A More Supportive Approach to Mental Health
As someone who has been through the system as a client, researcher, and provider, I can clearly see a more supportive approach to Mental Health.
Edited from original article written by Alahnnaa Campbell.
We all love our kids and want what is best for them! I know that people who work in the mental health industry, for the most part, do so because they want to "help" others because they care deeply, but "helping" means reaching down to pull someone up because you don't think they can do it themselves. "Supporting" someone means understanding where they are at, and saying "I've got your back, while you climb out, if and when you are ready". This is a HUGE difference!
I was honored to watch the movie Angst, which was brought to our town by Fitness for Mental Health (who graciously provide free access to exercise programs for those in need), as a way to raise awareness about what it is like to have Anxiety, the types of diagnoses, and the latest research on the treatments and coping mechanisms for anxiety.
Angst - documentary on youth anxiety
Although I absolutely honour the youth that spoke up about how they feel, and the people who made the movie, much like the youths and makers of Race to Nowhere, and I know the therapists hearts are in the right place, they are missing a critical piece to the puzzle.
Before the movie, they had an amazing speaker from Jack.org who showed us how it is NOT mental illness, its mental health. We all have mental health, and we can all slide up and down this continuum of mental health from healthy to stressed to struggle to crisis.
I agree 100%, and have experienced all aspects of this continuum. I had severe anxiety, panic attacks, physical and emotional/mental components of social anxiety, major depression and more. Some that took me completely out of the game and required medication!
But, the piece I feel they are missing, that is critical and that turns their attempts to "help" someone into actually invalidating the clients/youths experience; is when they move to "here are the methods to cope, so you can keep doing what you feel uncomfortable doing, or lets do exposure therapy to extinguish how you feel".
I know the practitioners hearts are in the right place, but the method is wrong. They are not leveraging ancient wisdom, like Human Design and Soul Contract, which will clearly show you WHY the person has the fear or anxiety and what to do about it. Once you normalize their experience, I repeat, their experience is NORMAL, for THEM, we are all unique, then you can move forward to supporting them on how to cope.
We need to use how we feel as a guide for where we are at, where we need to go, and what our gifts are.
For examples of this please visit my original post on Mental Health.
I know we all mean well, and come from love, but the current methods are so unconscious and damaging, that I wanted to speak out and say: They must stop!
Trust me, I have been through the system, I have felt it personally, I conducted mental health research for almost 10 years, I worked on a mental health and suicide prevention crisis line, I am CBT trained, and I know what it takes to accept and heal mental health issues, and its not labeling and force, its acceptance and love.
You are not ill, your experience is normal, for you, always.
And if the practitioner you are seeing can not see that, they can not support you to accept yourself, and this is what we are all here to do!
If you want to learn more, please get in touch for a free, no obligation, 15min consultation.
Love and Blessings,
Unconditional Love, by Anna Kolosyuk, Unsplash