The stigma of Mental Health in our society

  • Written by Yandy Hernandez, LMHC • April 17, 2019

The stigma of Mental Health in our society

 

Even nowadays the stigma of Mental Health predominates in our society. Most people go through life problems and they refuse to see a mental health expert. Many of them, because they do not have time, others because of financial problems, but the majority of them because of the stigma associated with this field: “They would think I am crazy”. Now I want you to answer this question: “What is the difference between seeing a medical doctor and seeing a mental health counselor? And I reply: NONE

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Many people feel confident saying: “I suffer from diabetes”.  Still, I have not met a person who confidently says: “I suffer from depression” for example. People are afraid to be “Label”. I even have coworkers in private practice who say they see clients privately because this way they do not have to submit a claim to an insurance with a diagnosis “labeling” clients. Now, how do we start treatment in any medical discipline if we do not give the client a diagnosis that guides us through treatment? It is impossible. What people call “label”, I call a mental health condition and without this first step, no further treatment is possible.

I have been in the mental health field for the last 16 years. Even though I must admit that I have seen progress in the field regarding a number of mental health programs and to its integration to the medical world (taking now a holistic approach), there is still a lot more to be done in this field. It is sad that we mainly hear about people with mental health problems when we hear news about school shootings or when the pharmaceutical tries to sell a new medication. I have always thought that the recommendation to see a medical doctor at least once a year for a regular checkup, should also apply to the mental health field. This would serve as a way to identify any mental health problem the person is presenting and prevent further deterioration of symptoms.

As a conclusion, I have to say we need to talk more about mental health. We need to continue breaking the stigma and admitting that this is an area that deserves more attention from everybody in our society. This is exactly the main motivation I found for writing this blog, which I call “My counseling corner”. In this section of my webpage, I am planning to post monthly tips and information related to the mental health field. All the content that you are going to read reflects my personal opinion based on my education and professional experience in this filed for more than 15 years. I would like to have an honest and open conversation about important mental health topics. I would feel very honored if you subscribe to our monthly blog and send us ideas of different mental health issues you would like for our professionals to talk about.

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