Meenal Patel, Licensed Professional Counselor

Mental health has a very bad stigma that we need to break. There is nothing wrong with mental health or having to see a therapist or taking medications. Why do we feel like we cannot talk about what is honestly happening in our lives? Being honest with ourselves and with others about mental health can help break the stigma that we live in.

Talk openly about mental health.

Be honest and open with friends, co-workers, family, people around you. You are not the only going through this. Honestly, your therapist might even be struggling with some sort of mental health concern too. You are a part of society and allowing the world to recognize and see that mental health is not bad-it is a characteristic of ourselves that we can live with and be proud of!

Education

Educate people and yourself about mental health. If you do not know where to start in the education process, talk to your therapist and they can provide you lots of great resources and tools to help you learn about your mental health. Psychoeducation is important when talking about mental health so that you can be aware of symptoms and diagnosis that might occur. Being able to identify coping skills too is helpful in managing your emotions.

Be conscious of the language

There are certain words that are now deemed inappropriate when it comes to mental health reasoning. Be polite in when talking about mental health issues and asking others for their support or input in how to communicate certain situations.

Equality between mental health and other medical concerns

We go to the doctor and dentist at least once a year for a medical check-up and we are honest with our boss’ or friends that we have doctors’ appointments. Why not tell them too that you are going to see a therapist? Your brain is important too and needs “check-ups” just like your heart, blood, legs, arms, etc.

Show compassion

If someone comes to you and is struggling, lend them an ear to talk to. You do not have to provide them advice or anything, just listen to them. Be honest with them and if you feel like you cannot help, encourage them to seek professional help. People often shy away from talking about what is going inside their brain, but you can make a bigger impact in their lives than you know, just by listening.

Fight back to the media

The media portrays mental health very poorly and allows it to appear that you should not talk about what is going on and if you do, then something must be wrong with you. That is not correct at all. Posting on your social media of what you think and how you can break the stigma is huge. The more people that are aware of what mental health is and how important it is, can change the way that the world sees it.

Be honest

This one kind of ties back to all of the points prior. Be honest to yourself and others around you on what is going on with yourself. There is no reason to hide what you are thinking or feeling. By you telling your story, might help someone else seek the support they need.

If you feel like you are struggling with a mental health concern and do not have anyone to talk to, contact any of our therapists for a confidential, free 20-minute consultation. We are all here to help you and break the stigma of mental health. You are not alone in this journey. Seek the support you need!