Picture from www.iamthatgirl.com- You Are More Than Your Mental Illness
How HeadFirst Counseling is Working to End the Stigma
We know that the stigma around mental health is bad. Stigma prevents people from reaching out for the help they need for fear of the way they will be seen, treated, or labeled by others. The scarier fact is that many people do not ask for help when they are struggling because they are afraid of how they will view themselves (incapable, crazy, not good enough, etc).
A recent study published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology (http://www.futurity.org/stigma-mental-health-counseling-1183142-2/) reports that self-stigma is stopping people from reaching out and getting the help they need. This study showed that college students were unlikely to click on links to mental health and counseling resources due to fear of going to therapy and of what others may think of them. The students continued to suffer and their functioning decreased as they were not connected to the help they needed. As long as the stigma persists, it doesn’t matter how many well-trained therapists are available. You can lead a horse to water but can’t force them to drink, right?
Our team at HeadFirst Counseling wants to break this pattern. We think mental health is something that should be talked about, and something that should connect people- not bring judgment or shame. We want to connect with others by working to build a community of people that are just that- real people. People that struggle with feeling depressed at times. People that are scared. People that are excited and achieving their goals. We want to build a network of support so that you will know you are not alone. We want to celebrate people who have struggled with mental illness and have made it through to the other side, and connect with and support people that are needing help now. As the community grows and our voice gets louder, we will decrease the stigma by drowning out the negativity and replacing it with something positive.
Our goal is to use social media and different forums to create a client-driven community of people focused on improving their mental wellbeing and becoming their authentic self. We want you to be involved and part of the process with us. Looking for a group with other teenage girls that suffer from self-image related issues? Let us know and we will work on getting a group started. Are you a parent wondering if you are alone in the struggle with your 4 yr old child? Leave a comment on one of our parenting blog posts and see what support you can get from our therapists and the HeadFirst community. Be active. Use your voice and your story to impact others.
Ending the stigma of mental health is not something that is done by one person, or even one group of therapists- it takes a village. The more our community can grow and the more people talk about mental health, the more we will end the stigma together.
Join our community! Follow HeadFirst Counseling on Facebook and Instagram @headfirstdallas
Contact our therapy team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling/texting (469) 665-9416 and get plugged in with our counseling services.