Why Thanksgiving can be tough on people's mental health
For many people, Thanksgiving weekend is a time to meet with family and friends and reflect on everything that makes them grateful. For others, however, the holiday can take a toll on their mental health.
Marion Cooper, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association for Manitoba, said the holidays can be a stressful time for people who are struggling with their mental health.
“Getting together with family may or may not be happening because we’re still living in constraint times around social distancing and paying attention to those important public health messages,” she said.
She noted there might also be people who are experiencing feelings of isolation.
“There will be many people who struggle alone and do not have social connections. Holidays can accentuate that and increase that sense of isolation,” Cooper said.
At the same time, Cooper said, many people will be feeling a sense of gratitude to reconnect with loved ones this holiday weekend.
“For some of us, many of us, we’ll be feeling very thankful to have the opportunity to get together with loved ones and that will be good for our mental health,” she said.
WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY
Today is not only Thanksgiving Sunday, but it is also the World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Day.
Cooper said the day gives people an opportunity to speak openly about the importance of mental health.
“It reminds us that we’re part of a global movement addressing mental health worldwide,” she said.
She noted that the Canadian Mental Health Association released a five-year nationwide strategic plan, with the key message that mental health care is a universal human right.
“We continue on to advocate for more access, for more services in a timely way for individuals when they’re needing it. But also for a whole-of-government approach to mental health,” she said.
Cooper said that mental health isn’t just about health services, but also about education and what can be done to support kids and youth.
“It’s also about workplaces and what can workplaces can do to create conditions that promote positive mental health for its employees and address psychological health and safety as an important standard for workplace health and safety,” she said.
Cooper said she’s hopeful that as there continues to be more awareness, there will be more people prioritizing mental health in a way they’ve never done before
- With files from CTV’s Michael D’Alimonte.