Unanticipated events can be extremely upsetting and stressful. People react in different ways to trauma and can experience a wide range of physical and emotional changes that can affect mental health and well-being. It is important to monitor your health and to access the appropriate resources as required.

Know the signs

One in five adult Canadians will experience a mental disorder in their lives.
Family, friends, neighbours or co-workers may be suffering emotionally.
They may not recognize the symptoms.

Know when to ask for help


  • Shock, denial, or disbelief
  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating
  • Anger, irritability, mood swings
  • Anxiety and fear
  • Guilt, shame, self-blame
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Feeling disconnected or numb


  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Fatigue
  • Being startled easily
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Edginess and agitation
  • Aches and pains
  • Muscle tension
  • Loss of appetite

If you or anyone you know is exhibiting the symptoms above, the first thing to do is ask for help.

Mental Health Continuum Model

  • Normal fluctuations in mood
  • Takes things in stride
  • Good sense of humour
  • Consistent performance
  • Normal sleep patterns
  • Physically and socially active
  • Behaving ethically and morally
  • Confident in self and others
  • Limited or no alcohol/gambling
  • Nervousness, irritability
  • Sadness, overwhelmed
  • Displaced sarcasm
  • Procrastination
  • Forgetfulness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Low energy
  • Muscle tension, headaches
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Occasional nightmares
  • Decreased social activity
  • Regular alcohol use/gambling
  • Anxiety, anger
  • Pervasive sadness, tearfulness
  • Hopelessness, worthlessness
  • Negative attitude
  • Difficult concentrating
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Decreased performance or workaholic tendencies
  • Restless, disturbed sleep
  • Increased fatigue, aches and pains
  • Recurrent vivid nightmares
  • Recurrent intrusive thoughts/images
  • Avoidance, withdrawal
  • Increased alcohol use, gambling – hard to control
  • Excessive anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Easily enraged, aggressive
  • Depressed mood, numb
  • Overt insubordination
  • Cannot concentrate
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Cannot perform duties
  • Cannot fall asleep/stay asleep
  • Constant fatigue, illness
  • Absent from social events
  • Suicidal thoughts/intent
  • Alcohol, gambling, or other addictions
  • Focus on task at hand
  • Break problems into manageable tasks
  • Controlled, deep breathing
  • Nurture a support system
  • Recognize limits; take breaks
  • Get adequate rest, food, exercise
  • Reduce barriers to help-seeking
  • Identify and resolve problems early
  • Example of personal accountability
  • Talk to someone; ask for help
  • Tune into own signs of distress
  • Make self care a priority
  • Get help sooner, not later
  • Maintain social contact; don’t withdraw
  • Follow care recommendations
  • Seek consultation as needed
  • Respect confidentiality
  • Know resources and how to access them