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  • Writer's pictureAlayna Dorfman

Reducing Stigma: Why it’s okay to seek Mental Health Support

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Embracing Mental Health Support

In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, mental health issues have become an increasingly prevalent concern. Yet, for far too long, seeking support for these challenges has been shrouded in secrecy, shame, and stigma. So, because we believe so strongly in the importance of mental health and wellness support, we decided to clear up some of the myths, misconceptions, and judgments that hinder individuals from seeking the help they need.


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What is a "Stigma?"

Stigma refers to the negative attitudes, beliefs, and judgements associated with a particular characteristic, condition, or trait that sets an individual or group apart from societal norms. Stigma can be directed towards various aspects, such as physical appearance, race, gender, sexual orientation, and particularly in this context, mental health.


The stigma surrounding mental health support is a formidable barrier, discouraging countless individuals from reaching out for assistance. It also reinforces the belief that mental health struggles are a sign of weakness or personal failure, further deepening the emotional burden on those who are already battling internally. Seeking help for mental health challenges has often been equated with admitting defeat or displaying a lack of resilience. As a result, individuals who grapple with mental health issues may feel isolated, unsupported, and reluctant to share their experiences openly.


What the BYBS team believes about going to therapy:

As holistic, mind-body-spirit therapists, we believe mental health care is primary care. We are passionate about whole person health and de-stigmatizing mental health. We believe that it's important for individuals to know that first, it’s ok to not feel okay, and second, it's actually a positive thing to ask for help from a mental health professional. To us, it is a sign of strength - not weakness - to seek out help; it demonstrates an individual’s courage and resilience. So in order to continue encouraging mental health related discussions, we created a list of reasons for why we believe it’s totally okay to seek mental health support.


Reasons why it’s okay to seek mental health support:

  1. Remember, mental health care is primary care. Just like taking care of our physical health, seeking mental health support is an essential aspect of self-care. It demonstrates a commitment to one’s well-being and overall quality of life.

  2. Mental health practices provide a safe space - especially at BYBS - to express and validate our emotions and be our true selves. It allows us to gain insights into our thoughts and feelings, help us develop healthier coping mechanisms, and gain a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

  3. Mental health professionals possess specialized knowledge and expertise to help individuals navigate through difficult emotions, challenges, and mental health conditions. They can provide valuable insights and strategies in managing and improving mental well-being.


At BYBS, we believe you have the internal strength, desire, and ability to be happy, but you may have experienced negative life events and challenges that make it hard to access that part of yourself. Let us help you navigate those thoughts, emotions, and perspectives you’ve gained from experiencing those negative life events and challenges. We’re here to guide you in a healthy direction that preserves your mind, body, and soul.


If you’re interested in learning more about how a St. Pete Therapist can help you navigate through managing symptoms of anxiety or depression issues, read this article we put together -what is holistic mental health counseling and why is it important for overall health?


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The Power of Mental Health Support for Personal Growth and Connection

  1. Sharing our struggles with a mental health professional or a support/therapy group can help break the sense of isolation that often accompanies mental health issues. Connecting with others who understand and empathize with our experiences can provide comfort and a sense of belonging and security.

  2. Mental health support is not solely for individuals in crisis; it can serve as a proactive measure to maintain good mental health and prevent potential issues from escalating. Regular check-ins with a mental health professional can help identify and address concerns early on and can help minimize feelings of distress.

  3. Seeking mental health support can enhance our relationships with others. It allows us to develop better communication skills, address underlying issues, and navigate conflicts more effectively, leading to healthier, more genuine, and more fulfilling connections.

  4. Working with a mental health professional can facilitate personal growth and self-awareness. It offers an opportunity to explore our strengths, values, and aspirations, fostering a sense of purpose and helping us lead a more fulfilling life.


Tips for how to reduce the stigma around mental health:

  1. Do Your Research. Learning more about common mental health conditions, treatment options, and the experiences of others who have sought professional support can help challenge misconceptions and reduce stigma.

  2. Share Your Story. Sharing your experiences with mental health helps to normalize conversations around it. Opening up about your mental health journey can inspire others to seek help and promote compassion, understanding and connection.

  3. Consider Your Community. Surround yourself with individuals who are understanding, empathetic, and supportive of mental health concerns. Their acceptance and encouragement can help counteract the impact of stigma.

  4. Challenge The Stigma. Speak up against stigmatizing language or jokes about mental health. Encourage respectful conversations and promote a culture of acceptance and support.

  5. Practice Self-Compassion. Be kind to yourself and recognize that seeking help is a brave and courageous step. Treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding you would offer to a friend or loved one.

  6. Engage in Advocacy. Support mental health advocacy initiatives and organizations that work towards reducing stigma. Participate in activities that promote awareness and understanding in your community.

(Interested in advocating against the stigma? Here are two organizations for you to check out: NoStigmas and This Is My Brave)


Remember, seeking mental health support is a personal choice and fundamental right. Everyone deserves the opportunity to prioritize their mental well-being without fear of judgment or discrimination.



How going to therapy in St. Petersburg, FL with Holistic Therapists can benefit you:


a group of holistic therapists sitting on a coach in the counseling offices of be your best self and thrive in st petersburg, fl, holistic therapy, mental health services

Here is an article we put together on 7 Benefits of Holistic Mental Health Counseling,


In conclusion, taking care of our mental health and actively working to reduce its stigma is of utmost importance in today’s world. The well-being of our minds is intricately connected to our overall quality of life and affects our ability to function, cope with challenges, and build meaningful relationships. By prioritizing mental health, we empower ourselves and others to lead happier, healthier, and more fulfilling loves. Furthermore, reducing the stigma associated with mental health is essential for creating a compassionate and inclusive society; one that encourages mental health discussions and actively supports the act of seeking professional help when needed.


Let us embrace the importance of mental health and work together to ensure that everyone feels comfortable seeking the support they need!


Meet two of our highly skilled clinicians that can help provide professional and effective mental health support to you:


HALL BIRDSONG

Area of Expertise: Life transitions, Codependency, Anxiety, Depression, Young Adults, Trauma, LGBTQIA+


Treatment Approaches: Depth Psychology, Somatic Work, Mindfulness and Meditation, Person-Centered Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Humanistic / Existential Therapy, Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy, Transpersonal Therapy.




ROCHELLE YOUNG

Area of Expertise: Self-Esteem, Grief / Loss, Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Life Transitions, Women's Issues


Treatment Approaches: Mindfulness and Meditation, Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Integrative Psychotherapy.





Schedule your free counseling consult with a holistic therapist in St. Petersburg, Fl today!


We are more than happy to help guide you in a direction that effectively takes care of your mind, body, and soul.



Hi everyone! Thank you for reading, Reducing Stigma: Why It's Okay to Seek Mental Health Support. As a person who used to feel resistant towards mental health care - due to the embedded stigma - I have learned the importance of having these conversations and opening my mind up to the world of therapy; it has been a truly liberating experience.


Alayna Dorfman



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