Friday, November 16 2012

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Don't go it alone, help is available. Image credit: invisable lens photopgraphy | Flickr

In today’s blog Kelsea takes a look at mental health and stigma…

Going to a counsellor doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.

Often, the stigma attached to mental health means that saying ‘I need help’ is seen as a sign of weakness, particularly in Australian culture. In reality, it’s the opposite.

Sometimes saying ‘she’ll be right’ doesn’t cut it. Being honest with yourself and others around you doesn’t mean that you have failed at life, or that you are a standard below everyone else, even though it can feel like that at the time.

I know that personally if I went to see a shrink, despite the fact I know how good they are for your mental health as a psychology student, I would feel as I’m not good enough to get my world under control. It doesn’t mean that at all, so maybe that’s simply my pride getting in the way.

Mental illness doesn’t prejudice. Just like the cold doesn’t discriminate, either does depression. It’s not always who you expect who gets it, and not always who you expect who is hiding it from you.

In line with recent ‘RUOK?’ day, sometimes all it takes is someone to ask how you actually are. Often done as a simple formality with no care component, asking someone how they really are can act as a sense of relief in knowing that someone actually does care about them. Sometimes that’s all it takes, and I’ll always remember that it’s better to have an angry friend than a dead one – if someone says I need help, or suggests suicide, take them seriously, tell someone who can help and stand by them through the journey of recovery. It will speak the world to them.


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One Response to “Mental health and Stigma”

  1. Cindy says:

    Bravo Kelsea.

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