The first step to understanding positive mental health is to look at how we view “mental health”. When
people think of mental health they often make associations with
symptoms, challenges and illness, reducing our ability to see the whole
picture of mental health.
Consider the way “physical health” is understood. Although we are
all aware that people experience various physical illnesses during their
lifetime, ranging from mild and brief to more severe and enduring, we
do not see these symptoms, challenges and illnesses as defining physical
health. We equate physical health as an overall experience of physical
Good health includes both physical and mental health!
Often, mental health awareness campaigns focus solely on mental
illness. Understanding mental illnesses and reducing the stigma of
living with mental illness is very important. Understanding the broader
concept of mental health and how to improve and support positive mental
health enables us to provide early intervention for individuals who have
not developed a mental illness as well as support individuals living
with mental illness to access resources for recovery sooner. People
living with mental illness can experience positive mental health.
Everyone has periods of time when they are not experiencing optimal
mental health (as all people experience periods of time when they do
not have optimum physical health). It is estimated that 1 in 5 Canadian youth suffer from a
mental health issue. The DDSB has identified five links of
influence for positive mental health in the Mental Health and Addictions Strategic Plan
* Building Resiliency
* Breaking Down the Stigma
* Building Skills and Knowledge
* Engaging Parent/Guardians and Families
* Working Collaboratively with Community Partners
Early recognition of mental health
problems and connection with helpful resources is important. If you are
concerned about your child's mental health you can talk to a Guidance Counsellor at Sinclair Secondary School. Supportive school-based strategies, referrals to our Board
mental health professionals and information about community mental
health providers can be offered through our Student Services department. Promotion of
positive mental health and development of social and emotional learning
strategies is an ongoing focus for the DDSB.
If you need immediate assistance for a mental health concern, please contact:
- your family doctor
- Durham Mental Health Mobile Crisis (905) 666-0483 or 1-800-742-1890
- Kids Help Phone - 1-800-668-6868 - www.kidshelpphone.ca
approximately 5% of male youth and 12% of female youth, age 12 – 19 have
experience a major depressive episode. Depression can be very frightening and debilitating.
Depression is a mental illness, characterized by sadness, loss of
interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or
appetite, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration. Once we break down the stigma and start talking
about Depression you can start to improve on your mental health.
People with Depression can experience positive mental health.
Please note that a Guidance Counsellor can help support you and help you to access resources for your journey to
Information on community based mental health services for children and youth can be accessed through: