What is considered a mental health professional?
Someone who practices health care and helps improve someone’s mental health or to treat mental illness.
Why is it so important?
Mental illness is a constant struggle, so it’s important to seek mental help so you can get back to your normal state of being. But no therapy or medication can help behind a closed door. It’s important because your emotions impact your thoughts and behavior. If you think that you are seeing changes in your happiness in life or relationships you can always go to someone to get the support that you need. A lot of people don’t seek out this treatment and support because of the stigma surrounding mental health. There are lots of negative views about therapy and treatment. There was a survey done by the University of Michigan called Mental health and related issues in college student populations. One of the questions in the survey was “most people think less of someone who has who has received mental health treatment” nearly 50% of students agreed.
What can we do?
For now, what is important to continue to spread awareness about the stigma so that we can diminish it as much as possible. Assemblies should be held in school teaching kids the importance of mental health. Your brain gets affected by emotions or thought buildup or maybe because you have a mental illness. Either way, it gets affected it’s the same as if you have a sports injury. Sometimes you need medicine or physical therapy to get better. There’s no shame in making sure you can be who you are without the struggles of anxiety or depression and or any other mental illness.
When talking to one of my classmates about how we should have a speaker come to school and talk about mental illness. She said “The stigma around mental health is just Mental health is important and almost everyone knows that. So why does this stigma even exist?”. According to a study done by the American Psychological Association when asked how do you specifically feel 87% of Americans think “Having a mental disorder is nothing to be ashamed of”. People are either scared or in denial about going to therapy or getting medication for mental health because they are scared of what other people will think.
Here are a few resources both on and offline to help:
- https://nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments can help you find treatment in your area.
- https://www.remedylive.com/ is an anonymous chat or calling hotline
- https://www.hopeline-nc.org/? can be of support by texting.
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American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2019/05/mental-health-survey.
“Campus Loneliness Fact Sheet.” The UnLonely Project, 29 Jan. 2020, artandhealing.org/campus-loneliness-fact-sheet/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA-4nuBRCnARIsAHwyuPo7CH7LgFDVUZZHyPQgJXZTTiLZlF-8fXG_klVygTRKfbLmQvkPJikaAlSZEALw_wcB.
“The Importance Of Seeking Mental Health Treatment.” Lehigh Center, www.lehighcenter.com/the-importance-of-seeking-mental-health-treatment/.
“Mental Illness.” National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness.shtml.
Sarkis, Heather. “Stop the Stigma: Why It’s Important to Talk about Mental Health.” TED, www.ted.com/talks/heather_sarkis_stop_the_stigma_why_it_s_important_to_talk_about_mental_health/up-next.