The textbook also explains four mechanisms that help people deal with adversity and foster a good mental health and defines good mental health as the presence of cognitive, social and emotional functioning. Early Childhood From the individual level, the textbook gives several examples of risk factors. Was lucky enough to not have any behavioral, socio-emotional, cognitive or biological risk factors that were present in the earlier years of my life that am aware of. However, my younger brother was diagnosed with a learning disability.
Although it didn’t affect me directly, some of my friends teased my brother and in turn, affected the way I thought about myself in relation to my family. In the family domain, I was raised in a dual-parent household. The textbook states that a single parent household is a risk factor. My parents rarely fought and they have a loving relationship to this day. I would like to say that this is a protective factor. Having the support of both of my parents really fostered my self-esteem and my sense of well-being. This became very evident in middle school when I struggled with my friendships.
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My parents were always there to support me. When I was very young, my parents were unemployed for a few years. As a protective factor to offset the unemployment and no income, y parents were able to monitor me and I excelled in my academics for most of my childhood. My parents immigrated to Canada one year before I was born. They were fearful of what would happen when China was given back control of Hong Kong in 1997, which is where my parents are from. Therefore, they came to Canada to avoid the politics and start a new life for themselves.
Coming to a democratic country was a big change for them as well as any children they were going to have. Have grown up without the same pressures and rules that may have been imposed if my parents had stayed in Hong Kong. My self-esteem may eave been hindered drastically and I may have been more afraid to speak out on certain matters because of the way the government is run. The fact that politics is no longer a worry in my early childhood significantly reduced the amount of stress I would’ve felt had I been living my parents’ home city.
The textbook mentions democracy as an example of a protective factor in the socio- political level. The school system in Hong Kong is also much more stressing on a child even from an early age. Everyone is very competitive in Hong Kong and I’m not sure that I would have enjoyed growing up in that type of environment as the erasures to succeed would have been a lot to handle. I was able to develop in a relatively low-stress environment until high school. Mid-childhood Throughout elementary school, I had many friends, which created a great environment for me to develop the skills that were necessary to my social functioning.
A presence of social, cognitive and emotional functioning are factors that are part of the definition of mental health. As moved to middle school, maintained a small group of friends who were positive role models for me. Through the later years however, was unable to connect with my peers. Some of them had different interests and some even went as far to abuse substances. This particular risk factor is delinquent peers. I never partook in these interests because never needed to turn to substance abuse to get through school and I wasn’t interested in the same things as everyone else was.
I enjoyed learning and the middle school I attended fostered my cognitive functioning. Because I didn’t follow the norm, another risk factor was present in my life; peer rejection. Towards the end of middle school, had few friends whom I could trust and I was quite shy. I was bullied because of my ethnicity and also because of the fact that came from a less wealthy background than my peers. This in turn affected my self-esteem and is a large factor in a person’s mental health. Although my self- esteem around my peers was not great, I was quite confident in my cognitive and academic abilities.
I was given many opportunities for personal growth such as being put into a special advanced math program. This helped me lessen the impact of risk factors that I encountered in the peer and school domain. Community participation also played a huge part in why my self-esteem was still costive. I was involved with extra-curricular outside of school, which allowed me to distance myself away from the risk factors I encountered at school. I had another group of friends I could depend on for being positive role models and to foster positive peer relationships.
My parents continued to monitor me because they understood that I was going through a tough time with friends in middle school. Because of these factors, they asked me if I wanted to attend the high school in my neighborhood. By moving schools, this allowed me to completely tart over and virtually eliminate the risk factors that came with attending this middle school. Early adolescence During high school, I was able to step out of my comfort zone and develop resilience to many risk factors because I had found new friends who fostered a positive school climate and positive peer relations.
My friends in high school actually cared about school and would encourage me to do my best. They also got me involved in many extra-curricular at school. We connected on many different levels and I was able to enjoy life more without having the stress hat I had in middle school and improve upon my social connections. The ability to enjoy life and social connections are two positive mental health components that are defined by the Canadian Population Health Initiative (peg. 473). Towards the end of high school, my grandmother was diagnosed with mild depression after my grandfather committed suicide.
Both of them were struggling with a mental illness. My entire family was unaware of the mental health condition that my grandfather was in after he was diagnosed with cancer. This put huge stress on my mothers mental health as well as my own as I care dearly for both y grandmother and my grandfather. Currently, grandmother’s mental illness is another risk factor that is present in my life. My grandmother is incapable of taking care of herself due to her severe arthritis. My mother took on the administrative work to get her moved to a care facility but our entire family puts a lot of time and energy to see her.
This has put stress on everyone including myself. She does not show many signs of improvement and still struggles with mild depression. Current When I came to university, I moved out of my parents’ home and into a residence. My apartment mates were my peers at the time. They were delinquent peers and I mostly kept to myself at home. I like to keep things quite neat and the state of our apartment was too much for me to handle. My apartment mates would come home late at night, which would often disrupt my sleep due to the high noise level.
To offset the amount of stress I experienced, turned to community involvement. I got involved with Foot Patrol, Winter Carnival and the Chinese Student Association. This allowed me to distance myself from the risk factor because would be spending less time at home. All the extra curricular involvement enhanced my self-esteem and self-efficacy and had the opportunity to develop myself as a person and grow. The friends I met through community involvement had great future aspirations and would always encourage me to plan for my future.
This is another protective factor. At the time, I was still unsure of what stream of business I wanted to focus on. The uncertainty was a major stress factor in my life but I recently decided to pursue marketing. Next 5 Years will have student loans to pay off which is a significant stress. I also face the ask to find a place of my own because I will be moving out. I’ll have to move to a different neighborhood and make new connections with the people around me as well as the peers that I hope to meet when I start working at a full-time job.
My parents have started saving for their retirement and that puts enormous stress on my mental health because they will no longer be able to support me. This is a huge change as for most of my life as I was used to being cared for financially. To offset these stress, I will continue to participate as an active member in the community. This will help to strengthen my relationships with my peers and continue to provide me opportunities for growth. Community participation is a very important part of my life and I hope it will continue to be.
It develops a person’s cognitive, social and emotional functionality, which in turn leads back to a positive mental health. The personal growth that I’ve seen in myself gives me a positive outlook on my mental health and life in general. In order to offset the stress that I will encounter, I will maintain my current friendships and attempt to create new ones. I will also maintain the strong family relationships I eave developed over the past few years.
My parents are two of the positive role models that are present and will continue to be an important protective factor in my life. Because working at a full-time job can be stressful, I hope to take full advantage of the workplace programs promoting mental health that might be available to employees. Over the summer, I worked at CLC Investments and they had multiple facilities available. Overall, my mental health is something that will continue to fluctuate with the different risk and protective factors that I will experience even past the next 5 years.