“Suck it up.” “It’s not that bad.” “Get over it.” “Stop being emotional.” These are phrases constantly thrown about in society in regards to anyone who mentions that they are dealing with a mental health issue.
Mental health has continued to have a negative stigma associated with it because it’s unseen and for some reason, still viewed as a weakness, yet it is oftentimes unavoidable.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 2021, one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness (52.9 million). Of those adults, only about half are receiving any sort of treatment. This is largely due to the negative stigma associated with seeking help, lack of resources due to a shortage of providers, and financial inability, due to rising healthcare costs.
Mental health services can be a variety of things for different people. What matters is finding the services that work best for you and your life. Often, mental health services are recommended when someone has experienced a “significant trauma” in their life. This is viewed as being in war, a shooting, victim of a serious crime, etc. While these situations should include healing by attending therapy, they are not the only reasons a person could benefit from seeing a counselor. Daily life stressors, including home and work, financial stress, parenting, relationships, self-esteem, etc. are all topics that can be discussed and addressed in sessions. Most therapy focuses on day-to-day situations versus major life events and can have a profound impact on the person receiving the care.
Have you ever considered seeking therapy of any kind? If you answered yes and haven’t followed through, ask yourself, what is really stopping you? Do you feel as though you should be able to “just move on” or that others will judge you? It can be overwhelming and sometimes even scary to take that first step in finding a counselor, but the benefits that can come from participating can be wonderful. A counselor can help you find your path to healing, help you weigh all options when making decisions, and help you see alternative viewpoints that were always there, but were being blocked for some reason. Everyone deserves a place where they can speak freely and without fear of judgment as they continue the journey of life.
I chose to go into private practice to help however needed. We all can benefit from having an unbiased person to sort out our thoughts and feelings. So many of us have unresolved issues from childhood, unhealthy relationships, or workplace stress, and now, COVID stress. It’s easy to see how anyone could feel like they are hitting a breaking point.
Please know there are people who truly care and want to help you address it all and are working to change the way mental health services are perceived by the general public.
May is Mental Health Awareness month and I challenge each and every one of you to work towards ending the negative stigma associated with mental health. We owe it to ourselves and our future generations to say it’s okay to not be okay, and to help them be strong in finding healthy ways to work past their symptoms. You each matter and deserve an opportunity to succeed.
This sponsored content was first published in the May edition of InMaricopa magazine.