Myth vs. fact

The title of this blog post refers to posters I saw at the Harlow Town Show in September. They were displayed at the local NHS stand and grabbed my attention straight away.

I thought this was such a good example of simple messaging and design. It stops people in their tracks – we all have people with mental health problems in our circle of friends and acquaintances even if we are not aware of this.

I have a personal stance in talking openly about mental health problems after witnessing too many occasions when they have been brushed under the carpet or they have cause feelings of shame, despair or even guilt in people close to me. My stance is strong also because there is really hardly any honest publicity about raising awareness of these issues. In social situations, it’s not “appropriate” to admit to one’s weaknesses, especially if those feelings of weakness are in one’s head. Mention therapy or the thought of getting help, things get awkward.

So here it goes: I have been to therapy to see a counselor on a regular basis. No, I didn’t have a nervous breakdown nor did I have a scary sounding mental condition that would make me feel like I couldn’t cope. There are so many states of anxiety and depression that get a grip on people these days – and is it really a surprise? Having had a fairly open-minded attitude towards getting help for mental health concerns, even I found it hard to cross that threshold to contact someone to get help.

And you know, counseling is great. I think everyone should get some at times just to get a fresh look at where it’s at. It’s easy to loose sight of things in your life, whatever they may be. It’s defeatist to deny the need for an objective outside opinion, which you can’t always get from your family or friends.

Openness – it is the key to many things. I wish it could be embraced better in public – after all, we are not machines but human beings with imperfections and faults which make us all the bit better for it. Say yes to that.

One response to “Myth vs. fact

  1. emilywilkinson

    What a great campaign. It seems finally we British are opening up to the idea of talking about how we feel. Therapy is much more openly discussed in other areas of the world like North America and other parts of Europe. Counseling can be as simple a process of helping you identify certain things that prevent you from living how you’d really like to live.

    My sister-in-law has just qualified as a bereavement therapist, and was saying that therapy on the NHS is due for a big shake up in 2010. When that happens I think we’ll start to see a lot more of this kind of stuff.

    Going to see a therapist is a response(able) thing to do and demonstrates great honesty with oneself. As someone who’s also proud of the fact they’ve had counselling, I consider admitting that you should talk to someone a strength not a weakness.

    I say YES and will respond further in a future blog post!

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