Clinical Services
Let's talk about the stigma behind Mental Health
When clients begin therapy, they sometimes tell me that they were not sure they would come because they did not want people to think they were “crazy” or that therapy is only for people who are mentally ill. I always tell them that they the sane ones for getting themselves in to see a professional and to seek help for whatever it is they are struggling with.

However, stigma in mental health care persists.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in its “Attitudes Towards Mental Illness Report”
“Research suggests that the majority of people hold negative attitudes and stereotypes towards people with mental illness. From a young age children will refer to others as “crazy” or “weird”; these terms are used commonly throughout adulthood as well. Often the negative stereotypes involve perceptions that people with mental illness are dangerous. This perception is fueled by media stories that paint violent perpetrators as “mentally ill” without providing the context of the broad spectrum of mental illness”.

In addition to misperceptions about mental illness, people often have negative views about therapy, and do not want others to know that they attend. It can be particularly difficult for people to decide to enter therapy, and long waits to see a provider and challenges with accessing care can add to the reasons people give up on seeking help.

“One research review of 22 studies that focused on barriers to care and mental illness determined that stigma and embarrassment were the top reasons why people with mental illness did not engage in mental health services. The effects of stigma work both ways – mental health conditions are not typically screened in most health care settings, losing an important opportunity for care. 

“It is crucial that those on the front lines of working with people with mental illness receive the education and support needed to help manage bias. Programs need to be developed to teach health care professionals to identify and manage their biases toward mental illness so as not to interfere with clinical care. Training more people across the medical field in mental health issues creates the possibility of integrating mental health screening in primary care settings. For example, in a review of 14 studies, the US Preventative Task Force has determined that screening for depression in primary care settings improves outcomes”.

Additionally, there is much the individual can do to help diffuse the stigma associated with seeking mental and emotional help. Talk about it in your family and social circles. Go with family and friends to appointments. If you are in therapy, make the choice to be open with others about how it has helped you, and communicate that seeking help does not indicate a deficiency, but rather a step towards health and wellness.
Early Childhood Services: Mental Health Awareness
Why is Mental Health Awareness this so important? 

According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, before the age of 16  two-thirds of children in the U.S. are exposed to a traumatic event , such as:

  • Abuse (physical, sexual, or psychological abuse and neglect)
  • Sudden or violent loss of a loved one
  • Community violence, trafficking, or terrorism
  • Natural and technological disasters
  • Family Violence
  • Substance abuse (personally or someone in their family)
  • Military family-related stressors (deployment, paternal loss or injury)
For more information on Childhood Trauma and how to support children affected by it, please click below for resources from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network: