Mental Health Awareness Week May 3-9

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#GetReal about how you feel. Name it, don’t numb it.

For 70 years, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has hosted Mental Health Week and since it’s inception in 2013, the Mental and Social Wellness Working Group of the MARPAC Health and Wellness Strategy has been supporting it.

The core objective of Mental Health Week is to promote behaviours and attitudes that foster well-being, support good mental health, and create a culture of understanding and acceptance at MARPAC. 

This year’s theme is focused on understanding our emotions. We are in a time of unprecedented stress and anxiety, and are experiencing a wide range of emotions. As humans, we are meant to feel an entire spectrum of emotions, be it pleasant or unpleasant. We often try to avoid these unpleasant emotions such as sadness, fear, or anxiety; however, they are just as important as the pleasant ones and can impact our health and wellbeing. In fact, our health is based on a complex interplay of positive and negative emotions, and good physical health is actually promoted when we feel both “the good with the bad”.

To better understand our emotions and to reap the health benefits, we have to improve our emotional literacy, which is the ability to recognize how we feel, understand our feelings, label them, and express them.

When we are emotionally literate, we are better able to manage, or “regulate”, our emotions. Putting our feelings into words helps us construct and make meaning out of our emotions, and puts the brakes on our emotional responses. This way, we are able to respond thoughtfully rather than react automatically.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with emotion, remember the acronym R.A.I.N.

R – Recognize what’s going on. Consciously acknowledge and name the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that are affecting you. (“What is happening in this moment? How am I feeling? Where do I feel it in my body?”)

A – Allow the experience to be there, just as it is. Let the thoughts, emotions, feelings or sensations you have recognized simply be there, without trying to fix or avoid anything. (“I can let the thoughts or feelings just be here. Even if I don’t like it.”)

I – Investigate with interest and care. Call on your natural curiosity, and direct a more focused attention to your present experience. (“Why do I feel this way? Is it really true?”)

N – Non-Identification. Be a witness. Understand that you are not your thoughts and emotions. (“I am having a thought or emotion, but I am not that thought or emotion.”)

To learn more about the RAIN technique, visit https://www.mindful.org/tara-brach-rain-mindfulness-practice/ or https://www.tarabrach.com/rain/.

For more information on Mental Health Week, visit www.mentalhealthweek.ca.

Follow Us on Social Media!
For more updates and information, follow the Naden Athletic Centre on Facebook @pspesquimaltnaden
#GetReal #MentalHealthWeek #MHWS

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Mental Health Resources

Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC)
250-363-2640 or 1-800-353-3329

Chaplains 250-363-4030 (24hr)

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Peer Referral Line: 250-363-7968
24 hour line: 1-800-268-7708

Member Assistance Program (MAP)
24 hour phone line: 1-800-268-7708

CF Mental Health Services – To access, the member must contact
local CAF Medical Clinic Reception at 250-363-4122

Personnel Support Programs (PSP)
Health Promotion: 250-363-5621
Fitness & Sports: 250-363-5677
Recreation: 250-363-1009

Integrated Complaint and Conflict Management Services (ICCM) 250-363-7578

The Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group (CAF TG) 250-363-4477

Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC) 1-844-750-1648 (24hr)

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Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author: The Lookout Newspaper can trace its history back to April 1943 when CFB Esquimalt’s first newspaper was published. Since then, Lookout has grown into the award winning source for Pacific Navy News. Leading the way towards interactive social media reach, we are a community resource newspaper growing a world wide audience.

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