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10 Reasons Mental Health Matters

10 Reasons Mental Health Matters

Rainbow coloured blocks designed in the formation of a human brain to show why mental health matters.

In a world that often prioritizes physical health, the importance of mental health is sometimes overlooked. Yet, your mental state is just as crucial to your overall well-being—touching every aspect of your life, from relationships to productivity. Some of the key reasons mental health matters are the way it impacts:

  1. Physical health
  2. Emotional well-being
  3. Everyday productivity 
  4. Personal relationships
  5. Coping with difficult times
  6. Personal growth
  7. Problem-solving
  8. Economics & finances
  9. Suicide rates
  10. Quality of life

Being mindful of mental health—your own and that of those around you—is more than just an act of self-care. Taking proactive steps to care for your mental health can help live a healthy, balanced life. 

If you or a loved one is facing a mental health crisis, know that Distress Centre is here for you. You can reach our 24-hour crisis line by call or text at 403-266-4357.

What Does It Mean to Be Healthy Mentally?

When we talk about mental health, we’re referring to a state of well-being where an individual can cope with life’s stresses, work productively, and contribute to their community. It’s about emotional, psychological, and social well-being all coming together to create a sense of balance and fulfillment.

Mental Health vs. Mental Illness

Mental illnesses are conditions that impact a person’s thinking, emotions, or behaviour. These conditions can disrupt daily functioning and affect relationships and overall well-being. 

While mental illness is not the same as mental health, they are certainly interconnected. Working on maintaining good mental health may help reduce the risk of developing mental illness, and seeking treatment for mental illness is vital for improving overall mental health.

1. Physical Health

The mind and body are deeply interconnected, and the current research, while nuanced, shows that good mental health can have a positive impact on physical health and well-being.

The “big 3” health behaviours—exercising regularly, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and getting enough sleep—are associated with better mental health. On the flip side, unhealthy habits like smoking, excessive drinking, and lack of physical activity, can negatively impact physical and mental health.

2. Emotional Well-Being

Every day, people encounter a range of emotional experiences. Optimally, your mental health should enable you to navigate these feelings with relative ease. However, when your mental health is compromised, your ability to manage those emotions can be hampered, leading to difficult and sometimes even dangerous consequences for your emotional well-being.

Mental health also plays a crucial role in shaping self-esteem. When struggling with mental health challenges, individuals may experience a decline in self-worth and confidence. Negative thought patterns and self-criticism can erode a person’s sense of value and competence, impacting their ability to navigate life with resilience and optimism.

3. Everyday Productivity

A healthy mind is essential for maintaining everyday productivity. It’s not just about working—home management, socializing, and the interests and hobbies you engage in can all benefit from mental well-being.

When your mental health is at its best, you’re better equipped to manage the demands of daily life. From efficiently tackling household chores to engaging in meaningful interactions with friends and family, a balanced mental state allows people to navigate these activities with clarity and purpose.

4. Personal Relationships

Mental health plays a crucial role in personal relationships. When you’re struggling with your mental well-being, it can affect how you interact with those around you. 

Sometimes, when you’re dealing with mental health issues, it might be difficult to express yourself or engage in activities you once enjoyed. This can put a strain on relationships, leading to misunderstandings or feelings of isolation. 

However, by making an effort toward open communication and empathy, we can create an environment where both parties feel valued and understood. Everyone’s journey is unique, but reaching out for support from your loved ones during challenging times can make a difference.

A group of friends connecting and building personal relationships to support mental health.

5. Coping with Difficult Times

Mental health can impact your ability to process and manage challenging situations. For some, mental health struggles might make it harder to find the strength or motivation to confront obstacles, leading to feelings of overwhelm or hopelessness. 

Strong mental health doesn’t mean you never go through bad times; it means you are better equipped to cope with these challenges. 

6. Personal Growth

Prioritizing mental health allows for personal growth and self-discovery. It provides an opportunity to explore your inner self, understand your strengths and weaknesses, and cultivate a deeper sense of self-awareness. By nurturing your mental well-being, you can embark on a journey of self-improvement to help unlock your full potential. 

7. Problem-Solving

A healthy mindset allows you to approach challenges with clarity and innovation, leading to more effective problem-solving. Additionally, being open to new experiences and ideas becomes easier when your mental health is in a good place, as it frees your mind to explore and embrace fresh perspectives.

8. Economic & Finances

Mental health can have a significant impact on a person’s financial and economic situation. When individuals are dealing with mental health challenges, it can affect their ability to work, concentrate, and make sound financial decisions. This can lead to difficulties in maintaining employment, managing finances, and planning for the future.

Additionally, stigma surrounding mental health may prevent individuals from seeking the support they need, leading to prolonged struggles that impact their economic well-being.

When people prioritize mental health, it can lead to better decision-making, improved work performance, and enhanced productivity.

9. Suicide Rates

Mental health awareness and access to treatment play a crucial role in reducing suicide rates. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds, highlighting the urgency of addressing this global issue. 

By promoting mental health across various facets of life, such as schools and workspaces, people can work toward lowering these alarming statistics. This integrated approach to mental well-being is essential for creating supportive environments and fostering resilience, ultimately contributing to the reduction of suicide rates on a global scale.

10. Quality of Life

Ultimately, when you neglect your mental health, you compromise your quality of life. Mental health matters because it affects every facet of your existence. Investing in mental health is investing in a richer, more fulfilling life.

Get Mental Health Support at Distress Centre

Mental health is a critical aspect of your well-being that deserves attention and care. It impacts not only how you feel and think but every aspect of your life, from your health and relationships to your productivity and happiness. 

Distress Centre is here as a support network for you in times of crisis. If you need help accessing resources for your mental health or that of a loved one, visit our resources page to explore how we can help.

In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, Distress Centre Calgary would like to honour and acknowledge Moh’kinsstis, and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Blackfoot confederacy: Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, as well as the Îyâxe Nakoda and Tsuut’ina nations. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3 within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. Finally, we acknowledge all Nations – Indigenous and non – who live, work and play on this land, and who honour and celebrate this territory.