Some areas of life that can bring on mental health problems include
Stress is a part of everyday life, but when it is being managed in unhealthy ways (like self-harming behaviour) or is completely unmanaged, it can negatively affect mental health and even trigger mental illness.
For more information on stress, healthy stress management and how to teach stress management skills to your students, refer to the Hats on for Mental Health lesson plans at www.canwetalk.ca.
Bullying and abuse
Many people who experience bullying or abuse live with fear and a constant threat to their physical safety. Even when bullying or abuse takes place over the Internet or comes in the form of verbal harassment, it effects the mental health of its target and those around them. Bullying should always be addressed by teachers and school officials. If a young person is being abused or neglected, inside or outside of the school, it is every citizen’s legal obligation to inform the proper authorities.
Some people are more prone to experiencing upsetting feelings. Just like some people tend to be more confident or shy, being more sensitive is not a weakness but rather one of the ways that people are unique. Unfortunately, this characteristic may put the person at higher risk of mental health problems.
Grief or loss
Separation, divorce or the loss of a family member or friend can be extremely painful events. Finding ways to cope and adjust to the changes wrought by these events is critical for everyone, but particularly for youth. How grief is handled can affect young people for years to come.
Physical ill health
Diseases, injuries and other physical problems often contribute to poor mental health, and sometimes physical causes (such as brain injury and drug abuse) can directly affect brain chemistry and contribute to mental health problems or even mental illness. Poor physical health can affect self-esteem and people’s ability to meet their goals, which leads to unhappiness or even depression. In such cases, receiving the best possible treatment for both the physical problem and the resulting psychological consequences is key to optimal recovery to good mental health.