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Everyday empathy


Studies conducted on Canadian’s mental health in 2021 showed that one in five people1 in Canada personally experienced a mental health problem or illness. It also showed that by age 40, about 50% of the Canadian population will have or have had a mental illness. 

Join us in May for the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Week. This year, it’s time for us to #GetReal about empathy and mental health.

For over two years, we have been dealing with the unknown. In May, we will learn how to be more empathetic and use it in our everyday lives.

What is empathy?

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Do you have the ability to understand and share the feelings of another? Yes, no, not sure? There is good news if empathy might not always come easy to you. Empathy can be learned and practiced.

There are two types2 of empathy: 

  • Affective empathy: how you respond to another person's emotions, such as you getting anxious when another person is nervous.

  • Cognitive empathy: you can put yourself in the perspective of another person and relate to their emotions. For example, you know that your friend doesn't like dogs because of a traumatic experience and try to avoid those situations with them.

Empathy can help us know ourselves and our feelings. It can help us lead, communicate, support and connect with others. In a time where we are trying to find our pace in a new normal, there are simple ways to show compassion and empathy to those you love, and especially those you don’t know at all.

Everyday empathy 

Here are four ways3 to practice empathy in your life everyday:

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Online resources to help you take the first step towards mental wellness

 OTIP has partnered with FeelingBetterNow® and Starling Minds to provide you with digital mental health tools and resources.

  • FeelingBetterNow® allows you to access mental health tools tailored to your needs.

  • Starling Minds can help support you with managing stress, anxiety, burnout and depression. This self-guided, program includes tools to improve your mental well-being.

Need more mental health resources? Check out our resources to connect you with the resources you need.

You can also  check your benefits booklet  to see which service providers are covered by your plan to support your mental health. Your benefits booklet includes benefit plan terms and coverage details and is updated on a regular basis to reflect any changes or updates to your plan. If you need more information, that is not already covered in your benefits booklet or online, contact OTIP Benefits Services at 1‑866‑783‑6847.

[1] N.a. (N.d). Mental Illness and Addiction: Facts and Statistics. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Retrieved on April 22, 2022 from www.camh.ca/en/driving-change/the-crisis-is-real/mental-health-statistics

[2] Manoylov, M. K., & Bash, A. R. (2020, December 28). 5 tips to be more empathetic in your relationships and daily life. Insider. Retrieved April 22, 2022, from www.insider.com/how-to-be-empathetic#:~:text=To%20be%20more%20empathetic%2C%20try,each%20other%2C%22%20Krishnan%20says.


[3] N.a. (N.d). Empathy: A skill you can learn. Retrieved on April 22, 2022 from www.mentalhealthweek.ca/empathy-a-skill-you-can-learn/
 

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