May 1 until the 7 marks Mental Health Awareness week.

"Mental Health is something that affects each of us everyday and we sometimes live our life so quickly that we don't take time to stop and be aware of what we can do to improve our lives, but also keep ourselves well mentally. Things like exercise, eating and just being mindful of your day can go a long way to help you be balanced and healthy," explained Cindy Shyback, Clinical Care Manager with Addiction and Mental Health for the central zone.

There's been a lot of research done in previous years and outcomes show there is strong positive effects on mood or energy when we all get out and move.

"It's little tings, small steps you do each day. Lots of research has shown that having an attitude of being grateful helps to improve your mood and generally makes a difference in how you feel in your day," Shyback outlined. "When you feel a bit better then you have a little bit more energy to engage in small physical activities, playing in a playground with children, getting out and enjoying the cool air this time of year or having a short walk."

When we aren't feeling well our energy is lower and we usually tend to withdraw, or spend less time, in social interactions.

"When someone withdraws and doesn't bounce back after a few days, you want to start paying closer attention to what is going on in their life," Shyback noted.

"When those things happen we get out of balance and that's when you want to start to pay attention to what is happening. You could encourage someone close to you to talk to someone in the profession like a physician, mental health therapist or a pastor; someone they feel close with."

If someone is dealing with, or knows someone dealing with mental health, how can they find out more information?

"Health Link is one of our support lines and it's simply just dialling 811. We also have a website, www.ahs.ca/amh you can visit that will bring you some information on mental health and wellness tips."

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

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