In your opinion how do you think the stigma around seeking a counsellor/therapist can be reduced?
Personally, I think that the main priority should be raising awareness and normalising the seeking of support and self-care. In my opinion, I feel everyone should have access to counselling much earlier on in their personal lives. Therefore, they can have a better understanding that in therapy the primary focus is exploring our patterns of behaviour. The unhealthy coping mechanisms we adopt that are no longer working, thereby being able to unlearn these patterns. It takes time to learn new healthy patterns.
What can people do to get involved? Is there a way of helping others or the mental health industry as a whole?
- Be kinder and more considerate to each other.
- Do not dismiss each other’s thoughts and feelings. An issue which may feel small to you could be overwhelming to others.
- Respect that someone may not be fully ready to explain everything straight away. Some issues can be incredibly personal or difficult to discuss. If and when the situation is comfortable, they may feel ready to discuss what’s on their mind.
- Be sure to value and empathise with the individual, their opinions and the context behind their thoughts. Alongside this try to personally explore the industry or services that support them. This allows you to have a stronger foundation of knowledge when addressing delicate and complex situations.
Which potential improvements or changes would you like to see? These could help facilitate a more nurturing workplace and improve mental health?
There are numerous changes in both work approach and workplace facilitation that could make help lead to a healthier setting.
To begin with, establish what can be achieved where changes need to be made. Realistic expectations in terms of work output, availability and capabilities will help. Clearer and more consistent boundaries will assist in outlining areas which need to be approached with a sense of tact or addressed professionally. There is also the situation of providing appropriate support and guidance when external issues may affect someone. (e.g. relevant signposting if necessary).
It is vital to acknowledge that most employees want to do a good job. Since external factors can frequently alter this, empathy, communication, and a sense of security are important.