What is Mental Health?
There are many ways to define mental health. To different people, it can mean a lot of different things. Here at the BC Children's Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, we view mental health as just one piece of a person’s overall health. This means there is no “health” without “mental health.” Mental health is more than just not having mental illness - mental health is an important resource for everyday life. It affects how we feel, think and understand the world. Good mental health and well-being helps us to stay balanced and be resilient, to enjoy life and cope with everyday stress, and to bounce back from bigger setbacks.
We view mental health as just one component of a person's overall health. As such, there is no "health" without "mental health."
It is important to recognize that mental health challenges are common. At some point in our lifetime, most of us will either struggle with a mental health challenge ourselves, or know someone who is affected by one.
At the Kelty Centre, we believe that whether or not a person has been diagnosed with a mental illness, everyone can experience mental well-being. Many people with mental health challenges live happy and productive lives and create many meaningful relationships.
Approximately 75% of mental health challenges begin before the age of 24, and connecting children, youth, and families to appropriate mental health services and supports is key to improved treatment and outcomes.
Healthy Living and Mental Health
To keep our mind healthy, it is also important to take care of our body. The way we eat, sleep and stay active can have a big effect on our mental health. Healthy routines for eating, sleeping and physical activity can improve self-esteem, affect the way we think, and make it easier for us to deal with stress. For more information on how a healthy lifestyle can impact a person's mental health, check out the Healthy Living section.