From May 3 to 9 it is Mental Health Week in Canada, where the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) works to build and maintain awareness of the importance of mental health in your overall health and well-being. As a society, we have not been very good about making mental health a priority, and there is still severe stigma applied to those diagnosed, and also simply towards the concept itself. It is estimated that a mental health issue affects one in five people in their lifetime, so the more we bring mental health issues out into the open, the more we can continue pressure governments and health providers into making mental health as much of a priority as nutrition and exercise.
Many people do not have access to adequate mental health supports (most health insurance plans will only cover five visits to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counsellor a year), and people are still not that comfortable talking about their mental health in the same way as they talk about their physical health.
The CMHA describes mental health as, “having a sense of purpose, strong relationships, feeling connected to our communities, knowing who we are, coping with stress and enjoying life.” Difficulties with mental health can lead to a sense of isolation, loneliness, anxiety, and an inability to work, live, love, and learn.
This helpful toolkit, as provided by the CMHA, is a simple survey that allows you to check in on your mental health. It asks questions about your sense of self, your purpose in life, your feelings of belonging, how much hope and enjoyment you are getting out of life, and how well you feel you can deal with challenges. How much you agree or disagree with the statements in the survey can provide a good overview of where you are.
Weighted Blankets for Mental Health Relief
We would never suggest weighted blankets as a “cure” for those suffering from mental health issues. Remember, having good mental health means much more than never having been diagnosed with an issue. The World Health Organization defines good mental health as, “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
Diagnosable afflictions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia, and dementia each require a different treatment plan based specifically on the particular needs of the individual. Some may benefit from prescription medication, others may find counseling to be helpful. Most find a combination of both to be the most constructive.
Weighted blankets for mental health can be a great tool for helping you feel a little better so that you can begin to fully concentrate on your treatment. Weighted blankets work by providing what is known as deep pressure touch stimulation, which is similar to a long, warm hug from a loved one. Deep pressure touch stimulation encourages the production of serotonin, which is known to uplift moods. The calming effect of weighted blankets decreases heart rates and reduces blood pressure, allowing for proper rest.
Weighted blankets are calming, soothing, and a constant that can be relied upon. Hippo Hug’s weighted blankets are completely customizable, so you can choose a fabric you enjoy and a size and weight you are comfortable with. As we know your weighted blanket is a personal item that must be designed specifically for you, we provide trial weighted blankets so that you can test out our products before purchasing.
Weighted blankets for mental health may actually be able to be claimed with your medical benefits as well. With a letter from your doctor we can do our best to work with your health insurance provider to access funding for your weighted blanket. We have had varying degrees of success in doing so, and are always happy to try our hardest on your behalf. We know how beneficial weighted blankets can be, and would like to see everyone have the opportunity to try one. Ensure you get the most out of your weighted blanket with these helpful tips.
Proper Rest and Your Mental Health
First and foremost, weighted blankets assist with getting a good night’s rest, which everyone deserves. According to the Harvard Medical School, “chronic sleep problems affect 50% to 80% of patients in a typical psychiatric practice”. They say that poor sleep can be both a symptom and a cause of poor mental health, and may make it even more difficult to cope with symptoms.
In addition, Harvard also reports that the sleep those coping with a mental health issue get is often not restful or restorative. It’s not uncommon to wake up still tired due to stirring often during the night, falling asleep too late, and rising too early. Deep, restful sleeps are uncommon, which makes it much harder to manage symptoms effectively. That’s why a weighted blankets for mental health reasons makes a lot of sense. At the very least, we can help you get a good night’s sleep so you are better able to handle what life throws at you.
Additional Hippo Hug Products
Additional products we have to assist in calming and relaxation include:
If you have any questions about how a weighted product may benefit you, please feel free to contact us through email, by phone, or come on by our storefront a few blocks east of Chinook Centre.