Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mental Health

While the stigma attached to mental health its eroding (perhaps an upside to Oprah & Dr. Phil?), there its still an apparent hesitation for people to express a need for, or acknowledge as normal, mental health services. This should be as abnormal to us today as it would be for one to declare she is going to heal a broken leg by "just walking it off."

Mental health services are an important function of a healthy society. Disregarding the need for assistance in areas of mood disorders, attention/motivation disorders, grief/marriage/general counseling/therapy, etc... is reckless and detrimental. Ostracism, violence, even suicide and more are just some results from our society's inability to seriously consider the positive mental health of its citizens. No one should feel embarrassed about these services, not should it be considered exceptional out even out of the ordinary. This should be reversed: just like dental visits and physicals, it should be part of one's regular health routine to have some form of mental health service a couple times a year. Even the simple act of during down to talk out how things are going can carry a vast improvement in one's mental AND physical health, such as lower stress, lower blood pressure, and a healthier heart. Persons engaged in some form of mental health activities are also, on average, better equipped to handle traumatic events such as changes in socioeconomic status or the deaths of friend and family.

So let's work hard to drop the aversion to mental health services. Support the inclusion of mental health care in insurance plans. Tell elected officials that you care deeply about the well-being of our society and will expect her to treat mental health measures and funding accordingly. Anything less is to damage the fabric of our communities and society. It is time to recognize such a simple yet vitally important fact.
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Anonymous Angelbird said...

I agree completely. I started using counselling services after a traumatic time in my life, but now I go once or twice a year, just to see how things are going. A check-up sort of thing.

And I find that I tend to mention going to counselling in conversations on purpose, just to try and normalise it for people. Who knows if it works or not, but at least I try.

1:28 PM  

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