You are here

Learn about Mental Health



We all have mental health. It’s our feelings, emotions, thoughts, and mood—and it impacts how we cope with challenges and stress, how we work and learn, and how we interact with others. Like our physical health, mental health impacts our overall wellbeing and we need to continually work at it. 

Mental health looks and feels different for everyone and can be influenced by many factors—both in and out of our control. Our mental health, as well as many mental disorders are impacted by our social, economic and physical environments; mental health outcomes are greatly impacted by social inequalities.

Mental health is a continuum; we all have mental health, and it changes throughout our lives, as do the actions that support it. There are different actions we can take to support ourselves, depending on where we are on this continuum at any given point. 

This is why it is important to build mental health literacy; to be able to recognize signs things might not be quite right, improve coping and resiliency, know how to seek help when you need it, and know what that help looks like for you as an individual. You may not always thrive (and that's ok), but knowing when you need support, and what that support looks like for you can help. 

Building and learning the skills you need to thrive can help you manage life’s ups and downs, and live, work and learn your best. Whether you’re a first-year student or fourth, a faculty member or staff, your mental health matters, and we invite you to learn about it, talk about it and explore it, throughout Thrive month and beyond! 

Thanks to UBC Health, Wellbeing, and Benefits for sharing this great video on Mental Health! 

Mental Health Literacy 

Mental health literacy is an important tool to have in your toolbox when it comes to building mental health.The more we develop mental health literacy, the better able we are to support ourselves, support others, and reduce stigma, creating a more resilient and caring community. 

Improving mental health literacy skills can help you: 

  • Understand how to obtain and maintain mental health (during Thrive and beyond). 
  • Recognize your signs of distress as an individual (because mental health is different for all of us)
  • Feel empowered and educated to take control
  • Enhance your help-seeking skills
  • Identify mental disorders and decreasing stigma

Mental health literacy is crucial to building mental health, something that UBC has long championed and further committed to through the development of the Wellbeing Strategic Framework, as well as numerous supports and resources for students, faculty and staff. Like any other skill, mental health literacy is one you have to work on. It takes time to develop them and to recognize the tools and strategies that work best for you. 

Maintain Mental Health with the Thrive 5

Recognize Signs of Distress 

Faculty and Staff Workshops and Trainings (Vancouver) 

Faculty and Staff Workshops and Training (Okanagan) 

Thrive Event Calendar

Be sure to check out the Thrive event calendar for workshops and trainings on mental health literacy. While we're promoting these as part of Thrive, many of them take place year-round and can be adapted for your specific department, Faculty, or student group. 



Thrive at UBC 

Thrive originated at UBC 11 years ago, and what started as a conversation between co-workers about the importance of supporting mental health and reducing stigma has since grown into a movement celebrated at 18 other campuses across Canada, providing opportunities for important conversations about mental health to take place. 

We know that fostering and maintaining mental health is a year-round pursuit, but Thrive is a time of year when we come together as a UBC community to collectively learn about, talk about, and explore ways to support mental health. And while Thrive might not look quite like it did in the video above from last year, we hope that it will still provide many opportunities to build mental health litearcy. We look forward to celebrating Thrive on our campuses in the future. 



We all have a hand in shaping campus environments that support health, wellbeing, and sustainability. By championing wellbeing, we can build stronger and more inclusive communities at UBC and beyond.