Wellness is more than not having a cold or the flu. It includes your emotional and mental health, which can only come when you’ve hit a balance in all parts of your life. Gender identity, emotions, and mental illness can impact your overall feeling of wellness.
Our communities traditionally don’t separate mental health from wellness. For example, the Medicine Wheel shows four quadrants representing mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. To achieve total health, there must be balance across all four dimensions.
Gender identity is how you feel about your gender, including the body you were both with and the ways you feel you’re expected to behave within that body. While some people feel sure of their gender identity from birth, others may feel different. It’s okay if you’re questioning your gender identity – this process is uniquely yours.
Two-Spirit is a term that reflects traditional First Nations gender diversity. It means different things to different people. Two-Spirit can describe having both feminine and masculine spirits or the traditional togetherness of culture and gender lost through colonization.
Did you know?
Mental illness is a collection of disorders including anxiety, eating disorders and depression. One symptom of depression is having thoughts of death and suicide. Although symptoms vary for each disorder, mental illness generally interferes with relationships and affects your ability to function on a day-to-day basis.
To learn a bit more about mental illness and the stigma surrounding it, watch this JacksGap video.
It can be hard to know when it’s time to get help. Everyone feels angry, sad and lonely sometimes. It may be time to talk to a trusted adult if you feel you’re trapped or controlled by your emotions or if you’ve felt down for a while. If you feel like you have no one to talk to, remember you can always call a Kids Help Phone counsellor at 1-800-668-6868.