Help for others

Is someone you work with or a loved one struggling with their mental health? Do they seem stressed? Are they acting differently—or is there something a little “off” in the way they’re behaving? Here are things you can do to offer support. Start by clicking the button below to better assess them on this mental health continuum.*


Assess someone’s current state of mental health.

Mental Health Continuum

The mental health continuum illustrates the different mental health phases others may experience throughout their life and career. It also describes the physical and mental effects associated with each phase and suggests actions and resources that may help. The continuum includes the following phases:

  • Healthy and adaptive coping (green)
  • Mild and reversible distress (yellow)
  • More severe and persistent functioning impairment (orange)
  • Clinical illnesses and disorders requiring concentrated medical care (red)

It’s important to remember that one can move in either direction along the spectrum, which means there is always the possibility to return to full health and functioning.

Healthy Reacting Injured Ill
  • Normal fluctuations in mood. Calm, takes things in stride
  • Normal sleep patterns, few sleep difficulties
  • Physically well, good energy level
  • Consistent performance
  • Sense of humour, in control mentally
  • Physically and socially active
  • Limited or no gambling/alcohol use
  • Nervousness, irritability, impatience, sadness, feeling overwhelmed
  • Trouble sleeping, intrusive thoughts, nightmares
  • Tired/low energy, muscle tension, headaches
  • Procrastination
  • Displaced sarcasm, forgetfulness
  • Decreased physical and social activity
  • Regular but controlled gambling/alcohol use
  • Anxiety, anger, pervasive
    sadness, hopelessness
  • Restless or disturbed sleep, recurring images or nightmares
  • Increased fatigue, aches and pains
  • Poor performance and concentration, or
    workaholic, presenteeism
  • Negative attitude
  • Social avoidance or withdrawal
  • Increased gambling/alcohol use
  • Excessive anxiety, easily angered, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts
  • Unable to fall or stay asleep, sleeping too much or too little
  • Exhaustion, physical illness
  • Unable to perform duties/control behaviour/concentrate, overt subordination, absenteeism
  • Isolation, avoiding social events, not going out or answering the phone
  • Alcohol/gambling addiction, other addictions
Actions to take at each phase of the continuum
  • Focus on the task at hand
  • Break problems into manageable chunks
  • Identify and nurture support systems
  • Maintain healthy lifestyle
  • Recognize limits
  • Identify and minimize stressors
  • Engage in healthy coping strategies
  • Get adequate food, rest, and exercise
  • Identify and understand own signs of distress
  • Seek social support and talk with someone instead of withdrawing
  • Seek help
  • Seek consultation as needed
  • Follow health care provider recommendations
  • Regain physical and mental health
Quick resources to help you


Click on the buttons below, for immediate access to helpful resources, based on where you have assessed yourself or someone on the mental health continuum.

As leaders

Create a safe, supportive environment for those experiencing mental health challenges in the workplace.

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As peers

It’s difficult to see a friend at work struggling with a mental injury. Here are some tools to help you recognize when your colleagues may be struggling and what you can do to support them.

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As family & friends

The events and experiences of being a first responder can impact everyone around them, including spouses, kids, friends and other family members.

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Reach out

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There are several organizations dedicated to supporting first responders and their families with mental health issues. Find out what resources are available to you.

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These resources will give you a better understanding of mental health in the context of the experiences and pressures of first responders, as well as the broader population.

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The use of this website does not constitute the provision of medical advice. If you require medical or psychological assistance, kindly seek the assistance of a medical professional, mental health care professional, visit the closest hospital emergency department or call 911.

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