Preserving mental health and staying mentally healthy

Strategies to consider on the road to recovery and beyond

Maintaining mental health is an ongoing process. Following a health care provider’s advice is one step. As a medical condition gets better, or when symptoms are no longer a problem, it may be tempting to stop medication or counselling. But sudden stops to medication can lead to relapse. Changes to a treatment plan should only be made in consultation with your health care provider.

There are steps one can take to help preserve mental health and promote a sense of wellbeing:

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule and ensure you’re getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night
  • Keep up with proper and healthy nutrition
  • Stay active
  • Do not isolate yourself
  • Find activities that you enjoy and make participation a priority
  • Know your stress triggers
  • Embrace the support of friends, family and co-workers
  • Follow your physician’s medical recommendations and prescriptions

Mental health assessment tools

Learn more about mood disorders, find resources for yourself, family members, friends, and reflect on your unique strengths and ways to develop mental fitness.

How can you maintain your resilience?

Resilience is a person’s ability to recover from difficulties and stressors. It’s the ability to be strong and adaptable after something negative happens.

There are many resources that can help you consider your habits and motivators, and assist with the development of strategies for staying strong, optimistic and well.

Video: Living with mental illness

Recovery and living with mental illness is an ongoing journey. With continuing treatment and support there is hope; this video presents some strategies.

Download a transcript (PDF)

Other resources

Positive psychology and the science of happiness

This website’s stated goal is to provide access to clear, concise information about human happiness, positive psychology, and mental well-being in general.

Canadian Recovery Inventory

This resource centre, created by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) includes more than 1,000 recovery-oriented policies, programs, practices, and research articles, as well as personal accounts. It allows users to search by keyword, resource type, topic, geographic location, and language to find resources relevant to their needs and interests.

The Moodgÿm

Learn cognitive behaviour therapy skills for preventing and coping with anxiety and depression.

Suicide prevention

For information about suicide prevention, these links are a good place to start:

Maintaining mental health at work

Set small goals

The workplace can be stressful and present certain challenges to our mental health. Depending on the work situation, however, one way to support personal resilience may be to create small SMART goals. SMART goals are defined as being Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound.

Why consider setting SMART goals? Because they allow you to experience a sense of accomplishment and success more often, which helps you avoid becoming overwhelmed by large plans. As you accomplish each step, it’s also important to acknowledge and appreciate each achievement – no matter how small – as you work towards the larger goal.

Mental health works

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has developed a program to help employees, and employers, understand and address mental health issues at work. For more information including personal stories, videos, supports and strategies, check out their Mental Health Works website.

Small steps

Sometimes, small steps can support personal resilience and help one maintain a sense of well-being while at work. Consider the following actions:

  • Take small breaks, as your work structure allows
  • Get up and stretch
  • Spend coffee breaks and lunch with co-workers, away from your desk