Need help now?

We don't provide mental health advice, counselling, or treatment. If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact your local community crisis team. You can also reach out to the Indigenous Hope for Wellness Help Line 1-855-242-3310, the Black Youth Helpline 1-833-294-8650, or Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868.

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About your Mental Health

Just like physical health, our mental health changes. We go through periods when we don’t feel as mentally well.

Ask any adult in your life, and they’ll be able to tell you about times when their mental health has fluctuated – it could be because of the loss of a loved one, a challenge at school or work, or various other life circumstances that may feel out of our control.

We all have mental health

Everyone has mental health. It might be helpful to think about mental health as a range or continuum. On one end is the optimal, on-top-of-the-world mental health. On the other is poor mental health.

Not everyone has a mental illness. Mental illness, like mental health can fluctuate. On one end of the continuum is no diagnosable mental illness (minimal or no symptoms). On the other end is severe mental illness.

When the mental health and mental illness continuums are put together, they create a “dual continuum” (see below).

A continuum with a vertical axis and a horizontal axis that cross in the middle. The vertical axis shows good mental health and poor mental health. The horizontal access shows severe mental illness and no mental illness.

It’s also helpful to know that people who have diagnosed mental illnesses can still feel mentally well. And similarly, people who don’t have a diagnosed mental illness can have low mental health and need help. That’s why getting treatment and support is essential.

We like this video from CAMH that explains how mental health works. You might find it helpful.

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