems are common but help is available People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely.

What Is Recovery?

Recovery from mental disorders and/or substance abuse disorders is a process of change through which individuals:
  • Improve their health and wellness
  • Live a self-directed life
  • Strive to achieve their full potential

Four Dimensions of Recovery

Four major dimensions support a life in recovery:
  • Health: Make informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional well-being.
  • Home: Have a stable and safe place to live.
  • Purpose: Engage in meaningful daily activities, such as a job or school, volunteering, caring for your family, or being creative. Work for independence, income, and resources to participate in society.
  • Community: Build relationships and social networks that provide support.

Develop a Recovery Plan

If you are struggling with a mental health problem, you may want to develop a written recovery plan.
Recovery plans:
  • Enable you to identify goals for achieving wellness
  • Specify what you can do to reach those goals
  • Include daily activities as well as longer term goals
  • Track any changes in your mental health problem
  • Identify triggers or other stressful events that can make you feel worse, and help you learn how to manage them