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What Can Help and What Can Harm

Breathe tools

What can help

  • Self-confidence, self-esteem and social skills
  • Psychosocial skills (problem solving, critical thinking, communication, empathy, control of emotions)
  • Healthy stress management
  • Harmonious relationships with family and friends
  • Positive interpersonal relationships (belonging to a positive peer group), a network and solid social support
  • Self-fulfillment, self-actualization
  • A positive academic climate
  • Adequate development in childhood, good personal resources
  • Physical activity
  • Early intervention, mental health education

What can harm

  • Use of psychoactive substances (drugs and/or alcohol)
  • Poor stress management, illness
  • Violence, abuse, conflict
  • Significant life events (bereavement, breakup of a relationship, parental separation/divorce, repeated failures, aggression, multiple foster placements, multiple moves, etc.)
  • Racism, sexism, homophobia
  • Early or false autonomy
  • Breakup of families, family problems
  • Family history of mental illness
  • Absence of significant figures
  • Social isolation
  • Poverty, financial insecurity
  • A chemical imbalance in the brain


Association canadienne pour la santé mentale, Montréal. Ma vie, c’est cool d’en parler – Guide d’activités pédagogiques, 2013. Adapted by the Public Health Department, CISSS des Laurentides.

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