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Mental Health 101

If I had to pick one thing to work on that crosses the silos of medicine and good health it would be resilience. Mental health is so multifactorial: good or bad things that have happened to you, the quality of your social network, your genes, your learned coping strategies, etc.

I see many opportunities here but three good starting points are…

1 – Go back to basics: Sometimes we medicalize a crap week. And if it’s been a crap month or two we tend to forget the basics. Here is my two minute advice

2 – Train your brain to interpret and respond in a healthy way: As Victor Frankl says, “There is a space between stimulus and response. In that space is our power to choose our response.” We all cognitively distort. We all respond in emotional ways. Learning how to manage this better should be like getting a drivers license for your life. Two skills that I highly recommend you look at developing are CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and mindfulness.

A good first step is picking a workbook from this online book-seller here

Some classics are:

There are also many free courses available online. Here’s one called MoodGYM.

For a simple but practical overview of mindfulness have a look at this PDF and audio series.

And of course, seeing an expert in CBT is highly recommended

3 – Figure out whether you have something more serious going on. Here is a selection of screeners. I would start by selecting PHQ (it’s the longest one) and complete it. If you’ve got a few “yes”, take the completed form into your doctor to discuss next steps.

That’s my tool-kit for getting started. We’ve also added more EHL mental health videos and podcasts as well as other resources we like below. Make sure to let us know what great stuff you’ve found that we’ve missed!

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