I was happy to hear from a long term client yesterday, who I had been seeing for about 29 sessions so far, that she had written a blog post for Bell Let's Talk Day. The topic of the post was things she has learned from our time together. I thought it was very thoughtful and well-written, and full of insights that make a huge difference in the way one would approach life.
It's important to remember that sharing our struggles and authentic self with someone takes a lot of inner strength and courage, and is something that should be commended rather than thought of as a weakness. Mental health issues can not be seen, and consequently are given much less tolerance, acceptance and empathy when compared to physical health issues. We wouldn't expect someone in a wheelchair to walk but we may get angry or resentful when someone suffering from depression has to take an extended leave of absence.
People who suffer from depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, bipolar disorder and several other mental health conditions usually don't look or act differently than anyone else. It's time to change the way we view mental illness as secondary in importance to physical illness. OHIP will allow you to see a medical doctor when you are feeling physically ill, but not a psychotherapist when you are suffering mentally. Not all private insurance companies cover psychotherapists, even though almost all of them cover professionals who work on the body.
We become what we think about all day long. Our thoughts shape our destiny, if the mind is not healthy, you will not be healthy. The more we advocate for mental health, the more likely that those who genuinely need help will get help at critical points in their lives.