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Mental Health Week | May 6-12

The Canadian Mental Health Association annual Mental Health Week is a social change campaign to shift attitudes and perceptions about mental health. This year we recognize Healing through Compassion – a call to be kind!

First introduced in 1951, May 6 – 12, 2024 marks the 73rd annual Mental Health Week in Canada!

This year, we all have the capacity to be compassionate, and we know that doing so can make an enormous difference. Compassion is free, accessible, and something that can be learned. Compassion is showing warmth and understanding during times of suffering, failure, or perceived inadequacy.

As Canadians face worrying levels of stress, anxiety, and loneliness heightened by social inequality, an affordability crisis, political divisiveness, and ongoing climate concerns. In this context, a call to be kind is more relevant than ever, especially given the many mental health benefits associated with compassion.

There are three types of compassion: 

  • Giving compassion: offering care and support to others who are suffering.
  • Receiving compassion: taking in external care and support when we are suffering.
  • Self-compassion: engaging in self-compassion and self-care when we are suffering ourselves.

Whether directed inward or outward, practicing compassion enhances our mental health.

Positive Outcomes of Compassion: 

  • Increase feelings of happiness
  • Be soothing and calming
  • Increase trust and connection
  • Improve emotional resilience
  • Ease depression
  • Reduce stress, anxiety, and loneliness
  • Foster a sense of meaning and fulfilment

Did you know that caregivers who practice self-compassion are better protected from burnout and are more satisfied with their caregiving role. Employee resilience and retention, as well as overall organizational health improves with more compassion in the workplace. Children and adolescents who are encouraged to practice compassion in educational settings show diminished psychological distress and stress, and enhanced relationships and emotional regulation. Teachers who practice self-compassion report it as an effective strategy to alleviate stress and build resilience.

We all have the capacity to be compassionate, and we know that doing so can make an enormous difference. This year’s Mental Health Week is centered on the healing power of compassion. In a world plagued by suffering, we emphasize that kindness is equally intrinsic to our humanity. Join us from May 6 to 12, 2024 to explore how compassion connects us all. 

Connect with us on social media using the hashtags #CompassionConnects and #MentalHealthWeek.

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