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Your physical health can have a huge impact on your mental health, and vice versa. If you have a long-term physical health condition or a physical injury, such as a broken leg, your mental health can be affected.
When someone’s mental health suffers, their physical health can suffer too. For example, mental health may affect your diet and the amount of exercise you do. Some mental health organizations have connections to family doctors and walk-in medical clinics. If you don’t have a doctor who you see regularly, ask your service provider to help you find one, or see Tips on finding a family doctor.
If you are sexually active or are thinking about becoming sexually active, you should know where to get information, receive birth control and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Although this may seem awkward or uncomfortable, it’s more comfortable than the symptoms of an STD. Let your service provider know if you need help finding a place that offers these services. Many places have sexual health clinics, but you can also get tested at walk-in medical clinics or with your family doctor. If you are concerned about privacy, ask about the policies at the clinic.
Getting a job can be difficult. Making a resume (CV), handing it out to businesses, the interview process and the first few days of a new job are hard! Mental health struggles can sometimes get in the way of getting a job. Many community organizations offer employment services, such as helping you write a resume or practising interview questions with you. Sometimes, these services can give you a list of places that are hiring. If you’re interested in getting help with finding a job, ask your service provider about local resources.
You may wonder if and how you should tell your employer about your mental health or substance use concerns. There are agencies that can help you make this decision as well as help you speak to your employer about accommodations available for you at work. You can get more information in the Support/accommodations for disabilities section. With a little help, you might find that there are supportive workplaces in your community and that your job can be part of your treatment and recovery process.
Taking care of your finances can be confusing, especially if you’re also struggling with mental health or substance use. Financial counselling services are sometimes offered at community organizations. They may be able to help you make a budget and create a plan to pay off debt, among other non-judgmental supports. If this sounds like it could be helpful to you, ask your service provider for resources in your community.
Experiencing any kind of sexual harassment, assault or abuse can have major effects on mental health. Regardless of how many times it happens, how it happens or whether or not it involves physical violence, it’s important to get support. You deserve to feel safe. Sex must be consensual and sexual partners should respect your boundaries. It’s important to know it’s not your fault and you are not alone.
Many mental health professionals are trained in treating victims of sexual violence and can support you. Some communities and university campuses have services that specialize in sexual harassment and assault services. This might include crisis support, counselling and legal help. You can also look for service providers who are trauma-informed or have special training in working with victims of rape, sexual assault or sexual abuse.
If you are involved in the legal system, legal counselling services (or free legal advice) can make a huge difference. Many law firms offer free consultation meetings to discuss your options. There are also legal counselling clinics that are sometimes held in communities. If you are looking for legal counselling, ask your service provider to help you find it.
For some people, becoming pregnant at a young age can be overwhelming and scary. You may have many questions and concerns. Counselling services can help to answer your questions and sort out your feelings. There are many pregnancy and parenting services, including anonymous helplines. Whatever decisions you make along the way, remember that you’re making the best choice you can in what may be a difficult situation.
If you are planning on continuing the pregnancy or you are already a parent, you might also be interested in services that help young parents. These programs include parenting groups, counselling, food banks, alternative schooling, and day care.
When you are not feeling the best, you might not want to do things that you normally enjoy, especially with people who don’t really know or understand what you’re going through. But playing sports, doing fun activities and socializing can be good for your mental health.
Ask mental health and substance use service providers if they run any recreation programs. These might include groups that make art, play games or sports or go for walks, etc. This allows you to go out and do fun activities with people who understand what it’s like to struggle with mental health and/or substance use, which can make things a little more comfortable.
Getting through school is hard enough when you’re feeling healthy—it can be even harder when you’re having difficulties in other areas of your life. Whether you’re looking to complete high school credit courses or post-secondary programs, there are people who can help you. Service providers and guidance counsellors can help you figure out your goals for the future, connect you to primary, secondary or post-secondary school programs (including modified programs for people with mental health challenges) and support you in achieving your goals.
“Skills” programs are also common. Everybody can benefit from skills training, especially if you plan to move out on your own! Although there are many different programs, the point of most skills training programs is to teach you the practical skills needed as an adult, such as budgeting, cooking, time management, specific workplace skills and more. Having these skills can free up energy to focus on your mental well-being!
This is a self-reflection activity. As you do this activity, you can write down your thoughts on a piece of paper. If you have an account, you can click on the button below to write down your thoughts on a ‘Notes’ page that you can print or save.
Learning a new skill can help you focus on something positive. It can also help you gain new knowledge. Think about some new skills you would like to learn!
It’s become common knowledge that physical health affects mental health. Part of your health is your nutrition and eating. Sometimes people can have complicated relationships with food or have challenges with an eating disorder. If you are thinking about your eating habits and how they may be affecting your health and mental health, talk to your service provider about getting more support with eating habits. You can ask for them to refer you to a doctor, nutritionist or dietician. You can also ask for specific support for young people with an eating disorder.