Mental Health and...

Mental health (or well-being) is a balance of mental, physical, emotional, social and spiritual health.  Caring relationships, a place to call home, a supportive community, and work and leisure all contribute to mental health.  No one's life is perfect; mental health is also about handling life's ups and downs.

When you feel you don't have this balance, or you feel you can't handle life's challenges well, it can affect your mental health. These changes and challenges can get in the way of you enjoying your life.

You and your family will benefit from learning how to enhance and protect your  mental health (whether you have experienced mental illness or not).

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Many people feel getting a job, or returning to work, is central to their recovery from illness - whether mental or physical. Work builds self-confidence and an income provides financial stability.

Going to university or college is exciting – and stressful. You’ll want to meet new friends, get good grades, and, perhaps most importantly, feel good about yourself. That can put a lot of pressure on you. Fortunately, there are resources that can help. 

Your job can be satisfying and demanding. In some cases, the demands become too great, and you feel stressed.

Adolescence - usually defined as ages 14-25 - can be a difficult time. There often are many pressures to manage. Worrying about them is normal, but feeling very sad, hopeless or worthless might be a sign of a mental health problem.

University and college can be stressful. Fortunately, help is often only a phone call or a click away.

Concurrent disorder describes a condition in which a person has both a mental illness and is experiencing harmful involvement with alcohol, other drugs and/or gambling.

Long term stress is part of the package when you care for a family member who is ill for many years. How you manage that stress is very individual but families can learn from each other.

Robert Smith* says that when he first started working again after a long bout of depression, it was hard just to get out there in front of people. “I literally forced myself to go. I just refused to listen to the voice in my head that said, ‘You’re not going to get this done, don’t bother.’”

The numbers are startling:

  • Every 11 minutes, a Canadian dies of a tobacco-related illness
  • Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable disease and disability in Canada
  • Tobacco-related illness costs the health care system $171 million every year
  •  85 per cent of lung cancers are caused by smoking
  • 30 per cent of all types of cancer are caused by smoking
  • Approximately 200 Nova Scotians die every year as a result of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke

Fifteen years ago, 24 per cent of youth ages 15-19, and six per cent of youth ages 10-14, used tobacco products.

A new stop smoking program - designed specifically for individuals living with mental illness - offers support and hope.

Making nutritious meals for every day of the week is easier to do than you might think. The most important thing to do is to make a plan.

It can be difficult to eat delicious food that's good for you on a limited grocery budget. There are things you can do to stretch your food dollars and enjoy a variety of nutritious foods: plan ahead; buy what's on sale; shop smart in the store; and know how to get deals.

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Eating Well

Eating well is about finding a balance.

Handling Stress

Stress and anxiety are everywhere.

Being Active

Having free time, and spending it wisely, are important to good mental health.


Work builds self-confidence and an income provides financial stability.


When it comes to your health, there is no safe level of tobacco use.