Mental health 101

Understanding your own mental health is the first step to discovering your inner strength.

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What is mental health?

Mental health describes our state of being both emotionally (how we feel) and cognitively (our ability to think clearly or process information). Our mental health can impact how we think, how we feel and act, how we deal with stress, and how we relate to others socially.

Here's what you need to know

  1. Just as our outsides are different, so too are our insides. It's totally normal for your mental health to be different from your friend's.

  2. In the same way our physical health fluctuates, so too does our mental health. It's a spectrum that can change from one day, month, or year to the next.

  3. Many people experience mental health challenges. It's common. It's normal. And there are lots of support options to help.

(Keep reading to learn more.)

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Your brain is different from my brain, and that’s okay

Every person processes information and emotions in unique ways. This could be for a number of reasons (such as genetics, childhood experiences, and cultural norms). 

Our brains, the smart technology in our heads, receives information and tries to make sense of it. This means that the way you make sense of something is different from the way someone else does. And, the way they react to it is probably going to be different from how you react, too. 

At the end of the day, we’re all built a little bit differently. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek support when we need it-- we should! At the same time, we can also offer ourselves (and others) heaps of compassion and patience, remembering that differences in how we process the world around us are also a reflection of what it means to be human. 

We all struggle, and sometimes, we all need a little extra support. And that, my friend, is what being strong is all about.

"The human experience is beautifully complex, and all experiences — even difficult ones — can inform, transform, and enrich our lives in ways that are sometimes hard to imagine, especially when we are at our depths."

- Chantel Garrett, Founding Director, Strong365 Community

Understanding the mental health spectrum

Sometimes we feel great, other times not so much, and sometimes we're in between. Changes in our mental health are part of life.

Understanding mental health as a spectrum (see below) can help us find the right words to express how we're feeling and identify when it may be time to reach out for support.

"Today, I feel like i am..."


I'm okay and moving along at my typical pace.


I'm managing, but things have been more difficult.


I've been having a hard time for a while now.


I can't manage my daily routine anymore.

Self-care and peer support can be helpful no matter where you are in your journey. If you’ve been struggling or feeling unwell, we recommend exploring professional support to help you better understand what you’re experiencing and find your path to well-being.

Learn about common mental health conditions

Click to learn more about symptoms, causes, risk factors, screening, and diagnosis as well as resources for treatment and recovery.

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