This post is also available in: French
In an interview that has garnered a great deal of media attention, Meghan Markle confided to Oprah that the institution of the British royal family let her know that asking for psychological help could tarnish its image. We cannot ignore these reported statements, which point to a persistent prejudice. While society advances, and we are all more aware of the importance of taking care of mental health, it is still important to debunk a few myths.
First, psychological distress and mental health problems are important, and when someone lets you know they are struggling, they need to be taken seriously. It is important to refer them to mental health specialists who are equipped to help them get better. The people around the person can point them to the right resources. They can also support them by helping them recognize, allow for, and accept emotions and by being there for them as they recover. This support can take different forms. The first is the absence of judgement.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness
There is no shame in asking for help. On the contrary: it is the first step toward recovery and restored well-being. Seeking help is a healthy, positive step. It helps us see things more clearly.
Everyone experiences life events that make them lose their bearings. Everyone goes through hard times. Often, the people around us can offer the support to help us deal with these difficulties. But some situations require more help. When you are struggling and there is no improvement, when your unhappiness is affecting your thoughts, your daily life, your relationships, and your social life, you need professional help.
You’re seeing a therapist? Me too!
Consulting a psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or psychosocial worker is as normal as consulting a doctor for a physical problem. We go to the hospital when we have a broken leg. Do we know who to turn to for help with psychological pain? Mental health is as important as physical health, and it is just as essential to well-being. Good health is inseparable from mental health. So, it’s important to take care of it.
In addition to being commonly used to treat mental illness, psychotherapy is helpful for people who want to better understand what makes them tick and get to know themselves, or to manage aspects of their life, stress, change, relationships, anger, or physical health concerns. Psychotherapy helps us develop personal skills, so we can deal with today’s and tomorrow’s problems in a way that is healthy and beneficial.
If only we could openly share that we are seeing a mental health professional, it would make everyone realize how commonplace and normal it is!
You’re not alone
Au Canada, 1 personne sur 5 connaitra un trouble de santé mentale ou souffrira d’une maladie mentale au cours de sa vie.
It can happen to anyone, and it is not a sign of being crazy or weak. Mental illness affects everyone, regardless of social status, education, gender, age, religion, nationality, or sexual identity.
Recovery is always possible. Mental health is like physical health: it fluctuates over time. When we aren’t doing so well, there are resources, concrete approaches, and treatments to help us feel better.
That’s what we all need to remember.
If you need support, if you are having thoughts of suicide, or if you are worried about a loved one, call 1–866–APPELLE (1 866 277-3553). Someone is available to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For psychological help, call 811
In case of emergency, call 911