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. Start by clicking the button below to better assess yourself or someone on this mental health continuum.*


Assess yourself or someone’s current state of mental health.

Mental health continuum

The mental health continuum illustrates the different mental health phases you may experience throughout your 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 you 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.
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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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