Recent years have seen a significant shift in the way mental health is viewed. No longer is it seen as something that should be shied away from, but instead something to be taken seriously and embraced. As such, prioritizing mental health has become of utmost importance, which means breaking the stigma associated with seeking help and support. This article delves into just why prioritizing mental health is so important in terms of destigmatizing seeking help and support in order to promote overall wellbeing.
1. Unpacking the Shame of Seeking Mental Health Support
Mental health is as important to our holistic wellbeing as physical health. From the moments that demand immense resilience to seemingly mundane ones, our mental health affects every aspect of our life. In societies that are yet to embrace destigmatizing mental health, speaking up and seeking help when feeling low remains a challenging task. The idea of being labeled and judged for needing to take care of our psychological wellbeing stops many of us from seeking the help that is crucial for our recovery. Unpacking and breaking through the complex and complicated layers of shame deeply embedded in seeking psychological help is an arduous journey.
Coming to terms with and accepting having mental health needs can often be a lengthy and off-putting process. The process becomes longer for those who struggle with an internalized stigma in the family or larger social setup. Being surrounded by people who propagate the culture of shaming instead of acknowledging objectivity makes one’s journey towards seeking help and getting back to normalcy even more difficult and sorrowful. The body’s reluctance to initiate change in our psychology and get back on the path of feeling happy and content can be attributed to this internalized shame surrounding mental health.
Pay Attention To Your Body
The journey starts with understanding and recognizing what we are going through. Pay attention to your body and feelings. Do not let yourself be clouded and dragged down by the feelings of shame when talking to yourself. Try to spell out what help you might need and do not be ashamed.
Seek Professional Help With Confidence
Once you have identified your need for psychological help, acknowledge it with confidence. Seeking out professional help is healthy and nothing to be ashamed of. Be proud to take the bold and brave step for your wellbeing. Approach and enquire about mental health attendants with a positive attitude and high esteem.
- Acknowledge your need for help without being sorry of it
- Pay attention to your body and feelings
- Approach professionals confidently
2. Exploring Strategies to Prioritize Mental Health
In today’s busy and hectic world, it’s important to make time to prioritize your mental health. Doing so will help to ensure that you’re in a good frame of mind as you tackle everyday tasks, and can help you stay focused and motivated. Here, we’ve put together a few strategies you can use to prioritize your mental health.
- Set a Self-Care Routine – Design a self-care routine that works for you, and take the time to stick to it. This might include a daily yoga session or running, watching a movie with friends every other weekend, or taking 10 minutes to sit in nature each day.
- Surround Yourself With Positive People – While it’s important to have time for yourself, it’s also helpful to interact with those who nurture and support you. Make it a habit to spend time with positive people who understand your values and support your healthy habits.
- Learn Healthy Coping Mechanisms – We all experience moments of stress in our lives. It’s important to find ways of coping with them, rather than avoiding them. Learn healthy ways to manage stress such as meditation or journaling. This will help you stay grounded and present during challenging moments.
Making time to prioritize your mental health can make a big difference in how you feel, and can help you stay focused, present and motivated. While it may be hard to find the time for yourself, it’s worth the effort – take the time to listen to your body and mind and you will reap the benefits.
3. Treating Mental Health as Essential Wellness
Addressing mental health should be equally, if not more, essential to one’s overall wellness than physical health. While physical ailments can often be prevented through lifestyle choices and proactive decisions, mental health is a deeper, more personal matter, and is one that needs to be given diligent attention.
Mental health is complex and multi-faceted. During moments of distress, it is common to feel alone, unimportant, or voiceless. However, it is crucial to remember that this does not need to be the case. There are both proactive and reactive measures for treating mental health, and everyone should make sure to take at least one of these steps on a regular basis.
- Proactive measures include being aware of mental health triggers, creating daily mindfulness practices, and engaging in activities that bring joy.
- Reactive measures require individuals to assess and be cognizant of their feelings, and take intentional action. This could be anything from speaking with a medical professional, leaning on a support system, and taking necessary self-care.
Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that in times of distress, it is okay to reach out for help. Millions of others have experienced the same emotions, and have found the strength to get through it and move forward with life. By recognizing mental health as essential, and by actively tending to it, one can get to a place of peace and security. Practicing self-care is an invaluable part of positive, productive living.
4. Combatting the Taboo of Talking About Mental Health Issues
Talking about mental health issues can feel like paddling against a strong wave, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a few conversations and some courage, the taboo associated with mental health can be broken down and replaced with a sense of freedom and understanding. Here are some steps you can take to lead the way:
- Reach out. One of the best ways to tackle the taboo culture around mental health issues is to speak up. Open up comfortable conversations with friends, family, or anyone you can trust and express your thoughts and feelings to them. Acknowledging these feelings and not pushing them away can bring about a sense of liberation, even if it doesn’t seem that way at first.
- Educate yourself. Mental health issues can come in many different forms, but with education we can learn to identify them when they arise. Read books, talk to mental health professionals, or do research online to better understand the issues and how to properly handle them. Knowledge is power, and with knowledge comes confidence in engaging and discussing such topics.
- Be a beacon. Mental health issues don’t exist in a bubble secured by stigma - it is ever-present in the world we live in. Each of us can be a beacon for others to turn to and recognize mental health as an issue that can be talked about openly. Don’t view it as something to be ashamed of but rather as something to embrace.
By tackling the taboo head-on, we can create a better environment for those who face mental health issues. We want others to feel comfortable talking about their struggles, not as though they’re doing something wrong, but rather that they’re making a brave effort in opening up and combatting this issue and the stigma that comes with it.
5. Fostering a Supportive Network For Mental Health Advocacy
Mental health advocacy is a key element of promoting well-being and awareness for our communities. But it is a two-way street – it requires both individuals and organizations working together in a supportive network that encourages open dialogue. Here are five ways to build a supportive network for mental health advocacy:
- Host Open Discussion Groups – Gather individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences together to share their stories and discuss mental health. This allows people to strengthen ties and gain insight that can help them better advocate in their respective groups.
- Network Internationally – Connections that span the globe are crucial for creating opportunity. Reach out to like-minded individuals in other countries and discuss mental health initiatives that could benefit the global community.
- Partner with Charities – Tapping into local charitable sources has a significant chance of improving the standard of living within the local community. Look into overall poverty trends to ensure that mental health is an integral part of the discussion.
- Encourage Education – Increasing awareness among older generations will not occur by itself. Mentors can build healthy relationships and help instill an interest in mental health and overall wellbeing.
- Use Online Forums – There is no simplifying the power of the internet. Use online forums to create an open dialogue for mental health support and advocacy.
By taking advantage of these five opportunities, we can establish a network of understanding and open communication between individuals and organizations. This will lead to a community with more mental health advocacy resources and potential positive change.
Mental health is a crucial and delicate topic for everyone and affects us each differently. There shouldn’t be any kind of stigma attached to seeking help and support, and it is important more than ever to remember that we are all on this journey together. Although it can be a difficult journey, it should never be a lonely one. So let’s commit to destigmatizing seeking help and prioritize taking the necessary steps towards a healthier and more stable mental state.