#GetReal about how to help those struggling with mental health

May 2, 2022

Throughout the course of the pandemic, we’ve all likely experienced unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety, and we’ve probably also felt a deterioration in our mental health. As well, very few of us now have not been impacted in one way or another by COVID-19. It is through these shared experiences that we are able to feel empathy – the ability to relate to someone else’s feelings or experiences.

That’s why during this year’s Mental Health Week (May 2 – 8), the Canadian Mental Health Association is focusing on the importance of helping others through empathy. Given the toll the pandemic has taken on our collective well-being, we need to set aside our differences and #GetReal about how to help one another – how to be there for each other when times are tough. Empathy is recognizing when someone is struggling and relating to them and listening, rather than trying to fix their pain. And practicing empathy helps us regulate our own emotions, connect with others, and feel a sense of togetherness. Something many of us may still be longing for on the heels of the pandemic.


Mental health is an important part of our overall health, and in our pandemic times it’s important to prioritize it. Here are some tips on how you can help yourself, your friends, and your loved ones look after their mental health:   

Connect with others: Connecting with people we trust during good and tough times is key to feeling well and to having good mental health.

Take care of others: There are many things you can do to help support those around you such as being empathetic and listening to them talk about their worries, or providing reassurance when possible.

Take time for self-care: Set aside time for yourself to do things that boost your mood and overall well-being.

Be active: Exercise can reduce stress, boost our energy levels and improve our overall well-being.

Be mindful: Mindfulness is “the state of being attentive to and aware of what is taking place in the present.” Take notice of what’s going on around you and inside of you, it can help you make choices that better meet your needs and reduce your stress.

Give back: Simple acts of kindness such as doing something nice for someone or volunteering your time can help you feel connected and can be incredibly rewarding.

Connect to help: Signs and symptoms associated with a mental health problem can include: changes in sleep, feeling anxious or depressed, feeling angry or helpless, having difficulties concentrating, having little patience, eating excessively, and drinking more alcohol. If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available.

This week, let’s focus on being there for one another – let’s show empathy for those who are struggling and let’s #GetReal about how we can help. For more information visit the CMHA’s Mental Health Week.