At long last, after centuries of prejudices and misrepresentation, the concept of ‘mental health’ is finally losing the stigma. How did this amplified awareness develop and how did the role of mental support change in daily life?
Abandoning the stigma
For a long time, going to therapy used to hold a stigma of being “crazy”. Multiple studies have found that this barrier is often a triggering factor for people’s reluctance to recognise potential issues or seek treatment.
In fact, the stereotypes that derive from the misconceptions surrounding mental health can have a powerful impact on a person’s willingness to access help, as well as on their healing process.
Luckily, with increasing acknowledgement and encouragement around the importance of mental well-being, this stigma is on the wane. Today, being ‘healthy’ does not simply refer to the absence of a physical illness, but rather it has a holistic connotation, including both physical and mental aspects.
It is now widely accepted that investing in mental well-being is crucial for one’s overall happiness. And, as a result, more people are educating themselves and considering preventative care.
The past decade has also witnessed a widespread shift in the attitude of society as a whole. More and more people are advocating for policies that encourage mental wellness and organisations across the world are investing in services to provide online support and make mental health accessible.
Towards the change
While none of this happened overnight, the pandemic put a spotlight – to a greater extent – on the direct connection between mental and emotional well-being and overall physical health. The post lockdown has marked a turning point in the way people ask for and would like to receive help.
The silver lining is that this new perspective made the conversation about mental health more acceptable and reduced the often unfair beliefs surrounding any challenge someone might be facing internally.
In addition, mental health online interventions have proven to be an effective means of prevention for mental well-being. This fresh approach allows many people to gain access to psychological support in a much more flexible and adaptable way than it was before.
Picture this: it has been a busy day, you ran around the office and attended various intense meetings. You had a quick lunch with colleagues and still have to pick up that present for your friend before the shop closes. The day has already gone and your to-do list is still pretty long. Before heading back home you have some other chores to do.
When you finally reach your couch, the only thing you would like to do is to carve out a moment for yourself, but the idea of leaving again wears you down. Whatever the reason, speaking with a psychologist in the comforts of your own home via digital communication definitely lowers the barriers to starting your mental health journey.