Measuring Positive Mental Health in Canada: Social support

Positive mental health is the capacity of people to feel, think, and act in ways that enhance the ability to enjoy life and deal with challenges.

Positive mental health is about feeling good and functioning well.

Feeling good means feeling happy and satisfied with life.

Functioning well means participating in meaningful activities and having positive relationships with others.

Social support means feeling loved and cared for, and having a network of family, friends, neighbours, co-workers and community members that are there in times of need.

Adults with strong social support are more likely to:

Report being happy

High social support: 84% VS. Low social support: 47%

Have high psychological well-being

High social support: 72% VS. Low social support: 32%

Report high life satisfaction

High social support: 85% VS. Low social support: 43%

Report a strong sense of belonging to their local communities

High social support: 64% VS. Low social support: 37%

Report their mental health as "very good" or "excellent"

High social support: 67% VS. Low social support: 36%

Source: Canadian Community Health Survey – Mental Health 2012, based on self-reported data of Canadian adults aged 18 years and older.

This infographic is the second in a series of knowledge products responding to the need for better data on positive mental health, as identified in the Mental Health Commission of Canada's Strategy "Changing Directions, Changing Lives" developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is working with the Mental Health Commission of Canada and other key experts to identify, organize, and present data on positive mental health outcomes, and protective and risk factors. This infographic provides some examples of these data.

Please visit the Positive Mental Health Surveillance Indicator Framework for the latest data.

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