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How you think, feel, and react to things can make a big difference. Good mental health helps you feel good about yourself, helps you develop positive relationships, and helps you make good life decisions.
Many mental health problems are caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors.
Use the following resources to learn more about common mental health issues.
When people are depressed, they often experience:
They may act out by:
Although individual motives for suicide vary, there are some common warning signs. These signs may indicate that someone is at risk or is having personal, family, or school problems.
Suicides seldom occur without warning.
If you're aware of common signs and changes in behaviour, you can recognize and better help a person in crisis. The following behaviours can serve as a warning sign. These warning signs are usually physical, emotional, and behavioural in nature.
The following behavioural signs are especially significant, because these signs indicate that a decision to die by suicide may have been made. A previous attempt is a particularly important sign.If a person has experienced a suicide attempt, it increases their risk for suicide.
A person may be more inclined to think of suicide or to take unnecessary risks when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Loss, especially loss of a relationship, is one of the most common factors preceding the suicide of a young person. Other types of loss and lack of hope for the future also often underlie thoughts of suicide.
Here are ways you can help if someone wants to talk to you about his or her feelings of depression or about suicide.
You are not alone. There are individuals and agencies willing and able to assist you, or someone else, in dealing with depression or thoughts of suicide. These same individuals and agencies can provide information and support to assist you in working with others.
Each person's support network is unique; each community provides some kind of service. Generally, the following might provide initial and/or long-term support:
The word trauma is used to describe many feelings and circumstances. People can be traumatized by divorce, workplace harassment, the death of someone close to us, being sexually assaulted, experiencing a fire, or natural disaster, as an example.
Traumatic events are characterized by:
There are certain factors that can increase vulnerability to post-traumatic stress:
Reactions to trauma are not solely determined by events. There are a number of other factors including the nature and magnitude of previous losses and trauma (especially childhood trauma) and coping strategies.
Myth: If it looks OK on the outside, it must be OK on the inside.
Truth: Showing no response or little response to trauma events is often a sign someone is coping through denial. Most reactions to trauma are normal in the short term, whether they are intense emotional reactions or avoidance and numbing reactions.
Myth: Trauma symptoms are a sign of dysfunction.
Truth: Trauma symptoms are functional and a sign of a person's system trying to re-establish its balance. They are signs of health not illness and reflect the need to recognize the reality and impact of the trauma and also to deny what is overwhelming and unbearable.
Myth: Loss, grief and trauma are the same thing.
Truth: Trauma is often in addition to the grief process, and may interfere with grieving and mourning if it is not addressed separately.
Myth: We should wait until victims seek help.
Truth: Victims of trauma are struggling to maintain or re-establish a sense of balance and want to appear as competent and in control as possible. Seeking out help may be difficult and victims will benefit from support and immediate trauma intervention.
The roles of health professionals in responding to trauma include:
For help with post-traumatic stress, contact Mental Health Services in your community.
Find more detailed mental health information at HealthLine on the following topics:
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