Mental Health Mind Map Podcast Series

Mental Health Mind Map Podcast Series

Episode 2: How to navigate and create a healthy friendship to benefit one’s mental wellness

In partnership with Calgary Journal Health, CMHA Calgary is publishing podcasts and news stories about mental health issues across the city. Stories will be published every Monday on our Balance Blog, or you can track these stories using the hashtag #CalgaryJournalHealth.

In this Mental Health Mind Map podcast series, some Calgarians share how friendship played an important role in their mental health journeys and what they learned about themselves in the process.

By Emily Dixon, Andrea Wong, Vinyet Pujadas, Rod Neyra

People think friendship is easy, something everyone figures out by elementary school.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, as many people struggle with unhealthy friendships well into adulthood.

At CMHA Calgary, the Art of Friendship is a free course for everyone that helps them learn skills to understand communication styles and perspectives, and eventually to get the most out of relationships.

Priscilla Cherry, a peer facilitator with CMHA Calgary, says mental wellness isn’t possible without healthy friendships.

“It can sound like fluff. But again that is honestly the cure to addiction, mental health, and isolation,” she says.

Brigham Young University completed a study which found that not having friendships to rely on could be as negative to one’s overall health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Nigel Mayers, a past Art of Friendship participant who took the course with CHMA’s Recovery College, says he has learned a lot about healthy friendships, boundaries, and hope.

“I isolated myself for years, I cut myself off from my friends and things just got worse and worse from there,” says Mayers.

“The moment you really connect with someone; you can see someone go from their world is falling apart to they have that glimmer of hope.”