The MIND YOUR HEAD sign is often seen adorning low doorways and building sites, designed to caution passersby of potential external bumps and bangs. I was looking at one such sign recently and considered how within our society, it is perfectly acceptable to drone on about aches and pains, but as soon as any psychological ailment is disclosed, it may be subject to stigma, prejudice and discrimination. How mental is that?
Social stigma is declining
Social stigma associated with mental health is fortunately becoming less prevalent. High profile examples of individuals’ personal struggles depicting the difficulties in maintaining the facade of robust health, are getting widespread media attention. This is good news as a quarter of us are likely to suffer from mental health illness at some point in our lives.
So when should we seek support? At what stage point do we say, ‘actually I can’t do this alone’. When should we pick up the phone and reach out? This can be stressful in itself. How about relating it to the moment that we make an appointment for the doctor? ‘I haven’t been feeling quite right and I want to get it sorted out.’ Surely that’s a good time to call.
Happiness is a basic human right
We all have the basic human right to be happy in ourselves and to draw on all resources that will enable us to reach that point. Counselling isn’t restricted to those recovering from severe mental illness, it is also there to enable personal growth; to get to know yourself, develop greater confidence and predominantly to increase your quality of life. Embrace self-care and mind your head.
By Flora de Quincey MBACP Psychotherapeutic Counsellor. For further information visit www.floradequincey.com or call Flora on 07779 309 309 for an initial session. I offer face to face sessions in Chichester as well as flexible online counselling.