Monday, June 9, 2014

What is Mental Health Anyway?

Mental health care has been evolving and expanding over the last several decades. When Psychology first emerged in the medical field it was focused on the individual and their level of dysfunction. Abnormal psychology led to clinical diagnoses which led to medical interventions. This approach has provided a categorical system of labels for those who are deemed “well” and those who are not.

Is this view actually appropriate? We all have good days and bad days. Sometimes those bad days stretch on longer than they we wish. Occasionally, a difficult event can leave a lasting traumatic effect on our well being. These difficult times do not define our character but rather describe a time in our lives. 

Mental health is something that exists within all people. It is in flux and continually influenced by our experiences. Not one person is perfect or equip to handle every situation on their own. This is why having a strong support system to fall back on is so vital.

Unfortunately, not everyone may have a strong support system to fall back on and that is why it is our job as a community to come together and support each other. The emerging field of Positive Psychology is changing the perspective surrounding mental health to that of a sliding spectrum. When you are feeling mentally or emotionally vulnerable (whether it be in the workplace, at home, or with peers) you should never be afraid to be honest and ask for help.

It is 2014 and the road to ending stigma starts with one story at a time. What’s your story?

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