Mental Health


We all have mental health; our mental health can fluctuate over time ranging from optimal to poor.  Optimal mental health is associated with flourishing and well-being.  Some of us will also experience symptoms of mental illness in our lifetime.  It is important to understand that it is possible to have a mental illness and still maintain good mental health. Refer to the dual-continuum model below. Image from: Canadian Association of College & University Student Services and Canadian Mental Health Association. (2013). Post-Secondary Student Mental Health: Guide to a Systemic Approach. Vancouver, BC: Author

The Language of Mental Health & Mental Illness

It is helpful if we can use a common language to talk about mental health and mental illness (see pyramid diagram to the right).  Certain words (e.g., Depression, Anxiety) are best reserved for talking about mental disorders or illness, while other words (e.g., upset, sad, worried) can be used when talking about mental distress.  Watch this video to hear Dr. Stan Kutcher, psychiatrist and adolescent mental health expert, explain the inter-relationship of mental health states.

Interrelationship of mental health

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Looking After Your Mental Health:  

Click here for tips for good mental health from the heretohelp BC resource.