Beating Mental Health Stigma

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Asking for help can often be intimidating and daunting – opening a person up to feelings of shame, vulnerability, and feelings of risk.  When the type of help a person is seeking is related to mental health, unfortunately there is even more of a stigma associated.   We  are committed to collaboration and help and are here to break down some of the barriers that the mental health stigma contributes to.

Historically, mental illness has been hard to understand.  Often invisible in the symptoms for all but those who are suffering, or close to the one suffering, mental health and mental illness is often not talked about at all, until it hits close to home.  Also historically, we as humans haven’t always been kind to those suffering mental illness.  Quickly moving from spiritual and mysterious, those who have experienced inner worlds that are different than the masses have faced persecution, institutionalization, and abuses in earlier time periods.

Thankfully, we are doing better today – though we still have far to go.  The field of psychology has advanced dramatically since World War II, increasing our understanding of mental conditions, mental illness, and neurological differences.  We have moved to a more compassionate, family and community based healthcare system – though as recent news events have shown us, increased understanding and support is still an area of critical need.

To bust the stigmas, the first thing to know is, you aren’t alone.  Recent studies have estimated that 1 out of every 4 or 5 adults is experiencing mental illness, and seeking treatment.  Nearly half of those individuals experience co-morbid mental illness, or multiple mental health difficulties at the same time.  And access to appropriate mental health care continues to be a major barrier for those seeking help.

Mustering the courage to beat all of the stigma and ask for help doesn’t have to be an impossible undertaking.  Knowing what type of therapy and intervention you need, what conditions and symptoms you are seeking to treat, and what types of specific needs you have (such as insurances accepted, times of appointment, or geographic location) is all you need to then use our advanced search feature to match to your provider.

Seeking help can be scary and daunting, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Know that you aren’t alone, and that there is help available.  As Brene Brown, who has studied vulnerability, belonging, and courage, has said “Courage is contagious.  Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver.”

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