Focus on developing protective factors

Developing protective factors can reduce the risk of developing a disorder. Protective factors, when present in a person’s life, allow the person to further develop their personal and social skills. Protective factors also promote better self-esteem. A person who has more skills and good self-esteem will tend to make better decisions for themselves in situations that involve drinking, drug use or gambling or in any other area of their life.

Here are examples of protective factors:

  • Having a quality social network (friends, partner or family) that, among other things, allows you to:
    • Share your experiences
    • Help and be helped
    • Give and receive affection, etc.
  • Being involved in organized activities in different areas. For example:
    • Playing a sport or a musical instrument on a regular basis
    • Being in a choir or on a sports team
    • Being involved in your neighbourhood or in family activities
    • Volunteering, etc.

Protective factors promote the development of various personal and social skills, such as:

  • Interacting well with others: assertiveness, respect for others, etc.
  • Knowing your strengths and weaknesses
  • Believing in your future and being able to set goals
  • Having a circle of friends who share your interests
  • Having better lifestyle habits regarding physical activity, diet and sleep

Other factors can reduce the risk of developing disorders related to drinking, drug use or gambling. To learn more, read the page Maintaining good mental health.