The CMHA highlights the importance of empathy for Mental Health Week

The CMHA highlights the importance of empathy for Mental Health Week


May 19, 2022 · 0 comments

Author: Zachary Roman

People are often able to be empathetic and show kindness to others, yet they do not find the time to take the same care and attention.

Aditi Kaul, head of the Brampton Care Collaborative Clinical Team for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Peel Dufferin, said she sees this among her colleagues – and they are mental health experts.

This is one of the main reasons why CMHA Peel Dufferin chose empathy as the theme of this year’s Mental Health Week, which took place from 2 to 8 May.

“If I were to tell someone what empathy is, in the weakest sense of the word, I would say that empathy is actually the ability to understand and perhaps share the other person’s feelings – to really get to where the other is coming from. and where they are, “Kaul said.

She explained that sometimes the words “sympathy” and “compassion” are used interchangeably with empathy, even if they mean different things. Kaul said sympathy still involves understanding, but that it takes place from one’s own perspective.

“I like to say that empathy is like a forerunner of compassion. “When I feel empathy, then I will be compassionate,” Kaul said.

People are fleeing emptiness after living a pandemic for two or more years, Kaul said, adding that if they themselves are not emotionally in a good place, it can be harder to be emotionally there for others.

“Being aware of what empathy means and trying to get involved not only raises awareness of empathy, but also increases empathy for ourselves and the people around us, which is the biggest reason why we wanted empathy as a topic this year. Kaul said.

She said it would take some time for people to recover from the loss they experienced during the pandemic. While they all lost time, some people lost their loved ones, jobs, financial stability and more.

“I’ve heard of people saying that their lives have changed because of a pandemic and that they may never return to the way they used to be, and there comes mental health … what happened, happened, how we reconcile it in our minds and heal from it and learn how to move forward? ”Kaul said.

With the Ontario elections around the corner, Kaul said the CMHA advocated all parties to keep mental health care first and foremost not only in terms of health care but also pandemic recovery. She said that being mentally healthy is as important as being physically healthy and that the CMHA wants any government to be formed to support them in their efforts to support mentally healthy communities.

Because of the pandemic, Kaul said the CMHA has seen an increase in the number of people seeking mental health services. CMHA has tried its best to support the community, Kaul said, but it requires resources.

“Resources and funding always help us do more and better … as awareness increases, people realize they need it, and so the need continues to grow. We want to be able to satisfy and fulfill this need, “said Kaul.

For more information on mental health and mental health care, visit the CMHA Peel Dufferin website at cmhapeeldufferin.ca. Individuals can complete a mental health application form on the website; they can also call the CMHA sorting line at 905-451-2123 Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 18:00

For anyone in a mental health crisis, the CMHA 24/7 Crisis Line for Dufferin and Caledon is 1-888-811-2222.



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