The Regional Municipality of Durham

News Release

Learn how to support your mental health this Mental Health Week

WHITBY, ON April 28, 2016 - Mental Health Week is May 2 to 8 and Durham Region Health Department is encouraging residents to consider five simple steps to support their mental health.

“Mental Health Week is an opportunity to give your mental health the attention it deserves,” said Keith Rew, a public health nurse with the Health Department. “According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, positive mental health is a state of well-being that allows one self to feel, think and act in ways that enhance their ability to enjoy life and deal with life’s challenges.”

The Health Department has five simple ways that residents can support their mental health. They include:

  1. Be active. Going for a walk, playing on a sports team, or going for a swim can help to create positive mental health. Not only are these activities great for physical health, they are also great ways to release stress and improve mental health.
  2. Build and enjoy healthy relationships. Enjoying the company of others is a great way to create positive mental health. Having social connections with friends, family and colleagues gives a sense of belonging. Having lunch with colleagues or eating dinner together with family are great ways to connect.
  3. Get enough sleep. Sleep is a valuable opportunity for the mind and body to rest and recharge. When rested, a person’s focus and ability to make decisions improves and they are better equipped to handle challenges. Creating sleep routines can improve sleep. Turn off electronics two hours before bedtime.
  4. Offer to help. The ‘helper's high’, a feeling of well-being that one gets when helping or giving back, can improve mood. Offering to help a colleague at work or a neighbour in need will also increase connections with others.
  5. Be mindful. Being mindful of negative thoughts and attitudes throughout the day is a great way to improve mental health. Optimistic thinking can help put a positive spin on a stressful challenge. Practising positive thinking becomes easier over time. Try placing a note on the fridge with a positive thought for a loved one to see, or do a random act of kindness.

“Taking time each day to look after our mental health is easier than we may think,” added Mr. Rew. “By incorporating some of these simple steps, we can all make efforts to improve our mental health.”

For more information on mental health, please call Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729, or visit Residents are also encouraged to tweet their favourite mental health tip to the Health Department via @DurhamFamilies.

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Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:
Glendene Collins - Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999 or

If this information is required in an accessible format, please contact the Accessibility Co-ordinator at 1-800-372-1102 extension 2009.

For more information, please contact Health Department.