Why is Mental Health So Overlooked?

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Dec 23, 2021

Why is mental health so overlooked?

Before we answer that question, let’s first explain what we mean by “mental health”. According to Wikipedia, it’s "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes their own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community".

Our mental health is our state of well-being. It’s intrinsically linked to everything about us, socially, emotionally and psychologically. So why is it that something which affects how we act, think and feel, something so influential at every stage of our lives, is so overlooked?

To demystify the stigma attached to mental health, we’ve deconstructed a few societal misperceptions and along with those, some affirming reminders that you’re not alone on this journey. Ready?

Mental illness: Is invisible

Though symptoms of mental illness don’t always present themselves obviously, they can leave emotional scars and cause invisible pain. The phrase “out of sight, out of mind” springs to mind here, doesn’t it? It’s easy to neglect what’s intangible and that’s why we often dismiss that harsh and unforgiving inner voice or accept the overwhelming sense of self-doubt or self-hatred.

Diagnosed mental disorder or not, we believe that everyone needs a little help sometimes, and that invisible symptoms don’t have to leave you feeling isolated. Allison is one of our peer counselors, she describes herself as a “queer, cisgender, white, invisibly disabled, chronically ill millenial”. She may be an exemplary individual but Allison’s empathy, compassion and authenticity are traits we identified in every single counselor in the Peer Collective online community.

Mental illness: Is seen as weakness

We live in a world where burnout is a glorified status, where there’s a warped public perception that failure is the ultimate human folly. Many of our Peer Counselors have grappled with the intensity of erratic fears, bouts of depression, trauma or emotional triggers that often come hand in hand with mental illness, and that’s exactly what makes them so well suited to helping you cope through yours. Just ask Jeremy, Anna or Arnold, who all know first-hand what it’s like to experience the struggles of a mental health disorder. This doesn’t make them weak, this makes them brave, resilient and boldly human in spite of the hand life dealt them.

Mental illness: Doesn’t make sense

Sure, we can keep aware of external triggers but we can’t always anticipate episodes of mental health crisis. Most of the time, this kind of emotional state tends to rear its ugly head when we least need, want or expect it. It makes no sense! Coping with a sudden onset of confusing, unpredictable or dysregulated emotions is hard. That’s why it can be incredibly constructive to have the chance to offload mixed up thoughts or scary contemplations with a witness who’ll meet you where you are and help you decipher it all.

Mental illness: Is a step away from mental wellness

Jeremy’s struggled with depression for years but he’s come to appreciate the benefits of acceptance, compassion and connection that comes with counseling. Kathleen’s traumatic childhood hasn’t held her back from discovering self-acceptance and healing. Anna’s been homeless, jobless and lost contact with everyone she loved but she still chooses to identify as someone who’s “living proof you can enjoy life after hardship.” We believe you can, too. Book a session with a Peer Counselor who’ll make sure you feel anything but overlooked when it comes to your mental health needs.

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