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Mental Health

Good mental health and well-being help ensure safety, enhance performance, support effective business management, and foster community support. It also directly impacts the welfare of horses, as mentally healthy handlers provide better care. Prioritizing mental well-being is essential for the overall growth, innovation, and sustainability of the equine industry.

Mental health resources

The Mental Health Continuum Model

Mental health, like physical health, exists on a continuum. It is a dynamic changing state that can deteriorate or improve given the right set of circumstances. Therefore, mental health concerns, if identified and treated early, have the potential to be temporary and reversible.

The mental health continuum model, developed in collaboration with the United States Marine Corps (USMC) in 2008, promotes awareness of mental health indicators in self and others, early recognition of distress, management strategies and prevention. This model goes from healthy adaptive coping (green), through mild and reversible distress or functional impairment (yellow), to more severe, persistent injury or impairment (orange), to clinical illnesses and disorders requiring more concentrated medical care (red). The arrows under the four color blocks denote movement in both directions is possible, thus indicating that there is always the possibility for a return to full health and functioning.

The mental health continuum model is designed to help identify specific changes in health and performance in six different domains: mood, attitude and performance, sleep, physical health, social well-being, and substance use/gambling/gaming issues.

Source: Government of Canada