Mental Health Awareness Month: Let’s Talk About It

Did you know that May marks Mental Health Awareness Month? Since its establishment in 1949, this month has played an important role in addressing the daily struggles faced by millions of individuals worldwide. In fact, globally an estimated 225 million farmers alone grapple with mental health.

One of the central goals of Mental Health Awareness Month is to break down the stigma surrounding mental health. Contrary to popular belief, mental health isn’t just “good” or “bad” like a light switch; it can be better thought of as a continuum, similar to how our physical health fluctuates. Every day, our feelings and thoughts can shift, and it’s important to know that there’s not always an obvious cause or reason for this. It’s perfectly okay not to feel okay. And perhaps more importantly, it’s okay to talk about not feeling okay.

This Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s all try to make a conscious effort to normalize conversations about mental health among our friends, family, and colleagues. This could mean asking questions like, “How are you doing, really?” or being more open about sharing when you’re having a tough day. By challenging ourselves in this way, we not only make these important conversations more routine but also help to destigmatize the topic for others, contributing to broader change.

Throughout May, be sure to keep an eye on our Farm Safety Nova Scotia social media channels for our ‘Talk About It Tuesdays,’ where we aim to encourage open dialogue within our NSFA team. @farmsafetyns

Mental Health Week: Healing Through Compassion

During the second week of Mental Health Awareness Month, we also observe Mental Health Week, which takes place from May 6th to May 12th, 2024. This year’s theme, “Healing Through Compassion,” selected by the Canadian Mental Health Association, highlights the idea that #CompassionConnects.

In a world where we’re constantly connected to upsetting current events, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the bad news. That’s why it’s essential to remind ourselves of the compassion that still exists around us.

Despite life’s ups and downs, the reality is that each of us has the innate ability to be compassionate. During those ‘downs,’ we may have to work harder to practice patience and understanding; however, it’s worth remembering that compassion is woven into our very being. Whether it’s a spontaneous gesture or a more intentional effort, spreading kindness not only uplifts others but is also quite literally good for us.

This week, FSNS would encourage you to ask yourself, “how can I spread kindness today?” Be someone’s reminder that compassion is all around us.

Here are some simple ideas to inspire acts of kindness this week:

  • Cook a friend or family member their favourite meal.
  • Compliment a stranger.
  • Send a thoughtful text message to a friend telling them you appreciate them.
  • Leave a positive review for your favourite local business or service.
  • Send a letter or a care package to a loved one who lives far away.