Not only does mental illness affect all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague, but 20 percent of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

This week is Mental Health Week, and Canadians are being encouraged to pause and reflect on mental health and well-being.

The Canadian Mental Health Association offers these tips to improve your mental health:

1) Enjoy life.
2) Be kind to yourself. Take time to relax.
3) Practice positive self-talk.
4) Talk about it.
5) Eat well and keep active.
6) Ask for help – when you need it.

There are also events across Canada all week, including group walks and laughter yoga.

Another focus this week is children's mental health. According to the RBC Children's Mental Health Project, one in five children will be touched by a mental health disorder. To help parents identify early warning signs, they've highlighted five warning signs of children's mental illness: Mood changes, anxiety, sudden change in grades, heightened emotions and behavioral changes or acting out.

Whether you're suffering from a mental illness, or someone you know is, take some time this week to raise awareness and focus on your well-being – it's an essential part of being healthy.

–Katharine Watts, associate web editor

Related:
Mental health: How to cope with anxiety and depression
8 signs you might be suffering from depression
Is laughter yoga the solution to your stress?