The continuum of mental health really refers to a spectrum of mental health
which is spanning from the mental health and mental illness,
from the infancy all the way up to the centenarian.
And at any time in a person's life, they're going to be somewhere on this continuum.
So, thinking about it, where a person is on one end really excelling
they have great mental health; and to the other end, where they are in crisis,
where now, they have mental illness.
So how does that go? What is that continuum like?
Well, when we have our mental health, we are excelling, we are thriving.
And then, we are losing a little bit of that mental health,
we find that we are just surviving day to day, and when we lose a little bit more,
we find that every day is a struggle.
It's a struggle just to get out f bed, and then, we find ourselves,
if no one has stepped in, if we haven't been able to get any help, we find ourselves in crisis.
So let's think about that, from this idea of excelling and thriving to surviving and struggling,
and finally, to falling into a crisis mode.
We want to make sure that we understand, that anytime in our life,
this is some place, we find our self some place.
And when we have mental health, we have days that we are thriving
and days that we are excelling. And some days that we are just surviving it,
but the next day, things turn themselves around and we move back up on that continuum.
When we find ourselves that we're going all the way down,
and we are not being able to recap and recoup,
and we start moving from mental wellness and mental well-being to now having some illness,
moving into severe mental illness,
we have to imagine what that feels like for a person who's unable to recoup.
The idea of this continuum of mental health
starts us with this positive and healthy functioning, and that can be supportive.
How is it supported? It's supported by our family, by our friends,
by the protective factors in our community that give us a reason.
We sometimes say in Japanese, I say, Ikigai, a reason to get up in the morning,
a reason to get up and go to work and do the things that we're going to do.
But as we start losing that positive healthy functioning,
as those supportive and protective factors fall away for some people,
that starts having an impact on our everyday functioning.