Yes, you can see mental health (sort of)


It is true that mental illness can be incredibly difficult to see compared to a broken leg or an open wound, for example. But just like any other illness or health challenge, there are sometimes outward signs of mental health that can be observed by others.

Deb VanBerkel is the chief programming officer for the Canadian Centre for Agricultural Wellbeing, and she says that there can be physical and noticeable signs that someone you know is struggling with their mental wellness.

If someone who has usually been pleasant and friendly seems withdrawn, grumpy, or distracted, that could be an indication of something not going right, she says. If someone who normally “has it together” is showing up for meetings unprepared or looking like they are not taking care of themselves, that can be an alert to something being off, as well.

VanBerkel says that these signs are a reminder to check in with that person to see how things are going.

Behaviours, too, can prove to be a sign of mental struggles — avoiding activities or interactions that used to be enjoyed or overuse of alcohol or drugs can be negative coping mechanisms that could signal that someone’s mental health needs some attention.

For the full discussion on this point, and for a discussion on defining mental health, tap below or download the podcast for later!

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